Women getting the opportunity to take up space is one battle we hear all the time, but actresses stepping aside so their female co-stars get the spotlight to speak and shine is something truly special to witness. On a rainy day in New York City, the cast of Emily in Paris painted the town red as they dressed très chic to promote the new season that promises more drama, more fashion and a whole lot of fun. Oui oui!

Ahead of the season 3 premiere of Emily in Paris, we sat down with stars Lily Collins, Ashley Park and Camille Razat who play Emily, Mindy and Camille, respectively, on the show. Watching them champion each other for a chance to speak during the interview as they sang each other’s praises reflected the strong sisterhood of Emily in Paris both on and off-screen.

Character Transformations and Personal Growth

It is undeniable that Emily has really grown over the course of three seasons. In season one, she was a fish out of water while in season two she was more acclimated to her surroundings and now in season three, she is more grounded and finding her sense of self in Paris. The new season has the American transplant deciding on what’s next for her as she’s at a crossroads, facing two very different paths. 

But it’s not just Emily who has grown over the seasons, but Collins too. “I think for me, there was a really pivotal moment in season two when Mindy says to Emily on her bench, “Stop saying what you should do, and really focus on what it is that you want, what you feel, what you need.” I’m somebody who has really very often considered what I should do in my own life and other people’s thoughts or feelings before my own when making decisions. I think the more quietly confident Emily becomes in this series, especially in season three of making decisions and sticking with them, regardless of the outcome, she’s starting to focus more on the feelings that she has, and her gut instinct and following her heart and thinking a little less… she overthinks and I overthink. She’s starting to do that less because she’s getting more secure with her surroundings and who she is as a person and I feel like playing a character like that has helped me do the same thing in my own personal life. And that’s been like a really nice thing to be able to mirror the character,” explained the British-American actress. 

Park, 31, said: “From an outside perspective too, even if we weren’t before, we really found the women that we are in our own right throughout the season.”

Looking at Collins, she added, “Just really if you look at the person, the leader that you were at the beginning, you’ve always been a leader but to watch somebody… to have watched her really find her voice as a producer because you’ve always been a leader, but to know that not just to helm on set, but to really be like, ‘This is what I stand for. These are the things I’m looking out for, the other people, my cast, the other woman in my cast, it’s a huge thing. And I think that all of us having that growth has really inspired all three of us. We love each other very deeply. And I think all three of us respect each other very deeply.”

Park continued: “I think for me, I was Emily coming to Paris, like in the first season I really think I knew who I was, but I wasn’t centered in it yet. Sometimes when you’re dressed in a global show like this, it is very unprecedented. We had no idea it’d be taking over New York and Paris and the world in that way. I think that I’m so happy that I was grounded as an adult, but like to have these other women, friends and sisters to go through it with, there’d be no way that my head would be on right. I think that’s true for all our characters and ourselves, and our hearts are all very genuine and are all in the right place. But now we know how to use our voices a little bit more.”

Courtesy of Netflix

Taking Up Space and Championing the Sisterhood

The show celebrates friendships and that’s one of the strong themes that has resonated with fans all over the world. The bond on screen is very much a reflection of the off-screen bond that’s evident between Collins, Park and Razat. 

Park revealed that she hadn’t been conditioned to take up space so for her, it was all quite new. “For me, my whole life I’ve been like, ‘Oh, one day when I’m allowed to take up space, and then I got to the point the past couple years that I’ve been asked to and then I realized I don’t know how to. So to have these two women especially has really championed me as an ally and as a friend since the very beginning before it was trendy to do that. I think that that really has transitioned us all into the women that we are.”

“We believe in each other… they both believed in me before I knew how to believe in myself. We both saw you [at Collins] immediately for who you are and what the world thought you were and like the world knows now and the same for you [at Razat], to watch Camille’s character from the first season… I think really, our characters have fleshed out in a way because we have incredible writers and because we own that,” Park added. 

Collins believes that not only do the actors get to take up space, but the characters do too this season. “I think that’s what you were just saying, we let each other speak, and we celebrate each other’s voices as opposed to feeling like, now we’ve learned we can take up space, we’ve got to take it all. Like no, we can take up space in the most amazing way and voice ourselves and allow others to shine too. And that’s what I’m so excited about this season is that the other characters shine. Emily’s there but we get to watch other people taking up space. Because this season also hinges on Camille’s character really owning it.”

Park added, “There’s never been a sense of competition,” while Razat agreed that she felt that they always “give each other time to speak… like we’re not trying to steal anything.”

The French actress and model looked up to her co-stars and got emotional as she said, “I will start with saying that Lily set the tone of the series because of course she’s the main character of the series and when I remember when I first met her, I admired her – I’d seen her in movies already. So I was a little bit impressed. She’s such a hard working person and I admire her and I’m looking forward to that and I want to be the same person like maybe such a hard worker and the kind of person you really are… and Ash, sorry for cursing but you’re like fucking sunshine on set.”

