The actress is about to make a name for herself in a new TV show from the creators of ‘Euphoria’, as well as Robert Eggers’ vampire movie ‘Nosferatu’.
This story originally appeared in i-D’s The Timeless Issue, no. 371, Spring 2023. Order your copy here.
There is nothing so gratifying as meeting a creative person right as they’re hitting their stride; at that special moment in an artist’s life when the constellations are aligned and they are riding high, full of inspiration and purpose, a sense that some very good things are right around the bend. That’s exactly what’s happening in the world of Lily-Rose Depp.
When we link up over Zoom on an otherwise quiet Thursday, the enthusiasm is practically reverberating out of her. Though she’s been publicly known since she was born, thanks to some incredibly famous parents, she is just now on the edge of a huge moment in her own life and acting career. To start with, her starring role in the upcoming HBO series The Idol, created by Euphoria’s Sam Levinson and The Weeknd, is set to debut this year, and is easily one of the most anticipated projects in entertainment. And the rest of the year is just as stacked: she’ll be filming Robert Eggers’ take on Nosferatu as well as The Governesses, a film being produced by A24, the vaunted company behind cult films like Ex Machina and Everything Everywhere All At Once (as well as The Idol). To say 2023 is big for Lily-Rose, at the age of 23, is an understatement.
And yet, it’s not even the scale or size of these films and shows that have Lily-Rose most excited – it’s that she finally feels, on a personal level, like she has found her place in projects that are truly right for her. A switch has flipped in her own sense of confidence about her craft, and she is surrounded by the kind of like-minded creative comrades she’s always hoped to be around.
First up is The Idol, which she isn’t allowed to reveal much about yet except that she’s almost overwhelmed with happiness about it. In it, she plays Jocelyn, an aspiring pop star, à la Miley Cyrus or Ariana Grande, navigating the sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll of the modern music industry. “I’ve dreamt of roles like this for forever. I just don’t think that you could give an actress a greater gift than a role like this,” she beams. “This has been the most meaningful and important project that I’ve ever done, and the thing that I’m the proudest of. I don’t know where to begin. Jocelyn is the most wonderfully complex character. She’s so fascinating. A mystery. After a year of living with that character, I’m still obsessed with her. I just want to keep digging deeper.”
The series – which has a delightful ensemble cast that includes Abel Tesfaye (aka The Weeknd, in his first real acting role), Jane Adams, Hank Azaria, Hari Nef, Dan Levy, Troye Sivan, and Jennie of K-Pop supergroup Blackpink – is the kind of project that, if well received, could make a career. It also seems like a role designed to completely reorient her image, which up until now, has largely been quiet and tasteful. Think of what Levinson’s other show, Euphoria, did for Zendaya, who until her starring turn in the HBO drama about druggy teenagers hadn’t quite been able to shake off her Disney upbringing.
In teaser clips of The Idol, where it’s referred to as “the sleaziest love story in all of Hollywood,” Lily-Rose smokes, struts, seduces, and sexes it up on screen, embodying a rock star stage presence almost entirely at odds with how we’ve come to know her. She was inspired by the Britneys and Beyoncés of the world, but she also went back further in time to find the chutzpah. “I thought about movie stars of the 40s, like Lauren Bacall and Gene Tierney,” she says. “They did not walk into a room and descend to anybody else’s level to try and make them feel comfortable. They almost had this confidence in the discomfort that they could provoke in people. A thing of, ‘This is who I am, and I’m not going to change.’”
The stars discuss their provocative new HBO series, which explores the seedy underbelly of fame.
Last September, on the final night of filming The Idol, an HBO show about a pop icon and her complicated relationship with a darkly charismatic club owner, Lily-Rose Depp was riding in a golf cart through SoFi Stadium, in the Los Angeles suburb of Inglewood. The arena was packed with about 70,000 people who were there to see Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd. Depp, who plays Jocelyn, the so-famous-she-needs-only-one-name music star in The Idol, was with Sam Levinson, the show’s cocreator and the award-winning writer and director of Euphoria. For tonight’s performance, Tesfaye, one of the biggest musicians in the world, was going back and forth between personas. For the faithful fans, he was The Weeknd, a character he created at the start of his career; for the scene in The Idol they were filming as he performed live, he needed to be Tedros, the ambitious Svengali whom Jocelyn would be presenting to the crowd.
