The Weeknd wiped away tears as his TV show “The Idol” received a five-minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival on Monday.
After months of controversy and delays, the first two episodes of Sam Levinson’s new TV series premiered out of competition at the Grand Theatre Lumiere on Monday night.
Following the special screening, the audience gave the episodes a standing ovation lasting more than five minutes as Levinson hugged his stars Lily-Rose Depp and The Weeknd, real name Abel Tesfaye.
In a video posted on social media by Deadline, the Canadian singer could be seen wiping tears from his eyes as Levinson gave an emotional speech to the audience.
Levinson, who co-created the show with The Weeknd, thanked “The Idol” team for “making this dream come true” and added, “I’m incredibly proud of this show and I’m proud of the way we made this show. I’m proud of this cast, we have so many wonderful artists… I feel like I gained a family. I know that’s a little culty but that’s the way it feels. I love you guys.”
He thanked HBO executives for “believing” in them and Depp for her “fearless” portrayal of pop star Jocelyn, who falls for Tesfaye’s cult leader Tedros.
“Abel and I, we count our lucky stars every day that you are Jocelyn – you are fearless,” he gushed. “Thank you for taking this leap. We love you.”
In March, it was claimed that production on “The Idol” was messy and chaotic, with spiralling budgets and shooting schedules, and that Levinson turned the show into a twisted love story featuring gratuitous nudity and explicit sexual content when he took over as director.
“The Idol” received mixed to negative reviews after its premiere, with Variety describing it as a “sordid male fantasy” and The Hollywood Reporter calling it “more regressive than transgressive” due to its raunchy content.
The show airs on June 4.