Lily Collins and Ashley Park on feminism, the good times in Paris

Lily Collins and Ashley Park on feminism, the good times in Paris

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Lily Collins and Ashley Park – the stars of the mega-successful series “Emily in Paris” – agree: their friendship has empowered them both.

“Ashley is a friend who makes you feel that you are always perfect. She knows what you need – without you even knowing that you need it,” says Lily, while Ashley interjects: “Lily is the reason that I know what I’m worth … She believed in me more than any other person. ”

These are not the kind of compliments Hollywood actors make habitually – no, they are evidence of a wonderful friendship, on and off the screen. Lily Collins (32) and Ashley Park (30) focus on friendships between women with all their facets in season two of the Netflix hit series “Emily in Paris”.

When I meet Lily and Ashley for our interview, we are far from Paris: We are at the GLAMOR cover shoot in a parking lot in downtown Los Angeles. The setting may not be as luxurious as in “Emily in Paris”, but the outfits are: Nicolas Bru, stylist icon from LA, has breathtaking gowns by Giambattista Valli, Simone Rocha, and Richard Quinn in his luggage for the two actresses – all like that opulent that even the legendary Patricia Field, costume designer for “Emily in Paris”, would be speechless.

During the shoot itself, the chemistry between Lily and Ashley is one hundred percent, their laugh is contagious. Finally, I grab the two of them one by one at lunch for our interviews.

Lily Collins: “When I’m with Ashley, I have no self-doubt.”

Lily Collins’ character Emily Cooper in “Emily in Paris” at the beginning of season two has her own problems with friendships between women ( caution, spoilers ): After Emily learns that her handsome neighbor Gabriel (Lucas Bravo) is leaving Paris and Having split up with his girlfriend and Emily’s PR client Camille (Camille Razat), Emily embarks on a passionate night with the cook. Only to find out the next day that Gabriel is staying in Paris after all. In the second season, Emily tries to undo her mistake – the night with Gabriel – and to save her friendship with Camille. I ask how Lily Collins feels about this moral dilemma.

“Emily definitely regrets what happened because it makes her feel really bad,” said Collins. “It wouldn’t bother her so much if she didn’t care. I think something only worries me and worries me when it is really important to me. On the one hand, that’s good, on the other hand, it doesn’t make things any easier. Because you know that you have to do something. But what? is then the real, often tricky question. ”

Lily Collins also thinks that the second season of “Emily in Paris” deals more intensively with friendships between women: “Emily recognizes the value of her friendships. And in season two she strengthens her friendships with her friends, which I am talking about as an Emily actress I was very pleased. ”

Lily Collins and Ashley Park on feminism, the good times in Paris

About her series BFF Mindy ( Ashley Park ), Asian millionaire heiress and singer, Lily says: “Thank god Emily and Mindy moved in together because they can discuss everything and give each other advice and support. There is no judgment here, only understood – and possibly lovingly criticized. ”

BFFs in both series and real-life: Lily Collins and Ashley Park

This dynamic seems to be reflected in real life in the friendship of Lily and Ashley: “Ashley can build you up and get you back down to earth,” Lily says before she talks about a macaron class in which the two friends are incognito during the Have participated in filming season one in Paris.

Both Lily and Ashley report on reading the first episode of “Emily in Paris” together and how the chemistry between them worked right away: So much so that everyone else thought they’d been BFFs for years.

“It’s so great to meet someone in adulthood that you feel so connected to – like a friendship soulmate,” says Lily Collins. “With Ashley, I never have to question who I am.”

Hard to imagine that the talented Miss Collins ever had doubts about herself or her talent. Lily grew up in Guildford, Surrey, England, the daughter of legendary Genesis frontman Phil Collins and his second wife Jill Tavelman. At the age of five, she moved to Los Angeles after her parents divorced. Lily has been acting since she was two, her breakthrough when she was 19 as the daughter of Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side” (2009). This was followed by box office hits such as “The Really True Story of Snow White”, “Rules Don’t Apply” and “Love, Rosie – Maybe Forever”.

But her most refreshing quality of Lily was always her honesty, which she once again proved in her book “Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me”. In it, she described not only a toxic relationship but also eating disorders. She also forgave her father in an open letter that “he wasn’t always there for me” when she was growing up.

Lily Collins on family and friendship

The fact that Lily Collins has a famous father becomes part of our conversation: Elizabeth Olsen ( “WandaVision” ) told me in an interview that she wanted to change her name to distance herself from her famous sisters. Would a name change have been an option for Lily too? “I am so incredibly proud of what my last name represents and what Father has achieved. I am an incredibly proud daughter. I have chosen my own path, my own adventure. I never wanted to change my last name.”

