Emily in Paris has become one of Netflix's most popular shows since its release last month, and people have fallen in love with its story and characters! If you're wondering what inspired the brand-new sitcom, we've learned that it's the result of creator Darren Star's imagination, as well as some true-to-life experiences! Read on to find out more!
Emily in Paris creator wanted to write "an expatriate"
Emily in Paris originated from Star's idea to tell a fish-out-of-water story about a character who goes through the culture shock of moving overseas. "I wanted to create a show that would explore the overall experience of what it's like to be an American abroad," he told Forbes. "I wanted to write a character who moves to Paris but isn’t necessarily primed to be there. It really was the idea of a character having an expatriate experience."
When he created the character of "Emily Cooper," played by Lily Collins, Star finally had the opportunity to do just that! After her job ends up sending her to work at a Parisian marketing firm, the high-spirited but naïve "Emily" suddenly finds herself immersed in a culture she barely understands. From French vocabulary to fashion, "Emily" is hilariously out of touch, yet manages to offer her uniquely American perspective on things.
Emily in Paris was informed by a woman much like "Emily"
Emily in Paris' title character may be fictional, but as it turns out, she was actually inspired by a real-life woman! That's because 16 years ago, Rebecca Leffler made the move from New York to Paris, and the experiences she went through were a lot like "Emily's". "I was the loud American and everyone would look me up and down and not talk to me," Leffler— who's now in her 30s— told French outlet The Connexion.
"That’s how it was. That has been my experience – me being this smiley, optimistic American dealing with French people," she continued. "Even the ones who are wonderful, kind people are not necessarily, as I would say, effusive. When you first meet them, they’re not as friendly and open."
Through a series of industry connections, Leffler was contacted by Star, which resulted in her becoming heavily involved in the writing process of the show! "I said here’s my life, take everything, and just shared all my anecdotes," she explained. "Darren Star created this character, but there’s a lot of me in it."
Emily in Paris was recently renewed for season 2, and Leffler shared what her hopes are for her fictional counterpart! "She has a lot of growing up to do. It would be great to see her explore and learn more about herself," she said of "Emily". "I would like her to have more French friends and succeed at work but let herself go a little bit. It would be great to see her not so aggressive."