Emily in Paris’ Lily Collins talks to Net-A-Porter about love and alter egos

Star of Netflix hit show Emily in Paris, Lily Collins, shares her thoughts on falling in love, sharing her name and what she really owes to her on-screen alter ego

Photo: Olivia Malone/Porter/Net-A-Porter.com

The trailer for the highly anticipated third season of Emily in Paris revolves around Lily Collins’ character, the titular millennial marketing assistant, Emily Cooper, taking scissors to a handful of her impossibly glossy barrel curls over the bathroom sink.

“I wanted bangs forever,” Collins exclaimed. “When season two was coming out, it just felt like a life shift for me, so I did it. I really wanted to keep it for this season. And it felt appropriate that, on season three, Emily would make a little bit of a change, so we worked it into the storyline.”

Photo: Olivia Malone/Porter/Net-A-Porter.com

When in Emily mode, Collins was often confronted by fans who had given themselves a gamine glow-up – and things got weird. “It’s very funny and endearing, and so bizarre and sweet, to see people, visiting the city, dressing like the character and taking photos. People came up to me and said, ‘I packed my bag according to what Emily would wear.’ If they saw me in character, it was very trippy.”

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Collins discusses the advice she would give to our heroine to handle the conundrums of season three. “I feel very confident in the fact that she will make the most of any situation, even if it’s learning from a mistake,” she says. “It’s really important to be able to tap into yourself and to understand what you need and want. I would have encouraged her to remember that moment when she broke up with [her Chicago boyfriend] Doug, and to say, ‘Remember when you chose yourself?’”

Photo: Olivia Malone/Porter/Net-A-Porter.com

She reflects on whether she is good at making that call in her own life. “I’m definitely someone who overthinks all the time. I’ve always been a real advocate of self-care, self-reflection, journaling, therapy – whatever it is that helps you centre. For me, there is so much of my life that’s lived publicly, so I want to make sure that I can keep a balance. And not just for myself, but for my future family. And for my life.”

Her desire to share her lows as well as her highs has always marked her out from peers. “I always have been someone who is very open; I’ve always been a strong believer in sharing and discussing feelings about things that are considered shameful or confusing. It’s always a learning curve. But I feel like I am able to have that balance. And I have a support system of people that I know will help me if I need help.”

Photo: Olivia Malone/Porter/Net-A-Porter.com

2023 is looking bright for Collins. Having taken a producer role with Emily in Paris, she’s excited to be more of an active force behind the camera with Case Study Films, the production company she launched in November with her husband and their partner, Alex Orlovsky.

Among the projects in development are Razzlekhan: The Infamous Crocodile of Wall Street and The Accomplice. Though Collins is slated to act in both productions, she insists this won’t always be the case. “I know I’m not the right person to tell all of the stories that I want to tell, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be a part of the telling.”

On the subject of her husband, the Collins-McDowell domestic set-up seems to be a uniquely blissful environment. She mentions dog walks with no phones as her mechanism for switching off, along with the occasional reality TV binge: “I wanna watch my Real Housewives! Again, it’s very much like Emily, but I am unapologetically work-driven. I also love life, and I want to live outside of what I do. When I met my now-husband… he encouraged me to reflect on who I am, and what I need. That was an amazing moment.”

This is an excerpt from Porter’s cover feature. To see the full interview read Porter.

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