The show that is about an American in Paris comes out to Lily Collins, the star and producer of Netflix – Emily in Paris.
“It feels weird to have a show that’s about an American in Paris come out when that’s not even physically possible right now,” said Lily Collins, the star and producer of Netflix’s Emily in Paris. The binge-worthy 10-episode series, created by Sex and the City mastermind Darren Star and costumed by iconatic designers Patricia Field and starring on the show, premieres Friday and follows a young woman living freely abroad. The series is lavishly shot in Paris with a dreamy rom-com arc and career misadventures echoing The Devil Wears Prada and is the perfect vicarious thrill for homebound audiences approaching the seven-month horizon of coronavirus regulations.
Collins, a Sex and the City superfan, is the first to admit that Emily in Paris and her character in particular have “certain Carrie Bradshaw vibes”. Both are stylish, career driven women with romantic fixation on the city in which they live. Although Emily in Paris is more a rom-com about fish out of the water—chronizing Emily’s crash course in French culture after being recruited to resurrect social media at a marketing company. Instead of using a moody voiceover, Emily shares her experiences via Instagram video interludes — social-media microdoses of life in the City of Lights. In the past, you would be in Paris writing postcards in the café and now you post on Instagram,” Star explained, using the social media element as a “storyteller and diary.”
Star says he has been fascinated by French culture since childhood and has spent years contemplating potential TV projects about an American assimilation.
A little of a French geek as a kid — I took French classes from elementary school through college and had an affinity for Paris, said Star. The idea of putting people down there was always sort of like that – how it would be to live and work there. I had enough experience I felt myself how the challenges of a character might be ,,. I think every time you go to France, you are a fish out of the sea. . It’s one of those cultures where highlighting your own sense of being an American when you’re here gives them a boost.”
Collins experience this firsthand after moving to Paris last year to film—when the series was supposed to premier on the Paramount Network before being bought by Netflix. She quickly encountered the same cultural obstacles that her character did in the scripts — running out of hot water in her apartment, ordering the wrong menu items at restaurants and mixing up apartment floors. I had so many parallel experiences with Emily,” said Collins, explaining that she felt like the writers of the show were pranking her to help her come into character.
Collins continued to draw on details of her friends, loved ones and characters over the years to create Emily. I didn’t want to focus on her particular person, but the attributes and characteristics of the women with whom I surround myself, who I love, and make her kind of an amalgamation of all of those women. I am very much a product of the people I often surround myself with. . – I wanted each young woman to be able to look at Emily and say, ‘Oh, there is a part of me in her.” And so I didn’t want to model her specifics on one person.”
Though the series is an escapist humor, its heroine promotes a strong message too.
The term Emily doesn’t need to transform to be embraced to ultimately become her. She does not have a transformation scene in which she walks into a dressing room as American Emily and reaches out a more Parisian Emily. . She is not trying to be other than herself. . – She doesn’t need to change morally or aesthetically who she is to fit into the equation.“