‘The Idol’: Sam Levinson Says Tear-Filled First Shot ‘Tells You Everything You Need to Know’ About Jocelyn (Video)

“You see how good this character is at manipulating us emotionally,” the “Euphoria” creator says

“The Idol” creator Sam Levinson says the tear-filled photoshoot first shot tells audiences “everything [they] need to know” about Lily-Rose Depp’s rebounding pop star Jocelyn.

The first scene of the series opens with a boundary-pushing photoshoot for the cover of Jocelyn’s comeback album, which features a barely covered Jocelyn donning a hospital bracelet in reference to her recent nervous breakdown, alongside bottles of tequila and other party paraphernalia.

The opening shot tightens on Depp’s face as she shifts her facial features and even cries on demand to fit the photographer’s instructions of “pure, sex now,” “gimme vulnerable” and “now, emotional,” among others. 

“The first shot of this show I think tells you everything you need to know about Jocelyn, how gifted she is as a performer,” Levinson said in a HBO featurette, which you can watch at the top of this post. “She can laugh on cue, cry on cue. You see how good this character is at manipulating us emotionally.”

Levinson continued on by praising Depp’s performance, saying “What’s so brilliant about Lily’s performance is that despite the fact she tells you up front, you forget how she’s able to deceive the audience.”

“The opening scene encapsulates so much about what the show is,” supervising editor Julio Perez said in the clip. “It’s a little bit of a warning as to what she’s capable of.”

Wearing a backless red satin robe adorned with black lace — which references a Slim Aarons’ photograph of Marilyn Monroe — the scene that unfolds sees Jocelyn breaking her nudity rider by exposing her nipples for the photoshoot as she poses on the table. Immediately, the shoot’s intimacy coordinator brings his concerns breaking the rider to the attention of Jocelyn’s managers, citing her vulnerability, which is quickly mocked and results in Jocelyn’s manager Chaim locking the intimacy coordinator in a bathroom, telling a staffer to keep him in there for $5,000.

“Everything about that scene — the costume and the set design — I just loved,” Depp said.

“The Idol” Episode 1 is now streaming on Max.