Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu she recalled when she first got the call to play Sylvie Grateau in the hit Netflix series Emilia in Paris — and how it changed his life forever.
“One day, Juliette Manager, the casting director, called me and said, ‘I have a role. You’re too old because it’s for an actress between 35 and 40, but do you want to read it anyway?’ I read it and said to Juliette: ‘I know Sylvie Grateau. I know her by heart!’ My mother worked in the fashion industry [at Dior] so I got to meet many women like Sylvie. I thought it would be silly not to try, even if the story was built around a younger character. I did a first casting and didn’t get an answer for a month and a half. When I got the callback, I nearly fell off my chair. I didn’t think I’d make it,” the 59-year-old said Variety in a new interview
Although the Italian native was not very familiar with Darren Starfrom the previous series, he knew comedy-drama was something special.
“I knew about his work, but I think I only saw one season of Sex and the city. What struck me was how Darren created such powerful female characters. There are very few people like him who can write female roles with such clarity. I’m very grateful to him, not only because he offered me this role, but also because working with Darren has taught me so many things, including about myself.”
Over the past three seasons, viewers have gotten to see a different side of Sylvie, especially when comes to his report with Emily Cooper (played by Lily Collins).
“She’s more vulnerable than evil! She’s like Darren. When you first meet him, he’s very cold, but in reality he’s like a lot of very sensitive people: he protects himself. In a way, Darren and Sylvie have a lot in common. She’s not a saint either: she has dark sides and I have a blast playing them all the way through,” she noted.
He added: “As I started reading this part I had the feeling that she was very stiff and repressed in the way she acted and moved, like she was hiding something. And that’s what we find out in Season 2: She came to Paris from the seaside town of Saint-Tropez to get a career and had to step up to face the Parisian scene. At the beginning of season 3, it is he understood that he can work with Emily and freed herself from her American bosses. I didn’t expect my character to evolve so much and I was pleasantly surprised!”