Is Mike Dean in HBO’s ‘The Idol’? Meet Mike Dean as Himself

The Idol Tedros Jocelyn and Mike Dean

Fiction and reality intertwine in HBO’s The Idol, and the trend got more interesting when the real-life songwriter and music producer starred as himself in the third episode. Although Mike Dean doesn’t say anything during his short cameo in the hit show, his appearance was a shocker for many fans as to seemed to validate Tedros. Many fans still don’t understand what the real-life record producer’s role is in Jocelyn’s future and wonder who Mike Dean is to Tedros in The Idol.

After convincing Jocelyn to redo her entire album and change her approach to music, Tedros brings the renowned producer Mike Dean to help her progress. He introduces him as the record producer for famous musicians, including Kanye West which is true in real life. In the episode, real-life Mike Dean helps Jocelyn with her mixtapes, proving Tedros’s claim that he wants to help her, which also satisfies her team’s curiosity.

However, Tedros is still a fictional character, and bringing Mike Dean on board only raised more questions about Jocelyn’s new manager/ cult leader. Tedros’s sinister intentions for Jocelyn are yet to be revealed, and many fans can’t help but wonder whether Mike Dean is in on the plan or one of Tedros’ unsuspecting followers. The renowned hip-hop producer’s appearance on the show is still a game changer, so let us look into what Mike Dean’s cameo means for the show.

What is The Idol about?

Jocelyn and Tedros The Idol

The Idol follows an upcoming pop star, Jocelyn (Lily-Rose Depp), pursuing fame as the sexiest pop singer in the world but hits the wall when she has a public meltdown after her abusive mother’s death.

She meets a controversial talent manager and contemporary cult leader Tedros (Abel ‘The Weeknd’ Tesfaye), with whom she starts a complicated relationship.

Tedros becomes her manager and a boyfriend of sorts, but he also exerts lots of influence over Jocelyn.

Tedros and his cult take control of Jocelyn’s career and life as his cult members move into Jocelyn’s house, pushing her assistant and former manager to the side.

Tedros’s charming personality totally fools the young musician, who doesn’t seem to see any problem with the new boyfriend taking over her life.


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She only sees Tedros as her new path to fame, and bringing Mike Dean to help create her record mixes only convinces her further.

However, Jocelyn doesn’t completely fall victim to Tedros’s manipulation as she doesn’t trust him completely.

Despite being skeptical about his intentions, she sees him as a means to an end and keeps him around because she believes he can help revive her career.

Their relationship turns into a game as Jocelyn and her team do their best to make the most out of Tedros without completely losing themselves to his charm.

Who is Mike Dean in real life?

Mike Dean Producer

Mike Dean is one of the world’s most famous hip-hop record producers, having produced music for Kanye West, Madonna, Travis Scott, Jay Z, Drake, Travis Scott, and many more hip-hop artists.

He was born in Houston, Texas 1965, where he started working with local artists, including Selena.

His breakthrough came while he was working with Rap-A-Lot Records in the 1990s, where he became famous as the pioneer of the famous Dirty South rap sound.

As Tedros says in The Idol, Mike Dean has worked extensively with Kanye West since the 2000s.


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Mike Dean also works as a guitarist and a pianist during Kanye West’s live performances.

In The Idol, Dean plays the piano at Jocelyn’s house while Tedros and Rob fight, affirming his real-life passion in the show as well.

To explain why Mike Dean stars as himself in The Idol, the show’s co-producer Sam Levinson said that Dean is a music genius and also a funny person to be around.

The producers decided to make him a real-life addition to the show to spice up Jocelyn’s career as a musician.

Besides playing himself in the show, Mike Dean also produced sounds for The Idol’s main soundtrack and other theme tracks.

How does Tedros know Mike Dean in The Idol?

The Weeknd and Mike Dean

The show hasn’t explained how Tedros met Mike Dean, but our working theory is that he used his charming personality the same way he did with Jocelyn.

Mike Dean doesn’t seem to submit completely to Tedros’s influence in the show as Jocelyn does, so it is unlikely that he is a member of the cult.

Connecting Mike Dean to Jocelyn gives her a real opportunity to achieve her career ambitions, but there is definitely a catch for Tedros.


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In real life. The Weeknd, who plays Tedros, is a close associate of Mike Dean’s, and the two have worked together on multiple albums.

Mike Dean worked on The Weeknd’s 2015 album Beauty Behind The Madness and has continued to work with the star since.

Their collaboration in The Idol is, therefore, a reflection of Mike Dean’s work in real life, which means his role in Jocelyn’s life in The Idol might be limited.

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