As the trailer for The Idol was projected onto the huge SoFi screens, Depp rehearsed her lines with Levinson. She was wearing a diaphanous white dress, with her blonde hair in a loose updo. Depp has large eyes and the exquisite bone structure of a model, but as Jocelyn she had applied heavy eye makeup and exaggerated lip liner, which gave her face a masklike quality. “I was a nervous wreck,” Depp said when I spoke to her later. “I was praying to all my guardian angels. I knew we only had two takes at SoFi. I felt like I was going to my wedding—I was so dolled up and in white!” Depp finally worked up the courage to introduce Tedros. “[This is] the love of my life—the man who pulled me through the darkest hours and into the light,” she told the fans, as Tesfaye came out to a huge roar. Despite her nerves, Depp was intoxicated by the power of being in front of a stadium full of adoring people. “It was quite addicting,” she said. “I didn’t want to leave.”
Tesfaye, meanwhile, was experiencing a kind of breakdown. His two characters do not look alike: The Weeknd wears sleek black suits, while Tedros has a rattail and usually sports shiny, ’70s-style half-unbuttoned shirts with aviator sunglasses. “I had to take off the Weeknd outfit, put on Tedros’s wig, shoot with Jocelyn, then go back to being The Weeknd,” he told me later. “It was tough to go from one head to another. Then, after the concert, I lost my voice. No voice came out at all. That’s never happened before. My theory is that I forgot how to sing because I was playing Tedros, a character who doesn’t know how to sing. I may be looking too deeply into this, but it was terrifying. As The Weeknd, I’ve never skipped a concert. I’ve performed with the flu. I’ll die on that stage. But there was something very complicated going on with my mind at that moment.”
Tesfaye’s identity crisis was about more than juggling two characters in one night. “I’m going through a cathartic path right now,” he said. “It’s getting to a place and a time where I’m getting ready to close the Weeknd chapter. I’ll still make music, maybe as Abel, maybe as The Weeknd. But I still want to kill The Weeknd. And I will. Eventually. I’m definitely trying to shed that skin and be reborn.”
More than a year before the SoFi show, Depp was asked to audition for the role of Jocelyn. “I never thought I would get the part,” she said, calling from Prague, where she was on set for her new film Nosferatu, in which she plays the disciple of Dracula—another sinister but seductive man. “I knew there would be many lovely ladies who are more musical than me, but I thought, I’ll give it a go.” Depp borrowed a tight pink satin skirt and a purple tank top from her mother, Vanessa Paradis, the famous French singer, model, and actor. (Her father, as fans certainly know, is Johnny Depp.) “I wanted to wear pop-star colors,” Depp explained. “And I wanted to channel a certain L.A. feeling. I grew up in L.A., and I’m an L.A. girl, and so is Jocelyn. I wanted to capture the style mix of mischief and shine.”
It’s no secret #LilyRoseDepp can act, but when it comes to this #ELLE Cover Star, there is more than meets the eye. On #AskMeAnything, Lily-Rose reveals some things you may not know- including her passions, her favorite red carpet look involving Chanel and chains and even her favorite comfort meal. Watch as the actress deep dives into the things that she can’t live without.
Follow Lily-Rose Depp on IG: https://www.instagram.com/lilyrose_depp/
From the creator of Euphoria, starring Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye and Lily-Rose Depp, #THEIDOL is coming to HBO Max in 2023.
EXCLUSIVE: Robert Eggers’ long-awaited new take on the Nosferatu is gaining some serious momentum as sources tell Deadline that Bill Skarsgard is attached to play the titular character and Lily-Rose Depp is in talks to co-star. The pic now is set up at Focus Features, with Eggers directing and penning the script. Jeff Robinov, John Graham, Robert Eggers, Chris Columbus and Eleanor Columbus are producing.
In the new reimagining, Nosferatu is a gothic tale of obsession between a haunted young woman (Depp) in 19th century Germany and the ancient Transylvanian vampire (Skarsgard) who stalks her, bringing untold horror with him. Focus had no comment on the project.
The film has been a passion project of Eggers’ for years and came close to coming together in 2019 with Anya Taylor-Joy and Harry Styles at Studio 8. The film was put on pause as Studio 8 figured out a budget and talent schedules. Eggers ultimately pushed pause on the movie and moved on to his Viking pic The Northman, which bowed in April.
After The Northman, Eggers started looking at other projects but always had his eye on coming back to the gothic tale. Once Focus came aboard, he officially made Nosferatu his next film and began meeting with talent. Skarsgard has been loosely attached to play Eggers’ new take on the 19th century monster, going back to when he was developing the project with Styles and Taylor-Joy, and he quickly got Skarsgard to slot the pic into his schedule before it got filled up.
Taylor-Joy has become one of the busier movie stars in town and couldn’t fit the film into that busy schedule, leaving an opening for the role of the female protagonist at the center of the story. Following a number of meetings, Voyagers star Depp emerged as Eggers’ top choice for the role.
