‘Call My Agent!’: Camille Cottin on Portraying Paris Without the Clichés

The final season of the hit French show is now on Netflix.

BY LALE ARIKOGLU

If there’s been one unexpected hit during a time when our main activity is Netflix and, well, more Netflix, it’s Call My Agent!

The French television show set at a Parisian talent agency has been a lighthearted salve thanks to its razor sharp depictions of the relationships between stars and their agents—not to mention the added charm of Paris as its backdrop. It’s fourth and final season is now available to stream here in the U.S. and comes complete with cameos from big names like Charlotte Gainsbourg and Sigourney Weaver, as well as the usual competitive antics we’ve come to expect from its beloved cast. We caught up with Camille Cottin, who plays the incomparable Andréa Martel, to talk about the challenges her character faces, Parisian clichés, and what she has missed most about the city during lockdown.

The show launched in France in 2015 but it really only landed on most American’s radars this past year. How do you think it’s been received by the different audiences?

It’s difficult to have popular and critical success at the same time, but that is what happened in France, and it’s funny to see all this interest starting again now. I just read an article in the New York Times saying that what makes the show interesting is [the way] it talks about the industry. Previously, the industry was always shown as cynical, and this is a tender show. There’s humor, there’s satire, we make fun of the people we’re depicting, but at the same time, there’s love, big love for cinema, big love for actors, big love for the people of the industry.

The producers [told me] they were quite surprised that it had an international echo, though, because it only talks about French actors. But it really depicts a star: the selfie star, or the nervous star, or the jealous star. Plus, the [agency] is like a family, they are all figures with whom you can identify with—and their [dynamics] of power, competition, and jealousy. The problems they deal with are human ones.

Paris, of course, is the backdrop to those relationships. What have been some of your favorite locations to film in?

Well, I loved the flat they gave [Andréa], which is twice the size of mine! But one true favorite is the scene at the end of season one: [My character] just got dumped and I feel lonely and sad, walking along that very famous bridge,

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Call My Agent: the French TV hit that viewers and actors adore

The comedy, whose fourth series hits Netflix this week, shows France’s TV can match its film

Fast approaching 50 and fed up after two exhausting decades at Artmedia, the top talent agency in Paris, Dominique Besnehard decided, one day in 2005, that he would quite like to turn his hand to producing something of his own.

“At the time,” Besnehard told Le Monde, “Desperate Housewives was all over the telly, a huge success. I just thought, with a couple of colleagues, we could maybe make a series a bit like that, but about the job we do for a living.”

Call My Agent, whose fourth series starts on Netflix this week, is now a huge hit – and has, along with Spiral and The Bureau, two other acclaimed series, fully and perhaps finally disproved the dictum that France is as bad at TV drama as it is good at cinema.

“France is really benefiting from a global trend in TV series towards strong, original, local stories, anchored in their territory and free of American and British norms,” said Laurence Herszberg, director of the international Series Mania festival.

The show, she said, was so big because it was “set in a milieu we don’t know well but would like to; because the agents are sympathetic and passionate and people like them even more than the guest stars; because it’s very French – it’s in Paris, it has office love affairs … And because it’s on Netflix.”

Call My Agent, whose French title is Dix pour Cent (for the 10% fee French agents charge actors), draws between 3 and 4 million viewers on public broadcaster France 2 and is available around the world on the streaming service.

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Why Call My Agent Is Your New TV Fashion Fix

Killing Eve withdrawal? Pencil in some time for Call My Agent

BY KATE FINNIGAN

Those still craving the TV fashion fix of Killing Eve might currently find some box-set style satisfaction in Call My Agent! (Dix Pour Cent), the hit French comedy drama on Netflix. Set in a Parisian talent firm called ASK, it follows four agents dealing with the dramatic highs and lows of representing the biggest stars in France – Isabelle Adjani, Juliette Binoche and Monica Bellucci and dozens of other actors happily send themselves up in the show.

Fast-paced and funny, it’s been going since 2015 with the third series just released this month (only six episodes per season, so easy to catch up). And while clothes are incidental to the show – which deals not only with diva strops and demanding directors but also equal pay, sexism, racism and the comic hell of office romance – the female characters’ chic Parisian style is a pleasing bonus and one we’re taking hard note of for office dressing inspiration. Here’s a quick guide to the key players and their style before you settle in.