Razat continued, “It was very trusting…I grew up as a comedian because in France, we don’t work the same way as Americans and the big machine like Netflix. This is very intense. In France, we do like a text, we discuss it and you know, and it’s a great exercise and to be able to be a good comedian in that kind of scenario when it’s like rushing and you have to do like a take and you have to be super quick and you have to be good at like one or two takes and that’s the best thing ever as an actress. It’s almost like training. I think that really helped me because of course this is also not my language. So I was struggling a little bit.” She even revealed to her co-stars during this interview, who didn’t know this either, that she went to Los Angeles for four months and trained with a coach to work on her English.

Razat, 28, is nothing but grateful for having Collins and Park by her side, “They were very kind-hearted and they really helped me and [looking at them] thank you for that and make me feel comfortable…that’s rare.”

Park also made sure to point out that when Razat said as a “comedian,” in France that means an actor, not a comedic actor. 

Courtesy of Netflix

Fashion and Feelings

The actors love fashion just as much as their characters do and this season the fashion slays, serving looks to die for, and they’re anything but ringarde. Park said, “We all love fashion. We get to share in the hobby that we love working as actors and we also love the fashion world so much.”

The actress also noted that while the show “is all about fashion and aesthetic and how we look on the outside and what I can soundly say is us through this right here that we are much more concerned with who we are on the inside… like when we met offset, there is no makeup, just sweats, grunge..”  Collins and Razat agreed in unison as they all burst out laughing. 

As much as Emily is all colour and bold patterns, Collins actually is more similar to another character’s minimalist wardrobe. “I always say that I gravitate personally more towards Camille’s wardrobe just in who I am, as Lily. But for me, what I’ve learned a lot about Emily’s wardrobe is that she is so unapologetically herself in the ways that she’s bright and bubbly and a little bit obvious and that’s what her wardrobe is. She’s not afraid to mix textures and prints and styles and shapes and colors and designers, vintage new, and I’ve always experimented with my identity through fashion and whatever I’m feeling that day is what I’m going to wear.”

Collins continued: “I love playing with fashion. It’s an expression of oneself, we talk about it as an art form, it’s a character in itself. So I feel as though I’ve learned how to be a little bit more experimental through Emily, and how clothing can actually help you escape and feel something other than what you’re feeling based on what you’re wearing. And that’s been a really fun experiment to lean on Marylin [Fitoussi] for to see who’s an absolute magician, and genius, experimenting, and she’s created a color palette for this entire show, where each actor gets to shine in their own way, and have their own identity, which is so rare, because you can walk into the wardrobe room and go, ‘Oh, that’s for me. That’s for Camille.’”

Park agreed, adding, “We understand the voices of our characters and their fashion. We talked about this before about the platform of our show and all these young designers wanting their stuff to be just worn by one of us. If I had been faced with that from season one, I wouldn’t have known what to do. But now we’re very clear on like, ‘Oh, that feels like me in this thing, or that feels like you.’”

For Razat, it was the opportunity to collaborate on fashion as well as showcase new and upcoming designers. “Fashion in itself is a character in the series for sure. And Marilyn the costume designer did such a great job because it’s more like a collaboration, meaning you guys are like in a fitting room and you tell her like, ‘What do you think about this? I found this new designer, do you think it’s cool?’ And it’s really like a joyful moment when I’m doing the fittings. I’m very happy. Because I know I’m going to discover new designers, I’m going to introduce new designers and we’re going to wear stuff that are made by people with a small business and we can really change their business with Emily in Paris and I find it very beautiful.”

Courtesy of Netflix

Favourite Outfits

When it comes to favourite outfits, the cast really had to think which would be their pick this

a new character Nicolas, and it’s head to toe in red. There’s a sequined skirt. I had red suspenders, a red jacket. Everything was a mixture between almost like Western Americana, Dolly Parton vibes with this chic Parisian sexy feel. I thought wearing all one color takes a lot and said a lot in that moment. And it was to celebrate a show on Mindy. So it felt appropriate, but I loved it so much.”

For Razat, it was the Prada dress in episode 10. “It’s basically like a white tank top and dress on top of it, a silver dress. Yeah, I loved it.”

Park picked an ensemble that she actually owns. “It was actually the dress that I wore by a young designer and I own it in green. Like, ‘Oh, I like this dress. Can we get it in magenta and put it in the show somehow?’ That’s the one I’m saying. It’s my favorite because I would wear it and I own it.” That dress makes an appearance in the final episode as well. 

Emily in Paris Season 3 streams on Netflix on December 21.