Abel “The Weekend” Tesfaye is responding to the controversial and graphic sex scene between himself and costar Lily-Rose Depp in episode 2 of Max’s The Idol and telling fans they aren’t supposed to be aroused or find it “sexy.”
“There’s nothing sexy about it. When we use Basic Instinct as a reference, we’re using [director Paul] Verhoeven. Verhoeven is the king of ‘90s satire thriller — yes, there’s moments of ‘sexy’ in his films but there are other moments that are very cheesy and hilarious,” Abel, 33, told GQ in an interview published on Tuesday, June 13.
“How ever you’re feeling watching that scene, whether it’s discomfort, or you feel gross, or you feel embarrassed for the characters. It’s all those emotions adding up to: This guy is in way over his head, this situation is one where he is not supposed to be here,” he continued.
In the scene that takes up the last 10 minutes of the episode, Lily’s Jocelyn masturbates while blindfolded as Abel’s Tedros very graphically describes what he wants to do to her, with lines such as “I want to grab you by the ass while I suffocate you with my c–k,” as Lily is nearly nude on a bed. Before they have sex for the first time, he also tells her to “f–king stretch that tiny little p—y.”
“With this show, we love to play with the emotions. We’re puppet-mastering your feelings through the show. It’s never a consistent tone, and that’s on purpose. No matter how dark a scene is, you can find the comedy in it,” Abel explained.
As for the controversy and chatter surrounding the first two episodes of the show, the singer turned actor is thrilled by the not so positive responses. “I’m loving it. It’s definitely shaken up the culture for sure,” he said with a laugh. “We knew we were making something dark and controversial but true to what we want to say.”
In the series, Lily plays the world’s sexiest pop star singer coming back from a mental breakdown. She went topless within the first five minutes of episode 1, proudly declaring to a photographer and her assistant that, “It’s my body” and she can show what she wants, even though nudity was prohibited by her contract.
Jocelyn later meets nightclub owner Tedros, who takes an immediate hold over her. The show has already depicted scenes including knife play and erotic asphyxiation, in addition to the nudity and extremely graphic language.