Andréa Martel

The style star of the show is the badass agent played by Camille Cottin, who tells it like it is, parties like its 1999 and is a serial womaniser. A die-hard Parisian (her response to finding herself in the countryside with no phone reception is to call the police) she’s blessed with great hair and the legs of Emmanuelle Alt. Her uniform is modern French Vogue to a (slubby V-neck) T: skinny jeans, stiletto-heeled ankle boots, sharp navy and black blazers and a slouchy black leather tote. By night she goes for back-bearing dresses, ramping it up with gold sequined hot pants and a waist-coat, garnished with a bow-tie (only in Paris) for a party at a theatre, and a cool metallic shift dress by Martin Grant for the Cannes opening ceremony. Did I mention she has great legs?

Colette Brancillon
2/7

Colette Brancillon

In series one, Andréa becomes besotted with the uptight tax auditor Colette (Ophélia Kolb). Colette does excellent trench coat and fierce pony tail for work but transforms into a pre-Raphaelite goddess in soft cashmeres at home.

Sofia Leprince
3/7

Sofia Leprince

Receptionist and aspiring actress Sofia (Stéfi Celma) rocks a natural afro and has a smile like Julia Roberts. Whether doing the post round for her ungrateful colleagues or legging it to auditions with vile, racist/sexist directors, she’s an athleisure devotee in trainers, leggings and racer-back vests. Watch her style evolve into rich tonal colours and knee-high boots in series three as she starts to find success.

Camille Valentini
4/7

Camille Valentini

Fanny Sidney’s new-girl-in-town arrives in series one in dreary pastels and purple Converse, but when she snags a job as Andréa’s assistant she ups her Parisian style game. Think Vanessa Bruno velvet bomber jackets and spriggy floral and polka dot shirts (very Soeur Paris) worn with straight-leg jeans and block-heeled ankle boots. For after-work parties she does short LBBs and bare legs.

Catherine Barneville

The glamorous wife of untrustworthy agent, Matthias, Catherine (Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu) is in her fifties with a yoga-honed body and a nice line in vintage kimonos and antique earrings. She wears Louboutin boots to the hairdressers and you just know her lingerie collection is all devastating La Perla.

© © Christophe Brachet

Noémie Leclerc
6/7

Noémie Leclerc

Laure Calamy’s voluptuous brunette assistant has a pounding desire for her boss, Matthias. She’s overtly feminine in low-cut print dresses – we’ve spotted at least one from & Other Stories – wide leather belts to emphasise her waist, and mid-heeled pumps. She likes vivid colour because she’s that kind of girl.

© © Christophe Brachet

Arlette Azémar
7/7

Arlette Azémar

Liliane Rovère’s Arlette is a veteran agent and actress and works a version of classic Chanel with artistic Left Bank flair – boucle cardigans, sparkly knits, long skirts and wide trousers with flat shoes, accessorized with silk flowers, ginormous costume earrings and layers of long necklaces. Because in Paris, as in life, one is never too old for glamour.

© © Christophe Brachet

Source: Why Call My Agent Is Your New TV Fashion Fix | British Vogue

Call My Agent: the French comedy gem A-listers are desperate to star in

The sharp, hilarious look at the hell of being an agent already features everyone from Juliette Binoche to Isabelle Huppert sending themselves up. Now, Hollywood has come knocking

The pilot opens with an unannounced arrival (of ingénue Camille, aggro agent Mathias’s hidden daughter) and an untimely death (of founder Samuel Kerr, who swallows a wasp while on holiday in Brazil). Mathias and his colleagues, Andréa, Gabriel and Arlette, are thrown into a frenetic power struggle both among themselves and in the wider film industry. Stars threaten to leave ASK, Kerr’s widow and heir threatens to shut up shop, and private passions, usually held at bay, threaten to derail everything.