Skarsgard is coming off his hit horror pic Barbarian, which he also exec produced. He has a busy 2023 coming up that includes the Netflix thriller Boy Kills World and John Wick: Chapter 4. He also is attached to star in The Crow reboot that Rupert Sanders is directing.
Depp is set to star opposite The Weeknd in the upcoming HBO series The Idol ,with Euphoria creator Sam Levinson producing. She most recently was seen in the remake of Silent Night.
Skarsgard is repped by WME and Magnolia Entertainment and Depp is repped by CAA,Markham, Froggatt & Irwin Agence Adequat.
Source: Deadline Hollywood
From the Gutters of Hollywood #THEIDOL is coming soon to HBO Max.
From the sick and twisted minds of Sam Levinson and The Weeknd, starring Lily-Rose Depp, #THEIDOL is coming soon to HBO Max.
Television & Web Series > 2022 | The Idol > Season 1 > February 15, 2022 | On the Set in Los Angeles, California
Television & Web Series > 2022 | The Idol > Season 1 > March 11, 2022 | On the Set in Los Angeles, California
Television & Web Series > 2022 | The Idol > Season 1 > July 5, 2022 | On the Set in Los Angeles, California
A24 has assembled an impressive package for The Governesses—the sophomore feature from Joe Talbot (The Last Black Man in San Francisco), in which Lily-Rose Depp (The Idol) will star, alongside recent breakouts Hoyeon (Squid Game) and Renate Reinsve (The Worst Person in the World).
The film greenlighted today marks Talbot’s second with A24, on the heels of his critically acclaimed feature debut, The Last Black Man in San Francisco. It’s based on Anne Serre’s novel of the same name and follows three rebellious governesses who upend the household they work in—inspiriting the minds of the boys in their care, igniting the imaginations of the bohemian couple who employ them and abandoning their charges for erotic adventures.
The Governesses was developed with the support of BBC Film, with Talbot adapting the screenplay alongside poet and novelist Olivia Gatwood (Life of the Party). Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe will produce for Element Pictures, with Rob Richert of Talbot’s Longshot Features and Angus Lamont. BBC Film is co-financing alongside A24, with production taking place in Spain, and A24 handling the film’s global release.
Depp is a two-time César Award nominee who will next star alongside The Weeknd and more in the HBO series The Idol, from A24 Television. The actress has previously appeared in films including Silent Night, Voyagers, Crisis, The King, Savage, A Faithful Man, Planetarium, The Dancer, Yoga Hosers and Tusk.
Hoyeon won a SAG Award and other accolades for her turn as Kang Sae-byeok on Netflix’s smash survival drama Squid Game, and will next star alongside Kodi Smit-McPhee, Cate Blanchett, Sacha Baron Cohen and Kevin Kline in Alfonso Cuarón’s thriller series Disclaimer for Apple TV+.
Reinsve recently netted Cannes’ Best Actress Award and a BAFTA Award nomination for her breakout turn as Julie in Joachim Trier’s romantic drama The Worst Person in the World, which landed Oscar nominations for both Best International Feature Film and Best Original Screenplay. The Norwegian actress previously appeared in films including Welcome to Norway and Trier’s Oslo, August 31st, among other projects.
Talbot is represented by CAA and Granderson Des Rochers; Depp by Agence Adequat in France, CAA, Markham, Froggatt and Irwin in the UK and Lichter, Grossman, Nichols; Hoyeon by CAA and Saram Entertainment; Reinsve by CAA; and Gatwood by CAA and Management 360.
“Life is complicated enough, honestly. There are so many people in the world, if I care about what every single person thinks I’m never going to get on with my day.”
She’s already played a consort, astronaut, and a young woman in love, but now our Winter 2021 cover star, Lily-Rose Depp, has sunk her claws into her most complex role yet: Wildcat. Speaking to her good friend and actor Margaret Qualley, the two women fight the fickle fate of a bad internet connection and humorously debate who is interviewing who (luckily they come to the conclusion Depp was, in fact, the one being interviewed today) before finally landing on the topic at hand: Lily-Rose’s – in true Depp spirit – ever-quirky upcoming film, Wolf. And to make it impossibly quirkier, she plays a woman who believes she’s a cat. As they chat, laugh a lot, and open up without inhibition, Depp’s raw insight into the world around her, who she is, and how her upcoming film reflects it, make something abundantly clear: the fictitious might surround her as an actor, and the fantastical as a certified Depp, but Lily-Rose herself couldn’t be more real.