Though many actors hope to score a breakout role, it can be tough to become famous overnight and suddenly have to deal with attention from fans and interest in one’s personal life. Just ask Emily in Paris star Lucas Bravo. In the Netflix rom-com series, Bravo plays a chef, who puts himself in the middle of a love triangle involving his French girlfriend Camille (Camille Razat) and new American neighbor Emily (Lily Collins). But, while the show has put him in the spotlight, he’s not exactly happy with the way it happened.
In a new interview with The Times (via Insider), Bravo shared that he feels “objectified” thanks to the show and also said that becoming known as a “heartthrob” could cost him roles in other projects. Read on to see what else the actor had to say about the downside to his Emily in Paris part.
When Emily in Paris premiered on Netflix last year, it was a big hit right away and became Netflix’s most popular comedy series of 2020. While Collins was already known to American audiences, its French cast was not, including Bravo. Suddenly, he was being labeled viewers’ “new crush” and the “dreamy French chef” in publications around the world.
“I’m, like, this objectified overnight thing,” Bravo told The Times of becoming famous. “I’ve been working for this for 10 years … feeling like you’re going in the right direction … Then I was just like a heartthrob overnight. It feels a bit rushed. Too much attention for the quality of work I provided. I think being famous is the worst thing that can happen to you. It’s just smoke. It doesn’t mean anything.”
Bravo explained that being known as a “heartthrob” put pressure on him, because he doesn’t see himself that way. “It made me very self-aware,” he said. “Because when you think about that word and the people it encapsulates, you see always a healthy, good-looking, ripped person—and I’m not that.”
Bravo clarified that while he is healthy, he can sometimes “be overweight.” He continued, “All the little things that define who you are and make you human once you’re in that [heartthrob] category are perceived like a flaw. And I don’t want to be perfect. I’ve been working against that. In France, they don’t want good-looking. They want broken faces.”
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Bravo said that he thinks that because being perceived as a heartthrob is associated with not being otherwise interesting, he’s being typecast. “I think that character is always perceived with [physical flaws],” he said. “You can’t be aesthetically beautiful and be smart or have depth. I kept getting roles like the dumb gym teacher. It’s hard to break that image. I’m not complaining, of course, but it’s a reality.”
That said, he added to The Times (via the New York Post), “I’m Parisian and, of course, we complain all the time. This is our religion.”
Season 2 of Emily in Paris was released on Netflix on Dec. 22. In addition, Bravo has three other projects on the way. He will be in the upcoming films Ticket to Paradise (with Julia Roberts, George Clooney, and Kaitlyn Dever), Mrs Harris Goes to Paris (with Isabelle Hupert, Jason Isaacs, and Lesley Manville), and The Honeymoon (with breakout Borat 2 star Maria Bakalova).
Soon after Season 1 of Emily in Paris was released, Bravo was interviewed by Harper’s Bazaar and said that he was thankful to be away filming Mrs Harris Goes to Paris at the time, because it allowed him to be somewhat removed from the reaction to the show.
“I think the timing couldn’t be better, because I’m in Budapest,” he said. “I’m in my hotel room in quarantine, I’m going from set to my room, and I’m pretty isolated. I don’t really feel what’s going on. It feels pretty surreal when my friends tell me, ‘Everybody talks about you,’ and stuff like that, because this is not my reality at the moment. It’s very virtual to me, you know?”
He added, “So I just feel grateful for the attention and the love. It’s very humbling, because it happened so fast. I cannot feel any different. It’s just been over a week, and my life is still the same and I still feel the same. But it’s quite a journey.”
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