Da’Vine Joy Randolph and Jane Adams on What It Was Like Filming “The Idol” at The Weeknd’s Home

Da’Vine Joy Randolph and Jane Adams on What It Was Like Filming “The Idol” at The Weeknd’s Home

Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye is making his first foray into television with HBO’s “The Idol.” While the series has yet to premiere, it’s already received a lot of criticism following director Amy Seimetz’s exit and a Rolling Stone article that detailed allegations of a hostile workplace environment, which A24, HBO, and the show’s cast and crew have denied.

In the wake of Seimetz’s departure, “Euphoria” creator Sam Levinson stepped in to replace her and the series underwent significant reshoots. In an effort to keep costs low during those reshoots, Tesfaye lent his personal home in Bel Air, Los Angeles, to the show after a conversation with Levinson. “Quitting the show wasn’t an option for Abel or me. It was a dream that we had together, and we had to see it through,” Levinson told W magazine in May. “If we were going to reshoot from the beginning, I knew it had to be for less money. Sitting in Abel’s house, looking around at the 40,000 square feet, I said, ‘It’s stunning here — you can’t buy production design like this. What if we shoot it here?’ Abel put down his drink and said, ‘Do you have insurance?’ I said yes. And he said, ‘I’m okay with it.'”

Shortly after, Levinson and his family, along with the rest of the cast and crew, pretty much moved into Tesfaye’s house. “The bedrooms were now greenrooms; the bathrooms were for hair and makeup,” Tesfaye told the publication. “We built a music studio in the basement so Mike Dean, who helped compose, and I could score the show while we were filming.” As a result, Tesfaye took his dog and they moved into another one of his homes. “My home belonged to the show; it was a hub of activity. We were trying to blur the line between fiction and reality. We had cameras going all the time,” Tesfaye explained to W magazine. “It was weird when they all left. I changed all the furniture. I replastered the walls. But the soul of Jocelyn’s [Lily-Rose Depp] house is still in there.”

Speaking to POPSUGAR, Da’Vine Joy Randolph — who plays Jocelyn’s manager, Destiny — says she was in disbelief when she first found out she’d be filming inside Tesfaye’s actual home. “I’ve never done that in my life, filming at someone’s house,” she says. “It was amazing. And we didn’t even have trailers, so we literally were hanging out. It was like we were just hanging out at our friend’s house, which is so amazing and gracious of him. But I think it’s also an example of just how much he wanted this to be successful.”

Jane Adams — who plays Nikki, a cutthroat record-label executive who’s worked with Jocelyn for years — tells POPSUGAR she previously did the same thing for a film she shot years ago. “You so want to create this thing that you’re willing to let people into your home, I get it,” she says. “I actually had a lot of respect and admiration for him that he did that. And it was also just fun. It was a gorgeous setting and this story requires that.”

Get a glimpse of Tesfaye’s stunning mansion in the trailer below, and check out “The Idol” when it premieres on HBO and Max on June 4.

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