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Emily In Paris French Actress Shares Honest Thoughts On The Criticism The Netflix Show Gets From Her Country

screenshot of sylvie on emily in paris
(Image credit: Netflix)

As a series, Emily in Paris catches a lot of disapproval for a number of reasons. The fashion. The privilege. The c’est la vie, over-the-top storylines. Many viewers on the American side of the pond, though, gobbled up the young marketing exec painting the Paris town red with her ringarde accessories and elementary-level French. However, the Netflix original has been slammed in both seasons by French audiences for the clichéd French stereotypes that get played on. One of the show's French actresses is now addressing her country's criticism with her own spicy take.

Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu, who portrays Sylvie Grateau on Emily in Paris, is a staple in France, going all the way back to the '80s when she got her first César Award nod. Her turn as the lead character's no-nonsense French boss has been more low-key admired for giving opportunity, dimension and no shortage of sex appeal to the older female demographic in a young woman's game. And in Leroy-Beaulieu’s opinion? Her French compatriots are just too serious when it comes to the dramedy. She told Page Six:

The French know how to laugh at other people but they don’t know how to laugh at themselves. They always get hurt and upset when people laugh at them, they don’t realize that [creator] Darren [Starr] is also making fun of the Americans, very much — they don’t realize that. They don’t have a sense of humor, that’s what I think!

And to be honest, the exact same could be said of American viewers who watch Emily in Paris and feel like they are being made out as naive and annoyingly cheery. Producer and lead star Lily Collins in fact had to go to bat for the titular character’s “annoying” qualities because she sees them as “beautiful.” For the born-and-raised French actress behind Sylvie Grateau, she views her own character in particular as “nasty but not really.” It's an exaggeration that is all about fun. She continued to the outlet:

It’s an opportunity to do things and say things you never do in life because you’re never that French. I’m never that French!

It's all a double-edged sword, to be sure. The characterizations tend to offend respective nationalities, but it is an integral part of Emily in Paris’ escapist appeal. Lily Collins recently revealed that the latter is precisely why the show is once again COVID-free in Season 2 – because it brings a sense of “joy and laughter” amidst real-world difficulty.

Emily in Paris’ second season would end on a big cliffhanger question, much like Season 1. Whether fans will get an answer in a potential third season, Lily Collins was frank about what she would like to see happen. As for Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu, she still has “a lot to teach” these “younger girls.”

Lauren Vanderveen

Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.