Emily in Paris is the latest Netflix series that has social media buzzing, with debates over its depiction of Paris and unbelievability. Some viewers have also been confused over the titular character Emily Cooper's age, and actress Lily Collins tried to clear things up in a new interview. This only led to more confusion, since her age is never specified and she seems to be pretty far along in her career.
The series, created by Sex and the City writer Darren Star, finds Collins as Emily, a 20-something Chicago woman who moves to Paris after she receives a surprising job opportunity with Savoir, a French firm her company acquired. She looks at Paris from an American perspective, which brings up culture clashes and romance. The rest of the cast includes Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu, Ashley Park, Lucas Bravo, Samuel Arnold, Bruno Gouery, and Camille Razat. Since the show's first season was released on Oct. 2, it has received mixed reviews from critics, with some pointing out the cliched depiction of Paris. French critics were also not pleased with the stereotypes presented in the show.
In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Collins, 31, explained that her character is "22-ish." Emily has "had enough experience at her company in Chicago to have earned the respect of her boss," the British actress explained. "She's a smart cookie and really innovative – and this is not her first rodeo doing what she does. She's gone to school for this, and she's completed internships. However, she's not the person who traveled during college."
So she’s 22 with a master’s degree in communications or marketing? No one noticed how many times they changed her masters degree? I know it’s fiction but doesn’t make sense irl https://t.co/ybnaMHoeuW— Katherine Abando (@kaband0) October 15, 2020
Collins explained that Emily is meant to be a "fish out of water" who has never been out of the U.S. before. "If she had gone to a different company in Chicago, she would have been taken seriously – but in Paris, she's not prepared for the cultural shift that she experiences at Savoir," Collins explained. "Her only real experience of Europe is through movies and TV."prevnext
Elsewhere in her interview, Collins said she had some of the same experiences Emily does in the show when she first went to Paris for filming. "When I got to Paris for filming, I actually had so many experiences like Emily – to the point that I asked the team, 'Are you planning this to try and give me more empathy for her? I already have empathy for her!'" Collins said. "I mean, the heating in my apartment broke for two weeks; I got the floor wrong in my building; my elevator stopped working… I even nearly stepped in dog poop. It's a cliché, but it's also a fundamentally human scenario."prevnext
Excuse me but Emily is supposed to be 22?! And get that job transfer to Paris fresh out of college? Alrighty then. https://t.co/8JCMuxnQWj— Tara Bitran (@tarabitran) October 15, 2020
Collins' comments only led to more confusion. "So she's 22 with a master's degree in communications or marketing? No one noticed how many times they changed her master's degree? I know it's fiction but doesn't make sense IRL," one person wrote. Others suggested it made the show seem even more unrealistic.prevnext
One Twitter user noted that it would be very difficult for a 22-year-old to reach the position Emily has at a PR firm. "Loved Emily in Paris & think Lily Collins is a delight but #PR & marketing hopefuls PLEASE know a job like Emily's at 22 (any age?) is its own escapism. And don't get down on yourself when you're 23 & haven't been asked to take over your boss's job while she's in maternity leave," the Twitter user wrote.prevnext
Lily Collins herself has no idea how old #EmilyInParis is and I think that’s adding to my obsession with this show. I think we all are unsure of her age but most will agree there’s no way in hell she’s 22 with masters degree and that much life experience 😂 pic.twitter.com/VHSLsijy5d— Misery Spice (@misery_spice) October 15, 2020
Another Twitter user suggested that the fact Collins herself does not really know Emily's age only adds to their obsession with the show. Still, even this fan knows it would be surprising to see a 22-year-old with a Master's degree already.
Does Emily in #EmilyInParis look 22 or???— Melissa Edelblum (@MissayMelissa11) October 13, 2020
In the Vanity Fair interview, Collins said Emily "admires pop-cultural icons" like the fictional Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City and the real-life Audrey Hepburn. "I've never focused so much on translating a character's personality to her style before, and Emily wears her heart on her sleeve, so there's lots of different colors and textures and prints in her wardrobe, in contrast to Sylvie and Camille," Collins said, comparing Emily's style to Leroy-Beaulieu and Razat's character's.
How does #EmilyInParis have more degrees than a thermometer? Masters in marketing. Masters in communication...— CK (@CK1K89) October 7, 2020