The Weeknd showed up on the red carpet Monday night at the Toronto International Film Festival but you may have missed him if you were looking for, well, what he used to look like. Instead, the singer, born Abel Tesfaye, stepped out looking like a totally different person.
Perhaps it’s his recent breakup with on-and-off girlfriend, Bella Hadid, that resulted in the change. Because if the best way to move on after a split is by changing up appearances, then both Abel and Bella are clearing trying to do just that, what with her blonde locks and his … this. Or maybe it’s simply all about his feature film debut in Uncut Gems, the reason why he attended its TIFF premiere, and he’s still in character. Because not only did he get rid of his signature beard, he kept the moustache and he’s growing out his hair. Combine all that with the navy suit, white button-down shirt and brown shoes and, honestly, who is this even?
In Uncut Gems, The Weeknd plays himself—but since it’s set in 2012, he’s playing the 2012 version of himself, before he hit it big. And even though that was only seven years ago, he was a lot different then. Abel, who is friends with the movie’s director brothers Josh and Benny Safdie, is only on-screen for a few minutes but according to Variety, his cameo packed a punch.
When trying to come up with his look in the movie, The Weeknd was “very specific about the kind of character he wanted to play,” which meant resurrecting his “relentless punk” styles. “And we had to make his hair again, because he so iconically shaved his head—well, not shaved it, but cut it all off for his huge mega-album, Starboy,” Josh Safdie told Variety. “And now, with his new album, he’s kind of going with a new thing. But he was like, ‘Yeah, we have to bring back the punk … My hair was kind of becoming its own thing, along with my ego.'” And here we are.
And while the Internet was shook by Abel’s new look, they weren’t hating on it. In fact, the retro vibes brought out comparisons to icons of yore.
Lionel Richie, Bruno Mars, and Lenny Kravitz are reportedly in a heated custody battle over this photograph
— nudah (@nudahwastaken) September 10, 2019
The Weeknd looks like he’s a lock to land a role in Coming to America 2 pic.twitter.com/LoVXt64sC5
— Stevie (@Stevie_Evans3) September 10, 2019
Apparently you’ve never heard of El DeBarge? pic.twitter.com/GOQoQOT2kF
— Cherylyn/FabuNOLA (@FabuNOLA) September 10, 2019
— Hammer (@HammerPike) September 10, 2019
Abel Escobar. pic.twitter.com/WZHrSCgDJK
— LORD DEEZUS (@demariojackson_) September 10, 2019
Uncut Gems is scheduled to hit theatres in December. We can’t wait to see what look he’s going to rock then.