The Idol: Jane Adams Thinks “People Would Be Lucky” if the HBO Drama Lasted Eight Seasons

The acclaimed actress plays an outrageous record label executive in the new Weeknd-starring series

The Idol Jane Adams Interview
The Idol (HBO)

    When I talk to Jane Adams via Zoom, it’s the day after The Idol’s Cannes premiere, and the acclaimed star of Happiness, Hung, and Little Children feels great about it. “I just got to watch the show I’m in last night at the Palais Theater with a packed crowd who seemed to love it, and with the whole cast and crew and the producers of the show,” she says, smiling. “And I love everybody. We really are like a family. It’s really nice.”

    Later, she says, “Oh, yeah. I think there’s an Idol Season 8, or 10. I think people would be lucky if The Idol just kept going.”

    For Adams has nothing but positive things to say about the experience of working with co-creator Sam Levinson on the much-discussed (and potentially controversial) HBO drama, which stars Lily-Rose Depp as Jocelyn, a pop star on the rise whose life is changed when she encounters a mysterious nightclub owner named Tedros (Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye, as the show’s many teasers credit him). “It is this epic film that Sam’s directing, that just happens to be chopped up into episodes,” she says.

    Adams was part of the original cast prior to director Amy Seimetz’s departure from the series and subsequent reshoots, but continued on in the role of Nikki, the blazer-and-T-shirt-wearing head of Jocelyn’s record label, who’s a “tough cookie” (to borrow a phrase from my grandmother) with strong opinions on how to market music to today’s audiences.


    “Will you let people enjoy sex, drugs, and hot girls, okay?” Nikki lambasts someone in the show’s premiere, before explaining the concept of the photo shoot in progress, featuring a nearly nude Jocelyn wearing a robe and hospital bracelet: “She’s not going to fuck you unless she has mental problems, and that’s why mental illness is sexy.”

    While very friendly during our conversation, Adams is enough of an industry veteran to know what she does and doesn’t want to reveal about her process as an actor. Below, she does say what it meant to have the freedom to improvise with her fellow actors on set, and why she was excited to play a character who doesn’t care about what people think.

    She doesn’t answer some of my other questions. But she was very nice about it.

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