Idol creator Sam Levinson discusses the premiere episode Deadline

spoiler ALERT! This post includes details on HBO’s Sunday premiere Sculpture.

Sculpture Finally here it is. HBO unveils first episode of somewhat controversial series Excitement Sunday producer Sam Levinson.

The premiere, titled “Pop Tarts and Rat Tales,” introduces viewers to Lily-Rose Depp’s Jocelyn, a global superstar who is set to return to touring after suffering a nervous breakdown. The episode opens with a close-up of Jocelyn’s face as she receives instructions from a photographer, prompting for specific emotions ranging from joyful to vulnerable to upset.

“The first shot of the show, I think, tells you everything you need to know about Jocelyn, how talented she is as an artist,” Levinson said in a segment about crafting the series, which aired after the episode. “She can laugh on cue, cry on cue. You see how good this character is at manipulating us emotionally. What’s so great about Lily’s performance is that despite the fact that she is Tells, you forget how she manages to deceive the audience.

The camera pans out, and we see that this is part of a photoshoot for her new album. As Jocelyn lies on a table, wearing only a red, silk, backless robe (inspired by Slim Aarons’ photo of Marilyn Monroe), the intimacy coordinator rushes to make sure she follows her nudity rider. She tries to explain that she’s perfectly comfortable showing more of her body, and an argument ensues—almost exclusively among the men in the room—about whether it’s okay for her to take off her robe in the photo. It is appropriate to open

As the episode progresses, it becomes clear how many people are making decisions for Jocelyn, often without her involvement. From her assistant to her music label to her many publicists, Jocelyn is often the last to know about the details of her own life. when a reporter Vanity Fair asks her who she is to which she replies, Jocelyn says, “God.” But, it is clear that she is not as independent as she would like to imagine. Until she meets Tedros (Abel Tesfaye aka The Weeknd), a nightclub impresario with a sordid past.

Depp said in the same segment, “Jocelyn is a pop star constantly surrounded by people she’s not sure she can trust.”

While Jocelyn feels an immediate connection with Tedros, it is unclear what her intentions are.

“When Tedros comes in, you can see how seriously he wants to be taken seriously. He wants to be humble…yet there’s something about him that also appeals to Jocelyn,” Levinson said. .

A preview for the remainder of the series teases that Tedros will begin to have considerable power over Jocelyn, who will begin to pull away from the team around him as his relationship with her deepens.

In a post-episode segment, Levinson stated that it was not long after season 2 production wrapped. Excitement for which he and Tesfaye began discussing the concept Sculpture. Ultimately, she explained, the series is about “an artist who feels stuck, who feels pressured by the expectations of the world at large, and is trying to figure out who she is and what she wants to say. Is.”

“The cinematic approach is really derived from reality television, because that’s how we typically see celebrities,” he said. “Part of what this show is about is being a little more skeptical about the celebrities we ultimately idolize.”

Sculpture Airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO. It is also available on Max at 9 PM ET/6 PM PT.