The Idol Is Canceled. What Should Its Cast Do Next?

The Idol is over. Long live The Idol cast

The last time I wrote about The Idol, way back in July (a lifetime ago!), I likened the show to a soufflé, which despite having the right ingredients, did not rise. Those feelings remain: Lily-Rose Depp was good as the embattled singer Jocelyn, the supporting cast were strong, some of the moods were well-executed. One thing that has changed? HBO has officially axed The Weeknd's pop star eyebrow-raiser, calling the show one of its “most provocative original programs” which prompted a “strong audience response”. No soufflé for us! Let us not cry because it’s over, but smile because of the questionable real-life singles, dog collar torture scenes and, uh, conversation starters we got from just five episodes. And, in the spirit of second chances, let’s wildly speculate what its main cast should do next.

The Weeknd

Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye is one of the most successful pop stars of recent times, an artist who has had chart-topping singles and albums (increasingly rare) and has successfully navigated multiple eras. Tesfaye’s talents do not lie in acting, despite a magnetic stage presence: time in the studio and an album in late 2024 sounds perfect. The good news: there is simply nothing anyone loves more than a come back. The bad news: there’s still a film project to wrap up with Jenna Ortega and Barry Keoghan.

Lily-Rose Depp

If there is a winner from this sordid affair, it is Depp, who shone when the writing was good and was serviceable when it was bad. Up next for the aspiring actress is a role in Robert Eggers’ Nosferatu and Joe Talbot’s The Governesses (which also features Squid Games’ Hoyeon and The Worst Person In The World’s Renate Reinsve). Both those projects sound promising, and Depp is certainly leaning into appropriately gothic work, but it would be nicer to see her approach some lighter fare too. Is there not a script that, say, Emma Stone would have picked up ten years ago, Depp could get her hands on?

Photo by HBO.

Troye Sivan

This one is sorted! Sivan, one of the only YouTubers who has successfully navigated a post-vlogging career, has an album out in October entitled Something To give Each Other. He also has a voice role in… Trolls Band Together. The former is intriguing, the latter pays the bills. Sivan has an ideal level of fame – bright enough to release his own creatively fulfilling projects, but not too much that it becomes a burden – and he ought to carry on, no notes.

Rachel Sennott

Rachel Sennott was very fun as harried assistant Leia, but The Idol was truly a brief stop on an ascendant rise. She’s starred in above average horror flick Bodies Bodies Bodies and equally scary Shiva Baby. Now Sennott’s latest film, Bottoms – which she also co-wrote with Shiva Baby writer-director Emma Seligman – is releasing to great reviews. There is also a Nicole Kidman thriller, Holland, Michigan, on the horizon. Sennott should just continue being spiky, endearing and very funny.

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Hari Nef

Hari Nef played a Vanity Fair writer named Talia with a very generous deadline in The Idol, but soon stepped into another more successful role as a Barbie in Barbie. You may have heard of that film. Nef is thoughtful and admirably geeky about her projects, and there’s an upcoming biopic about Andy Warhol muse Candy Darling (written by Transparent’s Stephanie Kornick) which will suit those talents. Still, would it be too much to ask to put Nef in a film about journalists? It would be a shame for all that dicatphone practice to go to waste.

Jennie Kim

Perhaps more than anyone else in the main cast, Blackpink’s Jennie Kim was short changed on The Idol. Dyanne’s sub-plot was promising, but lacked any follow-through. Still, being a member of one of the world’s biggest girl bands is a pretty good fall back option. Blackpink’s second album reached number one in the UK, could a third album achieve that same feat? You would not bet against them.

Da’Vine Joy Randolph

The Idol boasted a grown-up ensemble of actors who have, you know, established careers to attend to. Out of those, Randolph – who has long lent her comedic chops to projects like Only Murders in the Building – provided the biggest laughs. But her performance as no-nonsense Destiny was memorable because there were layers: she could see through your bullshit, but also care about what mattered. Let Randolph exercise that muscle more often! She is about to star as gospel singer Mahalia Jackson in Rustin, a film about gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, and has a couple of upcoming comedies. That’s all well and good, but let’s give her a leading role. I would watch a film where Randolph gets shit done.


From: Esquire UK

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