AceShowbiz - Lily-Rose Depp has defended "Euphoria" mastermind Sam Levinson against accusations he has turned his new shock drama "The Idol" into "torture porn" and a "rape fantasy." She hit out after furious crew from the set of the upcoming HBO drama, on which she stars alongside singer The Weeknd, spoke under anonymity to Rolling Stone for a piece published on Wednesday, March 1, in which they said Sam, 38, had cranked up the show's nudity, sex and violence to exploitative levels.
One production member told the publication about its plot, "It was like any rape fantasy that any toxic man would have in the show - and then the woman comes back for more because it makes her music better." Another added, "was like, 'What is this? What am I reading here?' It was like sexual torture porn."
Sources also told Rolling Stone Sam's versions of the scripts allegedly contained "disturbing sexual" and "physically violent scenes" between Lily-Rose, 23, and 33-year-old The Weeknd, real name Abel Tesfaye, who is also co-creator of "The Idol". One alleged proposed scene, that was never shot, was said to have had The Weeknd's character bash Lily's character's face, before she smiles and gets him aroused by asking for more of a beating.
Lily-Rose plays a rising pop star who meets a self-help guru and cult leader played by The Weeknd. Sam took over directing the show after "The Girlfriend Experience" series' co-director Amy Seimetz, 41, exited the project in April 2022. Lily-Rose told E! News in a statement on Wednesday, "Sam is, for so many reasons, the best director I have ever worked with. Never have I felt more supported or respected in a creative space, my input and opinions more valued. Working with Sam is a true collaboration in every way - it matters to him, more than anything, not only what his actors think about the work, but how we feel performing it. He hires people whose work he esteems and has always created an environment in which I felt seen, heard, and appreciated."
A representative for The Weeknd sent Page Six a link to the "Earned It" singer's Instagram post from Wednesday, in which Rolling Stone was branded "irrelevant" and "past its prime" in a scene from "The Idol". HBO added they are happy with the production, saying in a statement, "The creators and producers of 'The Idol' have been working hard to create one of HBO's most exciting and provocative original programs. The initial approach on the show and production of the early episodes, unfortunately, did not meet HBO standards so we chose to make a change. Throughout the process, the creative team has been committed to creating a safe, collaborative, and mutually respectful working environment, and last year, the team made creative changes they felt were in the best interest of both the production and the cast and crew. We look forward to sharing 'The Idol' with audiences soon."