If the show’s premise is somewhat predictable, its handling of fame is altogether less so. Each episode features a titular guest star – BéatriceDalle, Cécile de France, Guy Marchand – but rather than being written as the focal point, the big name is instead that day’s worry to assuage, the problem to be fixed. Call My Agent does that rare thing that interviews often fail to achieve, and makes these people, who live decidedly abnormal lives, very normal.

There are administratively challenged actors who need help answering emails and vetting nannies, and matrimonially challenged stars who want help finding a date. There’s the actor who can’t drive, the actor who can’t swim and the actor who suddenly can’t act. There’s one who, as Andrea puts it, is “doing a Day Lewis”, and can’t stop acting, unable to come out of a very intense Revenant-style survival role. He ends up being dropped from his subsequent gig as a clean-shaven banker when he literally attacks the producer’s dog, with his teeth.

However, instead of ramping up the self-deprecation implicit in these big-screen stereotypes as Extras did, or as you can imagine a W1A-style British remake might, the talent here is treated with tenderness, and not a small amount of poetry. And by ‘talent’ I mean not just the people (actors and directors) but the artform itself: the show is an ode to cinema. It is French, after all.

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10 ‘Emily in Paris’ Locations You Can Visit in Real Life

From well-known spots like the Palais-Royal to museums like L’Atelier des Lumières, here are 10 “Emily in Paris” filming locations you can visit in real life.

If you’ve watched Emily in Paris, the new Netflix show about a young marketing executive from Chicago who moves to Paris to bring an American perspective to a French marketing firm, you likely have a few thoughts about it. Love it or hate it, there’s one thing we can probably all agree on: The setting is absolutely stunning.

Glamorous shots over the Seine and scenes set in iconic locales reaffirm my personal belief that Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. We’ve rounded up some of the filming locations depicted in Emily in Paris, so you can walk in Emily’s footsteps during your next trip to the city — or just daydream about the City of Lights.

1. Pont Alexandre III

Pont Alexandre III at sunrise, Paris, France
CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES/500PX

In a city full of picturesque bridges, Pont Alexandre III stands out as one of the most beautiful. Savoir, the French marketing firm where Emily works, films a perfume advertisement here with their client, Maison Lavaux. With an ornate design and views of the Grand Palais and Eiffel Tower, it’s a truly stunning place to walk.

2. Jardin du Palais-Royal

Emily In Paris (L to R) ASHLEY PARK as MINDY and LILY COLLINS as EMILY in episode 101 of Emily In Paris
CREDIT: COURTESY OF NETFLIX

The beautifully landscaped grounds of a 17th-century palace called the Palais-Royal (now government buildings) are where Emily meets her new friend, Mindy, a nanny living in Paris, during her lunch break. It’s located in the center of Paris, just steps from the Louvre, making it the perfect place to stop while touring the city.

3. L’Atelier des Lumières

EMILY IN PARIS (L to R) LILY COLLINS as EMILY and LUCAS BRAVO as GABRIEL in episode 105 of EMILY IN PARIS
CREDIT: COURTESY OF NETFLIX

Emily joins her neighbor (and love interest), Gabriel, and his girlfriend, Camille, on a visit to L’Atelier des Lumières, an abandoned factory-turned-art space. The innovative experience opened in 2018, and right now, visitors can be completely immersed in the works of Renoir, Chagall, and Monet during the “Journeys Around the Mediterranean” exhibition.

4. Palais Garnier

The staircase of the Palais Garnier Opéra National de Paris
CREDIT: SYLVAIN SONNET/GETTY IMAGES

With an Audrey Hepburn-inspired look, Emily visits the Palais Garnier for a showing of “Swan Lake.” The truly impressive opera house was built in the 1800s, and today, it’s probably most famous as the setting for “The Phantom of the Opera.”

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Do better than Emily in Paris – a French person’s take

Emily in Paris is a popular Netflix show. Personally, I don’t think it’s very good. But more importantly, I feel that Emily’s behavior in Paris flies in the face of everything Comme une Française stands for. She is rude, and she doesn’t make any effort to learn about French culture. I don’t want you to be perceived that way when you visit France. So, let’s see how YOU could do better than Emily in Paris. You don’t need to speak perfect French to have a pleasant experience, but you do need to know the basics of polite French conversation.