Call My Agent! celeb cameos: All the stars in the French Netflix show

 

Call My Agent, was a hit on French television, and ran for four seasons. The quirky French comedy-drama has also been a surprise hit in the U.S.

Now available on Netflix, new viewers are taking note of the many celeb cameos featured in the series.

Juliette Binoche

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Hollywood stars like Juliette Binoche feature in this French show (Credit: Netflix)

Juliette Binoche appears in series two, episode six.

This big-name French actress has starred in the likes of Chocolat, The English Patient, Dan in Real Life and Cosmopolis.

Monica Bellucci

Monica Bellucci appears in series three episode.

She is best known for starring in Spectre, The Apartment, Matrix Reloaded and Tears of the Sun.

monica bellucci in call my agent
Monica Bellucci in Call My Agent (Credit: Netflix)

Sigourney Weaver

Sigourney Weaver appears in series four episode five.

This major Hollywood star is perhaps most famous for starring in the Alien movies.

And also for her movie roles in Avatar, Galaxy Quest and the Ghostbusters films.

sigourney weaver
Sigourney Weaver is one of the many celebrity cameos in Call My Agent! (Credit: Netflix)

Jean Reno

Jean Reno appears in the final episode of the show – series four episode six.

He is a French-Moroccan actor who is particularly well-known for starring in Leon: The Professional. As well as for his roles in the likes of Godzilla, The Da Vinci Code and Mission: Impossible.

call my agent cameos
Actor Jean Reno is a huge Hollywood star (Credit: Netflix)

Jean Dujardin

Jean Dujardin appears in series three episode one and also episode six of this series.

He is perhaps best known for starring in the the silent movie The Artist. This won him the Oscar for Best Actor – a first for any French actor.

Isabelle Huppert

Isabelle Huppert appears in series three episode four.

This French actress has starred in films such as The Piano Teacher, Greta, I Heart Huckabees and The Bedroom Window.

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Source: Call My Agent! celeb cameos: All the stars in the French Netflix show

Falling Back in Love With French via Netflix

French Netflix

How shows like “Lupin” and “Call My Agent!” have inspired me to pursue French fluency.

Growing up with a francophile mother, French has always been part of my life. My special stuffed animal was Babar the elephant, and weekends were spent singing the translated version of “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” with a group of children who were far more multilingual than me. In college, I spent a year studying in Paris, living with a host family and their three-legged dog, Colonel Moutard. Still, like many adults who spent their school years learning a foreign language, my opportunities to speak it dwindled after graduation, and so did my confidence. Continue reading “Falling Back in Love With French via Netflix”

What to Watch After You’ve Finished ‘Lupin’

If you want to go deeper, and darker, into what la belle France has to offer, here are some shows you’ll want to stream next.

Caroline Proust as Laure Berthaud in France's Spiral.

French TV is having a bit of a moment. That’s mostly thanks to Netflix’s Lupin, the soigné gentleman-caper series starring Omar Sy that debuted on the service earlier this month and promptly swept The Queen’s Gambit crowd off its feet. (And not just them: Lupin attracted the attention of some 70 million subscribers in January, according to Netflix, more than have watched BridgertonEmily in Paris, even—mon dieu—Tiger King.) And no wonder: Lupin is zippy, light, irresistible, the kir royale of TV. (Call My Agent is also seducing the Champagne-streaming set with its Parisian blend of urbane workplace comedy and atomized sex appeal.)

I’m a French TV partisan. I love this. But I have to say, especially when it comes to Lupin, I feel a bit left out. The French do crime better than anyone (except maybe the Scandis), and Sy is incredibly appealing, but Lupin has too much romanticism and frictionlessness to satisfy proper crime fans like me. It’s escapism—nothing wrong with that. But if you want to go deeper, and a bit darker, into what la belle France has to offer, here are some shows you’ll want to stream next.

The Bureau

Image may contain Clothing Apparel Coat Suit Overcoat Human Person Blazer Jacket Mathieu Kassovitz and Man

France’s hit spy series is more John le Carré than Homeland—and thank goodness. Realism and humanity prevail in this complex but absorbing drama, which has been helmed by Éric Rochant through five seasons. (The recent season finale was turned over to celebrated filmmaker Jacques Audiard.) It’s part workplace drama, part character study, part globe-hopping suspense series as DGSE agents infiltrate jihadist groups and tangle with the CIA. The lead, Mathieu Kassovitz, who plays a superspy code-named Malotru, is a fascinating study in French masculine ideals—handsome, wounded, lovelorn, stubbornly brilliant, kind of short. Hugely recommend.

How to Watch: Stream on Sundance Now

Spiral

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Another long-running classique of French TV, Spiral takes the cop-and-justice beats of Law & Order and the subtlety and knottiness of The Wire and combines them in a deeply satisfying police procedural. Lupin makes the French capital look glossy and alluring; Spiral takes off the filters and shows Paris’s grimy side. The crime scenes can be gruesome and macabre, but this is not a sensationalist show, and its leads, particularly Caroline Proust as the police captain Laure Berthaud, are ruggedly human and flawed in all the right ways. Spiral has been around since 2005 and is now in its eighth and final season, but don’t be deterred. Start at the beginning, and you will be drawn right in.

