Since Lily Collins (Surrey, 1989) spends long periods in Paris, her sense of style has changed a lot: “What they say about the taste of women in this city is true. Is incredible. From them, for example, I have learned how to put on clothes oversized without making it look too big for me, how to make the most of the possibilities of a well-cut piece or how to wear sneakers that look as sophisticated as stilettos”, says the actress wrapped in an enormous ocher trench coat, sitting on a Green velvet armchair from the quintessential Parisian hotel, the Bristol. It’s not that her wardrobe wasn’t important to her before.
Raised halfway between London and California, the protagonist of Emily in Paris She says that the last time she returned to England and went through her old wardrobe, she found incredible pieces from her adolescence: “For example, a dress made entirely of pieces of cutlery, knives and forks… The truth is that I looked a lot like Emily As a child, I was not afraid of anything!” Nor is it that her relationship with Paris is new: one of the most acclaimed interpretations of her was the one she gave for the 2018 version of The Miserableswhere she played Fantine, a young Parisian who is abandoned by a wealthy lover, leaving her alone with her young daughter (just a year after the huge success of Ojka, the film in which he worked under the orders of Bong Joonho). Long before her, in 2007, she celebrated her coming of age at the debutante ball at the Hotel Crillon, where she attended, invited by Chanel, in an exquisite white dress from the house of Camellia, designed for her. Although she fell hopelessly in love with the city when the first season of Emily in Paris became a true phenomenon in the midst of the pandemic: “As most of the filming had taken place during the stage of restrictions due to the covid, I did not realize how enormous the phenomenon had become until one day when Ashley and I were, masks and all, standing in the middle of the Tuileries and people started coming up to us: ‘Is that Emily and Mindy? We want to invite you to a coffee, take you on a tour, so you can see that we Parisians are not so bad…”.
In the first season of the series there were constant allusions to the cultural difference between the French and the American character, and yet, Collins says that it has not been a problem for her to adapt to Parisian life: “I really like that while in the United States United we live to work, here we work to live. For me, the hard part is actually having so many hours of time difference with California. That makes it hard for me to talk to my loved ones and sometimes I feel isolated, but other than that…” Apart from that, the actress explores the city with her husband, film director Charlie McDowell, whom she married in 2021 and with whom she has a famous father in common (hers, the musician Phil Collins; his , the legendary actor of A Clockwork Orange, Malcolm McDowell): “We love discovering shops and secrets in the Saint-Martin canal area, which of course I didn’t know about before coming here; We also really like riding a motorcycle: when you’re in the car it’s very easy to end up isolating yourself from the world and feeling like you’re in a bubble, but on a scooter you get into urban life and you’re part of it”. They both love Europe: McDowell himself confirms this to us at the cocktail party that took place after our interview, where he tells us that he is shooting a movie in Finland and that they both take turns visiting each other. Today it was his turn: it is an important occasion for her, who has been the image of Cartier for two years and on this occasion presents her new launch, the bag Panthere Graphique mini. “I love that it looks like a jewel with all the values of the house: the panther clasp, that wonderful chain… And I am very maniacal with chains!” She says without letting go for a moment.
And now that you and your character are getting closer, are you afraid of being pigeonholed in your role? “The truth is that it is impressive to what extent people believe that I am Emily. Girls stop me on the street who tell me that they have packed her suitcase to come to Paris thinking about what she would wear or, for example, they ask me to make tourist routes for them. shopping personalized”. Collins laughs out loud: she says she feels very grateful for the success and the reception, but she is also very clear about what she must do to avoid being trapped in the clutches of a single personality that, moreover, is not her own: “My partner Kate Walsh has participated in projects that have had similar success, such as Grey’s Anatomy, and has given me very good advice. That I’m not afraid to express myself against it if the character does or says something that I don’t like, that I contribute my own ideas and that I breathe life into him that he wants. That he feels it as something that I own because, after all, it’s me ”.
Ashley Park: “If I did four performances in my entire life, I wouldn’t reach 1% of those who have seen me in ‘Emily in Paris'”
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