If it’s one thing we know about Emily in Paris creator Darren Star, it’s that he really hates casting Black people.
But it looks like Darren is breaking with tradition as Netflix recently announced that British actor Lucien Laviscount will join the series in season 2 as a love interest for Emily (Lily Collins). According to Deadline,
“Laviscount will play Alfie. Born and raised in London, Alfie is a sarcastic and charming cynic. He refuses to speak French, or immerse himself in French culture. He enjoys teasing Emily; they have an antagonist relationship that evolves into something more. Alfie is in Paris working for a UK bank, but unlike Emily, he works to live, not lives to work. He’d prefer to be playing football or having a pint with the lads in an English-speaking pub.”
Teen drama fans will recognize the actor from his stints on Katy Keene and Scream Queens.
Lucien’s casting marks precisely the third time that Darren Star has cast a Black actor to play a love interest in his 25+ year career. The other two times include casting Charles Michael Davis as Zane in Younger and Blair Underwood as Dr. Robert in Sex and the City.
It’s also worth mentioning that, prior to offering Blair the part of Dr. Robert, Darren and his cohorts asked Blair to take an *extremely* offensive role on SATC. Blair recalled,
“I said no first, two years prior, because there was an episode, if you know Sex and the City, the fast one, Kim Cattrell’s character [Samantha] wanted to be with a Black man and it was all about the curiosity. What’s it like to be with a Black man? Are the rumors true? And I said, ‘Thank you, but no thank you.'”
“I’m not interested in being the Black curiosity.”
Blair eventually agreed to appear on the show after confirming that Dr. Robert’s plotline would not center around his race.
Darren Star has a reputation for flaunting his lack of diversity and has never cast a Black actor as a series lead. He also has never cast a Black woman as a love interest.
The only woman of color who has ever had a starring role in one of his shows is Ashley Park, who plays BFF and designated sidekick Mindy on Emily in Paris. The series also has another actor of color, Samuel Arnold, who plays Emily’s co-worker Julien. However, Samuel’s lines are few and far between.
Emily in Paris season 2 officially started filming in May 2021. The cast has already been spotted filming in St. Tropez.
We don’t know when season 2 will premiere yet, but we do know that Emily will *supposedly* be less annoying.
Darren told Variety,
“Emily will embrace the city a little bit more. When she got there, she got a bit of a free pass in the beginning and I don’t think it will be quite as easy for her in the second season. I think she will be more assimilated, in terms of living in Paris and stepping up to the challenges of learning the language.”
In the meantime, you can watch Emily in Paris season 1 on Netflix.