IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Lily Collins says ‘Emily in Paris’ tries to ‘do better’ with representation in season 2

“I was really passionate about including (more) women, people of color, and also sexual orientation, to really show more of what the world is," the actor and producer said. 
Lily Collins in season one of her Netflix series, "Emily in Paris."
Lily Collins in season one of her Netflix series, "Emily in Paris."Netflix
/ Source: TODAY

Fans and critics of the Netflix series “Emily in Paris” can expect some major changes when the show returns for its second season on Dec. 22. 

Star Lily Collins, who is on the cover of Glamour for its December issue, spoke to the publication about transforming the dramedy following backlash the series received after its first season debuted, partially centered on the absence of diversity. 

The cast of season one of “Emily in Paris” featured few people of color and they lacked individualized storylines. 

After 2020, when Black Lives Matter protests spread across the country, Collins, who also serves as a producer on the show, told Glamour that she had “lots of conversations” with other producers and Netflix executives to ensure the sophomore season had a more diverse cast and crew.  

“I was really passionate about including (more) women, people of color, and also sexual orientation, to really show more of what the world is, and be a part of the 'Emily' family,” she explained. 

Collins added, “If there’s ever an opportunity to be better, do better, and have more representation and inclusion, you should run with it.”

Season two will introduce more supporting characters, including Jeremy O. Harris, Arnaud Binard and Lucien Laviscount, who plays a potential love interest for Emily named Alfie. 

Collins also addressed criticism the show faced when it received Golden Globe nominations for best television comedy series and best performance by an actress in a TV comedy for Collins. 

“There were certain conversations that we became a part of (such as the Golden Globes) … and while I don’t think I expected to be thrown into it in the way in which we were, I felt like it was definitely an opportunity to be able to do better in season two,” she shared. “It was definitely difficult to go through in a sense, but nowhere near as difficult as what the overall conversation was. And that was what was most important.”

“Emily in Paris” follows the titular character, who moves from Chicago to Paris to work at a French marketing agency called Savoir. During the 10-episode first season, Emily initially failed to impress her new co-workers due to her inability to speak French and she later became involved in a love triangle with her neighbor, Gabriel, played by Lucas Bravo, and her friend Camille, played by Camille Razat. 

Aside from the lack of diversity, some viewers disliked Emily and the decisions she made during season one.

One Twitter user wrote, “Emily from Emily in Paris might be the most annoying character I’ve seen in a long time.”

After Emily insulted the deep dish pizza from Chicago’s Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, the restaurant issued a statement calling the jab “heartless.” 

Then, during an interview with British Vogue last year, Collins further upset some critics when she said her character was “pretty fresh out of college” and the show possibly takes place “her first year after graduation.” 

While speaking with Glamour, Collins called the suggestion “the silliest mistake.”

“And I’ve had to pay for that one,” she said. “I’ve openly admitted, ‘I clearly got that one wrong.’”

In response to the reactions to her comments, she tweeted at the time, “Emily looking at me when I get her age wrong,” along with a GIF of her character making a confused face. “Sorry girl. You might not be 22, but I gotta say — you do act like it sometimes!!”

Collins is fully aware Emily can be polarizing, but she still defends her on-screen persona.

In a recent interview with Nylon, the actor acknowledged that Emily has “annoying” qualities.

However, she also pointed out some of Emily’s other traits, such as being “optimistic, bright, and bubbly.”

She explained, “It’s sad to think that people would look and go, ‘That’s a lot.’ They’re such beautiful qualities, and the fact that she can partner that with being vulnerable and asking for help and making mistakes — she’s not infallible.”