Da’Vine Joy Randolph poses during a photocall for the tv series “The Idol” on the sidelines of the 76th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on May 23, 2023. (Photo by Patricia DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP) (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images)
*HBO’s hotly anticipated original drama series “The Idol” premieres tonight, and we caught up with actress Da’Vine Joy Randolph to speak about working with Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye and Lily-Rose Depp on the show.
Co-created by Sam Levinson (HBO’s “Euphoria”), “The Idol” centers on doomed pop star Jocelyn (Depp) who suffers a nervous breakdown that derails her last tour, so she is “determined to claim her rightful status as the greatest and sexiest pop star in America. Her passions are reignited by Tedros (Tesfaye), a nightclub impresario with a sordid past. Will her romantic awakening take her to glorious new heights or the deepest and darkest depths of her soul?” per the synopsis.
Randolph plays Destiny, the confidante to Jocelyn, and she told EUR in an exclusive interview that “Destiny is someone who you’ll later find out has more personal vested interests in this industry than she lets on, due to her own personal involvement in the past,” she shared.
“Jocelyn has a two-team management team, so I play the other manager. We’re the Yin to the Yang, Tweedledee to Tweedledum. Hank Azaria plays Chaim who’s like the good old boys club. You know what I mean? He has all those contacts and knows how that world works. But he was smart enough to know he needs someone who’s in the know, the now, and a female to gain that other perspective,” she continued.
I got a chance to preview the first two episodes ahead of the series debut and found Depp as Jocelyn is truly captivating to watch. I was immediately lured in by how much of what this character experiences in the first two episodes reminds me of my own personal journey navigating Hollywood when I moved to Los Angeles 20 years ago.
Randolph describes Jocelyn as someone “dealing with grief.”
“You don’t let your sister just hang out there to dry,” she said, noting that Jocelyn “no longer has her mother” so her team has to “step up and be her parents, her support system.”
Abel ‘The Weeknd’ Tesfaye and Lily-Rose Depp attend “The Idol” photocall at the 76th annual Cannes film festival at Palais des Festivals on May 23, 2023, in Cannes, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/FilmMagic)
One thing I love about Destiny is her style, which Randolph pulled from her own wardrobe.
“I’m so glad that you enjoyed her looks and stuff,” said Randolph. “Most of it was my own personal clothes, and I really just wanted to tell a story through her clothing. I wanted it to be like armor, I wanted it to be a uniform. Most of it will end up being black. Some of them, I wanted to give a matrix kind of vibe to it, just so it had this mysteriousness. And that she sticks out in a way where you’re like, “Yo, what is up with this chick?” But that’s intentional because she plays chess,” she explained.
“But I think due to her past, she is someone who lives out loud. Also, she’s a New Yorker. So because of that, I love the juxtaposition of this New Yorker amidst all these Californians. And how that energy is completely different,” Randolph said.
Watch my full conversation with Randolph via the clip below, and tune in to “The Idol” premiere on Sunday, June 4 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on HBO. The series will also be available to stream on Max.
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