The Chalet

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Netflix’s The Chalet

If the above options seem a bit sober minded, try the ludicrously fun suspense thriller The Chalet, in which a group of (attractive, Gallic) friends arrives at an Alpine hotel near a small, curiously abandoned French village. There is a hooded killer in the woods who begins to take the wedding group down one by one. The proceedings are more Agatha Christie than gruesome slasher, and a double-timeline structure keeps the storytelling complex, with long-simmering secrets gradually revealed. Pulpy and propulsive, this is one to save for a Saturday binge.

How to Watch: Stream on Netflix
Continue reading “What to Watch After You’ve Finished ‘Lupin’”

Best French Shows on Netflix — ‘Lupin’ & ‘Call My Agent!’ Review

Francophilia finally comes to Netflix.

By Leena Kim

Until very recently, French content on Netflix left un petit peu to be desired. It hasn’t been a barren landscape, exactly, but the genre hadn’t quite reached the level of American success as shows and films from some other foreign nations (see: Korean dramas and the Spanish hit Money Heist). And no, Emily in Paris does not count.

Now, the Breton tides have turned. Take the critical and commercial successes of Lupin and Call My Agent! The former, which premiered on Netflix earlier this month, is projected to hit 70 million views in its first 28 days, surpassing The Queen’s Gambit, and the latter, whose fourth and final season dropped on the streaming platform last week, has been around since 2015 but is finally getting the international attention it deserves.

The acclaim is warranted; these two shows are excellent. But there’s also the perpetual American obsession with all things French and especially anything with Paris as a backdrop, which is even more wanderlust-inducing during this era of quarantine and border lockdowns. This truth undoubtedly explains Emily in Paris‘s outsize, if polarizing, popularity last fall. Refreshingly, these shows are free of tired clichés about Parisian life, and hopefully indicative of what’s to come. Netflix has made a clear commitment to investing in France: last year the streaming behemoth opened sprawling new headquarters in Paris and pledged to double its investment in French productions and partnerships.

But until then, put these two gems in your queue ASAP.

Arsène Lupin is as indelible to the cultural canon of France as Sherlock and Bond are to England. For those unfamiliar with this gentleman chief and master of disguise, created by novelist Maurice Leblanc in 1905, think of him as an early 20th-century Danny Ocean, except that Lupin works alone and only robs those who really deserve it—usually severely ethically challenged one percenters. There have been countless adaptations of the character, in TV, film, theatre, video games, literature, even a Japanese manga series.

Continue reading “Best French Shows on Netflix — ‘Lupin’ & ‘Call My Agent!’ Review”

Ah, zut! All the French references you missed in Call My Agent! – by a French person

Most of the acclaimed French series is written in a way that gives it international appeal, but some niche cultural references may fly under the radar. Resident French person Clémence Michallon explains

By Clémence Michallon

As a French person, I have experienced the success of Call My Agent! with the same pride I imagine parents feel when their child takes their first steps. We French people are good at a lot of things – sulking, gazing into the abyss with a touch of ennui, and rebelling against any and all forms of authority – but television isn’t our strongest suit. We love watching it, usually in English and with subtitles. Of course, there are some good TV shows kicking around (Spiral, The Returned). But great French TV shows? They’re like solar eclipses. They happen approximately once a decade, and when they do, it’s truly a sight to behold.

Call My Agent! is a rare, indisputably great French TV show. Set at a fictional Parisian talent agency called ASK, it tells the story of a group of agents trying – and often failing – to keep their famous clients happy and successful. Each episode focuses on one or several guest stars – real-life French celebrities who play fanciful versions of themselves. Past guests have included Jean Dujardin (The Artist), Monica Bellucci (Bram Stoker’s DraculaIrréversibleSpectre), and Isabelle Huppert (The LacemakerThe Piano TeacherElle).

The series just supposedly wrapped up with a fourth season, although co-creator and co-producer Dominique Besnehard has teased a possible fifth instalment on French television. In any case, the fourth series has been met with acclaim, including by The Independent, which gave it a four-star review.

I can only approve. But as I devoured the latest season, I found myself wondering how much of the show’s humour might become lost in translation. Most of Call My Agent! is written in a way that gives the show broad, international appeal, but the series is also peppered with more niche references to French pop culture.

As mentioned above, I’m French. Really French. Grew-up-watching-primetime-TV-in-France French. Went-to-school-with-the-guy-who-plays-Gabriel-in-EmilyinParis French. But I’m aware not everyone had the (mis)fortune of coming of age in France in the Nineties – a time when the country was doing rather poorly at the Oscars (10 submissions, four nominations, one victory) but excelled at football (won the ’98 World Cup).

If you’ve watched season four of Call My Agent! and would like to understand who Dany Boon is, why everyone keeps calling the actor in episode one Patrick when it’s clearly stated that his name is Franck, and what the big deal is about Télérama, read on. Here is my humble guide to the French references you might have missed in Call My Agent!. Pairs well with tripe crème brie and a nice Merlot.

Franck Dubosc, the main guest star featured in episode one, is a very well-known comedian and actor in France. His credits are many, but among them is the film series Camping. Over the course of three films released between 2006 and 2016, Camping has told the story of Patrick Chirac, a man who loves to go, well, camping. Among the franchise’s catchphrases is the infamous: “Alors, on n’attend pas Patrick?” – which translates to “So, you’re not waiting for Patrick?”

Uttered by a speedo-clad Dubosc to a group of campers who dare have drinks without him, the sentence has become so infamous that even this writer, who has never watched a Camping movie, got the joke when it made its way onto Call My Agent!.

 

Continue reading “Ah, zut! All the French references you missed in Call My Agent! – by a French person”