Spoilers for Season 2 are included in this story Emily in Paris.
If Emily in ParisWhen viewers first saw the title heroine, it was while she managed to balance a demanding boss and navigate a new place with some outrageous fashion choices. The first season ended with the cheery American (played by Lily Collins) getting entangled, somewhat by accident, in a love triangle involving her neighbor, “hot chef” Gabriel (Lucas Bravo) and his ex-girlfriend/Emily’s friend Camille (Camille Razat). Season 2 will drop on Netflix December 22. It has plenty of drama. But it also introduces a whole new character—Alfie, a new friend-turned-loved-interest from Emily’s French class—who promises to add some romantic twists.
Alfie, like Emily is also an expat. He’s a British banker who’s moved to Paris for his job. Alfie, however, is not like the bright-eyed protagonist. He’s cynical about Paris and resists the temptations. For Lucien Laviscount, the 29-year-old actor who plays him, this character couldn’t be further from reality. Laviscount has previously been in Scream Queens RiverdaleSpinoff Katy KeeneParis was her first visit to film. Emily in Paris The city was his first love. “I was charmed the second I got off the plane,” he says. “Paris has my heart.”
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Season 2 is just around the corner Emily in ParisTIME interviewed Laviscount to discuss Gabriel getting some competition, French learning challenges, and what part of his life ended up on the TIME show.
TIME: How were you prepared to become a part? Emily in Paris?
Lucien Laviscount: Honestly, it happened so quickly, I really didn’t have that much time to prepare. I was in New York working on some projects when I got a phone call from my manager saying, “Darren Star wants you to read for Emily in Paris!” I dropped everything and sent my audition back within an hour, then was on Zoom with Darren and Lily the next day, and in Paris a few days later. As far as getting into character, Alfie’s role is to capture the sense of being lonely in a city. You can get very bitter when you feel that way. Alfie is defensive and sarcastic to keep his cool. Then he meets Emily, who he really doesn’t take to straightaway. He thinks she’s just a puppet in her world. But he finds out quickly that she’s a boss at her job and she’s doing what she loves. Alfie looks at that and he’s super impressed. Emily opens up his world and gives him this perspective on what life in Paris can be like, and that’s where their friendship blossoms.
Obviously, because of that background, Alfie’s a little cynical when it comes to the romance of Paris, but by the end, he’s fallen in love with both Emily and the city. How was Paris living and filming like?
I was in Paris for the first time. It was almost like. Lucien in Paris! The city is like a huge museum with the roof taken off—everything is a spectacle. It’s got this mystery and culture and this energy that lifts through it. It was amazing to be there.
It sounds like you’ve adopted Emily’s attitude about Paris in real life, rather than Alfie’s.
I like to see the beauty and good in most things, until something gives me a reason not to—that’s where myself and Alfie differ. Shooting is the best thing. Emily in Paris It is how the crew and producers find amazing locations. Even though I did a lot of exploring, it was impossible to see Paris as the producers showed me.
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Alfie and Emily meet in French class, but she’s a little more enthusiastic about learning to speak French than he is. What was your experience with learning the language while you were there?
I really struggled, but I’m such a trier. Everyone was so kind and understanding. I received a lot smiles and nods. Then everyone started speaking English. Hopefully I’ll be back someday—I actually started taking French classes online, so it’s going to get better.
Alfie, a big fan of English football, plays occasionally in a league with Gabriel. Is your fan a real football enthusiast? Is there a team you are a fan of?
Growing up, I was a football fan. My team’s Arsenal—they’re not doing too great at the moment, but I’ll stand by them until the end. Lucas and I were talking about football all the time, but we were told one month later that they had filmed a scene with us playing. The mics were always on, and we shared little details that the writers used to make stories. The writers were always on the ball, trying to make things as organic and fresh as they could, so it’s great that it fed into our lives a little bit.
You’re really giving Gabriel a run for his money as Emily’s hot love interest this season. Are you ready to be everyone’s new crush after the season drops?
Really? I just hope I’ve done a good job, more than anything. As for crushes, that’d be lovely—if not, I’ll be fine. I’ll survive, I’ll survive.
Can we expect to see more of Alfie in Emily’s future?
That’s up to Mr. Star. I’m not looking too far ahead for myself. To be able to make it back for season 3 would be an amazing honor. But if Alfie’s journey is up, then I’m just really thankful to be a small part of Emily’s journey and the show. It was an amazing experience that I made some great friends, and it taught me so much.
The following interview was edited and condensed for clarity.