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This fall/winter, Lily Collins has a significant presence on Netflix. In October audiences were introduced to her as the titular character in the new hit show Emily In Paris, and in just a couple weeks fans will be able to see her opposite Gary Oldman in David Fincher’s Mank. What you probably don’t know, however, is that doing both projects made her schedule rather crazy in the second half of last year, as they had some significant overlap.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Lily Collins last week during the virtual junket for Mank, and having noticed the production dates for the movie during my preparation I asked about how the schedule lined up with her work on Emily In Paris – and the short version of the answer I got was, “Not well.” As she explained, the effort to be a part of both productions really ran her ragged, as she was frequently making international flights back and forth between the United States and France. Remarking on the contrast between the film and the show, Collins said,
Different everything; different countries. I actually was in the middle of filming Emily when David and I Zoomed. I got the part, and then had to fly back to LA twice for 24 hour periods within the span of three weeks. And I just pretended like I was a robot. I'm in every scene in Emily, so I had to get on a flight for the weekend and I was in the air longer than I was on the ground, probably for fittings and run-throughs and rehearsals and camera tests.
It generally takes about 11 hours to fly from Paris to Los Angeles, which is a hell of a long time in the air and a serious time zone change, and while most people like to decompress a bit after a trip like that, Lily Collins wasn’t given that luxury. Because production on Emily In Paris essentially halted when she wasn’t there, turnarounds had to be quick, and evidently she was helped by evidently having an active imagination.
Clearly it would be terrible if Lily Collins went through all that and then totally regretted the effort, but fortunately that wasn’t case. Instead, she is grateful to have had the opportunity to work with the creative minds at the head of each production, saying.
In Mank, which is David Fincher’s first feature since Gone Girl, Lily Collins plays Rita Alexander, who is employed as Herman Mankiewicz’s secretary while he recovers from a car accident and develops the script for what eventually becomes the cinema classic Citizen Kane. All of her scenes take place in 1940 and were shot on location in Victorville, California (where the actual events took place), and obviously that presented a very different on-set experience for the actor in contrast to Emily In Paris, which sees her playing an American millennial hired by a French marketing firm.
This contrast was actually something that Lily Collins was grateful for, though, as it better allowed her to compartmentalize the characters and approach them individually. She explained,
I actually do feel very lucky that not only was it different countries, that actually is where the stories took place, but the characters are so drastically different even from like a world of pop-y color to black and white. So I was able to separate.
The first season of Emily In Paris (second season coming soon) is now streaming on Netflix, and we are now less than two weeks away from the online debut of Mank, which is premiering on the service December 4. The film is phenomenal, so get excited, and be sure to stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more from my interviews with the cast!