The coronavirus pandemic may still be ongoing in the real world, but in the reel world of “Emily in Paris,” it simply doesn’t exist.
Season 2 of Netflix’s hit romantic comedy drops Dec. 22, however, viewers shouldn’t expect to see any mention of COVID-19 in the City of Lights and Love.
Star Lily Collins explained the reason behind the producers’ decision not to dive deep into the pandemic.
“Season 1 allowed us an escapism when it came out that it felt it was something that needed to continue — not addressing it because it brings a sense of escapism and joy and laughter in a time that we need it the most,” Collins, 32, told Variety at the show’s premiere on Wednesday.
The “Love, Rosie” actress then explained that filming during the pandemic of course came with some challenges. The team was “shooting a show in a city that is highly populated where people are wearing masks, yet we’re shooting in a world that doesn’t exist with COVID — so it’s making sure that when we’re rolling the masks are off and when we stop rolling they come back on,” she said.
“There were a couple of times when they started shooting and I was like, ‘Wait, half the people in the scene are still wearing masks,’” Collins added.
Other shows have chosen to embrace the reality of the pandemic, including drama series such as “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Resident,” “This Is Us” and “Shameless.” Season 17 of “Grey’s Anatomy” had its star Meredith Grey suffering from the virus, for example, while the previous season of ABC’s “The Resident” took place in a post-COVID vaccine society.
The British-born actress is a producer on the upcoming season and also addressed the show’s criticism last month. The series has been blasted by fans and critics alike for its inaccurate portrayal of the French capital.
Collins also addressed concerns over diversity and inclusion in an Elle UK profile.
“For me as Emily, but also as a producer on [the show], after Season 1, hearing people’s thoughts, concerns, questions, likes, dislikes, just feelings about it, there were certain things that spoke to the time that we’re living in and what’s right, and moral and correct and should be done,” she revealed to the mag.
The “To the Bone” star continued, “And [that was] something that I felt passionate about. [The producers] all believed in the same things. And I really wanted diversity and inclusion in front of and behind the camera to be something that we really put our focus on, in a lot of ways.”
“Hiring new people in front of the camera, also giving new storylines to different characters, which was really important,” she stated.
The dreamy yet highly fashionable series follows social media marketing genius Emily Cooper (Collins), who moves to Paris for a job offer and spends her days Instagramming croissants, wine and falling in love with Frenchmen.
A culture clash ensues with her co-workers, but she learns to blend in as she earns her place in her company’s good graces. Ashley Park, Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu, Lucas Bravo, Samuel Arnold and Camille Razat also star.