Lily Collins and Series Creator Darren Star Offer 9 Things To Know About Emily In Paris Season 2

The series' creator, star, and season 2 costars Ashley Park, Jeremy O. Harris, and Camille Razat preview the Netflix rom-com's relationships, friendships, and fashion.

by | December 20, 2021 | Comments

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Bonjour, Paris!

The second season premiere of the Netflix rom-com Emily in Paris finds Lily Collins’ fabulously dressed titular American marketing executive still in the City of Lights — and still guilt-ridden about the events of last season that saw her committing the cardinal sin of sleeping with her friend’s ex right after she found out they’d broken up.

She’s also still working for the French marketing firm, Savoir, although she is making inroads in getting her co-workers to like her and attracting new clients with her brilliant social media-forward campaigns.

Lily Collins in Emily in Paris

(Photo by Stéphanie Branchu/Netflix)

Eventually everything collides and, like a cracked Ladurée macaroon, Emily must find out if her personal life and professional life are still salvageable.

To help us prepare for the new season, Collins, creator Darren Star and others from the cast offered Rotten Tomatoes a few bon mots.

1. Cheers to a New Love Interest

Lucien Laviscount and Lily Collins in Emily in Paris.

(Photo by Stéphanie Branchu/Netflix)

Last season put Emily in a messy love triangle when she learned the chef she’d been smooching (Lucas Bravo’s Gabriel) was also the boyfriend of her new friend Cami (Camille Razat). Emily and Gabriel rekindled their romance at the end of last season when she thought he was leaving town and that he and Cami had broken up. Turns out, he’s sticking around — making things pretty awkward for Emily.

Luckily, she’s got someone to help take her mind off things: Lucien Laviscount’s British banker, Alfie. Like Emily, he’s also in Paris on business and his trip also has an expiration date.

“Alfie provides a sense of escapism, and a welcome challenge to Emily at times,” Collins told Rotten Tomatoes. “If anything, since she moved to Paris, she’s trying new experiences and meeting new people. Alfie’s an interesting person for her to get to know and Lucien plays it so brilliantly. And he really provides a sense of sparring with Emily that I think she needs. He brings a spark to Emily at a time when she was becoming really conflicted.”

2. The Cami Challenge

Camille Razat in Emily in Paris.

(Photo by Carole Bethuel/Netflix)

This doesn’t mean that Emily doesn’t have residual guilt about Gabriel, especially since she’s considers Cami both a dear friend and a business associate. In fact, she’s still working on a marketing campaign for Cami’s family’s Champagne company and they go on a girls weekend to Saint-Tropez with Ashley Park’s Mindy.

“Emily, first and foremost, was Cami’s friend,” Star said. “She never intended to make the mistake she did at the end of Season One … I think that’s a mess that Emily has to deal with at the beginning of this season.”

3. Musical Mindy

Ashley Park in Emily in Paris.

(Photo by Stéphanie Branchu/Netflix)

This season is also a chance for Park’s Mindy to experience self discovery. A heiress to a zipper manufacturing empire, Mindy is mostly a joke in her native Shanghai thanks to a disastrous turn on a singing competition series. Now, having dropped out of business school and been financially cut off by her father, she’s living with Emily and giving this music thing a go by working in drag club and as a street busker.

This means that Park, a Broadway veteran, gets plenty more to sing about this season. But she stressed that it was important to her, Star, and others that “if I’m singing on this show, I really need to propel the story forward.”

“The show’s 30 minutes [per episode] and there’s so many incredible, colorful characters, and storylines to follow that there needs to be a reason for the music,” she said. She even performs an original song written for the show by Justin Bieber and Demi Lovato collaborator Freddy Wexler.

However, Park said that this season also gives Mindy a chance to grow up. She added that, especially in the Saint-Tropez episode, “We see her starting to digest as an adult the consequences of the decisions that she had made. I do think she’d really been living day-to-day in Paris.”

4. Sylvie’s Stealth Charm

Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu in Emily in Paris.

(Photo by Stéphanie Branchu/Netflix)

Last season saw Emily frequently frustrated by her tough, but determined, boss Sylvie (Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu). This season, the marketing execs may not be the best of friends but they have reached a simpatico relationship — even if the cigarette-loving, food-adverse boss still has plenty of secrets for Emily to discover.

“I always knew who Sylvie was, [but] you don’t want to give everything away at the beginning,” Star said. “I think the fun of her character in season 1 was that she was such an enigma. I think she’s a woman who’s never going to fully ever put all of her cards on the table … that’s antithetical to who she is and what she believes … but we definitely learn a lot more about her and we see some of her we get a glimpse into her vulnerability in Season Two.”

