The Weeknd set to make big screen debut with Safdie Brothers film Uncut Gems
Toronto R&B and pop star The Weeknd is back on top of the charts with his Dre Moon, Illangelo, and Metro Boomin-produced hit “Heartless,” but he’s also gearing up for what will be his big screen debut.
The Weeknd, born Abel Tesfaye, will play himself in the new crime-thriller from Good Time directors Benny and Josh Safdie, Uncut Gems, which stars Adam Sandler as a shady jeweler in New York’s Diamond District. And you may be thinking The Weeknd is making a real debut if he’s just making a cameo as himself, but he actually does a lot more than just perform in the film.
In fact, he literally fights Adam Sandler in a scene that the Grown Ups actor commended him for. Sandler spoke to Vulture in-depth about their big scene:
“First of all, I love that kid. He’s such a nice guy. He’s so deep. He’s so into the Safdies’ other work. He was excited about doing a movie with them. We got to know each other and got closer. He was a gentleman [on set]. I’m older than him. I don’t think he really wanted to fight as hard as he could! But then when we got cooking, he was a strong guy, a tough guy. He did a great job. He was really bold to play that part, to play himself, and not be such a lovable guy in the movie. That new album, my God! Did you hear that yet? It’s good.”
The Weeknd appears briefly in the initial trailer that was released, which created a huge buzz about what appeared to be a physical altercation between “The Hills” singer—sporting his old haircut—and Sandler.
The Safdie Brothers—who The Weeknd is a huge fan of—have a history of bringing musicians onto the big screen. With their 2017 feature Good Time, another crime film, the duo enlisted the services of Brooklyn horrorcore rapper Necro. He had previously appeared in their 2015 film, Heaven Knows What.
To be clear, The Weeknd is only in the film for a total of three or four minutes out of the listed 135 minute film length, but based on reactions from the festival circuit, Sandler and the rest of the cast make the film well worth watching. Other cast members include Julia Fox, Eric Bogosian, Idina Menzel, and even former basketball star, Kevin Garnett, who also plays himself.
Uncut Gems in select theaters on December 13th and available nationwide on December 25th via Netflix.
You can follow @TheWeeknd on Instagram.
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