5. Jeremy O. Harris Guest Stars As a Diva Fashion Designer

Lily Collins and Jeremy O. Harris in Emily in Paris.

(Photo by Carole Bethuel/Netflix)

Tony-nominated playwright — and Instagram celebrity — Jeremy O. Harris has already been on scripted TV this year, playing himself in an episode of HBO Max’s reboot of Gossip Girl. In this season of Emily in Paris, he plays a fictional character: Grégory Elliot Duprée, a larger-than-life fashion designer with an equally larger-than-life ego.

“One of the things that was very exciting for me was the opportunity to investigate different ways of writing or telling story,” Harris said of why he took on this role and the Gossip Girl cameo. What he likes about both projects, he said, is that “in order to make something tightly and neatly sweet is to be a great confection artist … As someone who is interested in knowing how to be a chef in all manners, I looking at this as a performer who gets to stretch his wings and stretch his muscles in a different direction. But also as an artist who is getting the chance to observe and learn from a master at work.”

Star said that Harris was the first person he thought of to play the part, stressing that the character isn’t based on anyone in particular; “just the fashionista personalities that we’ve all sort come to know and be fascinated by over the years.”

6. There’s a Memorable Fashion Show

Bruno Gouery, Samuel Arnold as Julien, Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu in Emily in Paris.

(Photo by Stéphanie Branchu/Netflix)

And what would be the point of having a diva fashion designer as a character unless there was a brilliant fashion show at the end of the season? This one takes place in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles — home to an actual, also iconic, fashion event.

Star acknowledged the parallel, but said that “thematically, [the Emily in Paris fashion show] really ties into everything that happens in that episode.”

He said costume designers Patricia Field and Marylin Fitoussi and their team pulled out all the stops, including having him negotiate for a larger wardrobe budget to accommodate for intricately designed costume choices.

One example: Harris wears a neon pink Marie Antoinette–style corset.

“I think that there’s no question that the the Versailles outfit is phenomenal,” Harris said, adding that he also likes a costume he wears earlier in the episode when his character has a freak-out in a viral video.

“The costume designer were very, very, very excited by my ability to say yes, and the joy I take in clothes,” said the artist who is known for his vibrant fashion sense.

Fashion labels used this season on Collins, Harris, or others include Prada, Casablanca, Carolina Herrera, Mary Katrantzou, Vivienne Westwood, and Zara.

7. There’s a Peloton Storyline

Emily in Paris. (L to R) Lily Collins and Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu in Emily in Paris.

(Photo by Stéphanie Branchu/Netflix)

Before he created Emily in Paris, Star was known for another show about a curly-haired young woman with great fashion sense: Sex and the City. While Michael Patrick King is the showrunner of that series’ recent HBO Max follow-up, And Just Like That…, it’s an interesting coincidence that both shows have storylines involving the exercise bike Peloton (well, Emily calls it “Pelotech” and the results aren’t as deadly, but …).

Star laughed about the coincidence and tows the party line from AJLT: “Peloton did not kill Mr. Big.”

He points out that, in this show, Sylvie is the one who gets interested in the bike. And she smokes and drinks and lives another day of her lavish Parisian lifestyle.

8. Emily Is Not Meant to Reflect All Parisians

Lily Collins as Emily, Ashley Park, and Camille Razat in Emily in Paris.

(Photo by Carole Bethuel/Netflix)

The series was criticized last season for portraying a heightened, Americanized view of Paris and its culture. Razat told Rotten Tomatoes that “Emily in Paris is like Sex and the City for New York: It’s a heightened reality. It is a fantasy that we’re kind of selling.”

“We want people to want to come to Paris, so of course, we’re going to show them the best version of the city,” she said. “Yes, it’s not 100-percent realistic. But we need more to dream right now than to be realistic.”

Star said the show incorporates more French this season and that he aims to increase use of the language with each season.

“By season 5, the entire show might be in French if Emily’s that proficient,” he said. “But it really does take a long time to learn French. As someone who has studied it for many years, I don’t even think five seasons is going to get her there.”

9. The Season Ends with a Cliffhanger

Emily in Paris s2 key art

(Photo by Netflix)

That brings up the question of how long this show can go on. Emily is only supposed to be at her Paris job for a year. And she’s now met a nice British man. Is she an Anglophile or a Francophile?

“I don’t even think it’s about her just staying,” Star said of the second season’s cliffhanger ending, in which Emily must make some major life decisions. “I think she’s faced with some very real choices at the end of the season. The question for season 3 is not just what door she’s going to pick, but how she’s going to maneuver through that door and not kill off certain relationships in her life.”

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