I remember our first interview together in 2007 when she was introduced to me as the “daughter of Phil Collins”, I found that derogatory. Lily says: “That always bothered me extremely because it just doesn’t reflect my background. I’m really proud of where I am now in life because I know how hard I have worked for it.”

Family is obviously very important to Lily Collins: This year she married 38-year-old screenwriter and director Charlie McDowell in Colorado. When she talks about her wedding day, her eyes start to light up: “It was such a beautiful celebration with so many people who couldn’t see each other for a long time. We celebrated outside and everyone could move freely and this calm, the hope, and the party -Experience spirit together. ”

Back to the starting point of our interview: friendship. I wonder how Lily and Charlie’s friendship has developed since they were married. “Oh, it’s just wonderful to be married to your best friend,” laughs Lily. “We do crazy things all the time. We can talk to each other openly and that makes us stronger, better, and more empowered.”

Lily Collins on women as mentors

And what about your relationships with other women in real life and the series? We talk about her screen dynamic with her “Emily in Paris” agency boss Sylvie (played great by Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu): “I love the way Philippine Sylvie plays in season two. She could have just been a character, who the audience likes to hate. But she develops into a mentor for Emily, who grounds her and gives her hope. I think female mentors are just super important for women. ”

Did Lily have mentors herself? “I shot my first film with Sandra Bullock and she helped me a lot with the shooting. We stayed in touch afterward – she is a wonderful, kind-hearted person who took me by the hand a little. Julia Roberts is the same, by the way. In ‘ She plays the really true story of Snow White as the wicked stepmother and she couldn’t have been nicer in real life – she was at my side on the set with words and deeds. ”

Lily Collins and Ashley Park on feminism, the good times in Paris

I ask Lily about parallels between “Emily in Paris” and “Sex and the City”. Both series are huge hits, both series were developed by Darren Starr and worked with Patricia Field as a costume designer. On top of that, “Sex and the City” was not just a series about friendships between women, it also defined how women wanted to live in the 21st century.

“A woman who moves to another city is more like the opposite of Carrie Bradshaw,” says Lily Collins aloud. “But I think Emily loved growing up with Carrie Bradshaw – as I did. Each woman on this show has her own role. And what I love about ‘Sex and the City is that each of the women is an original. They loved their job, love, fashion, city, adventure. ” Lily Collins says about “Emily in Paris” compared to “Sex and the City”: “I really appreciate the fact that we are open on set and that we have this agreement not to look at our friends in an oblique way. I just don’t want to be judged by my friends on the inside. I don’t mind if you see me respond to this or that, but I don’t want to be rated. The women in ‘Sex and the City had this dynamic: They were allowed to grapple with one another, but they also supported each other. That is important in friendships. What both series have in common is that they put you in a good mood and are brave, that they are fashion-forward and fun! ”

Ashley Park: “There are no: n other scene partners: in, no sister who feels like a friend who is on my side like Lily”

Shortly after Ashley and I start our interview, the 30-year-old actress grabs my arm, points to the studio, where people are busy working, and says excitedly: “Do you think that a few years ago I thought I’d go along with Lily effing Collins would do a cover shoot for GLAMOR? No! Is this all really happening right now? ” It’s this kind of charm (and talent) that made Ashley go from a musical star on Broadway to one of the most popular characters in “Emily in Paris” and one of Hollywood’s most emerging stars almost overnight. As proof: First, Ashley just came back from filming an as yet nameless all-Asian comedy by Adele Lim, screenwriter for “Crazy Rich Asians”. And secondly, she stays very unpretentiously with her good friend Jesse Tyler Ferguson (from “Modern Family”) whenever she is in Los Angeles.

We want to talk about friendships and Ashley immediately begins to chat about her with Lily: “There are no: n scene partners: in, no: n leading actors: in, no sister who feels like a friend who is so on my side is we Lily. ” While she talks about walks together on the Seine and visits to her favorite restaurant Loulou, she also remembers that the first season was not so well received in Paris because of French stereotypes and prejudices.

“Lily and I used to walk around town together when we had a day off,” remembers Ashley Park. “For example, when we sat in the Jardins des Tuileries and talked – wearing a mask and sunglasses, mind you – we were recognized anyway. That was funny – especially because everyone was so nice and it wasn’t just the target group of the series who noticed us. Over 40 men, for example, came up to us and said ‘Oh, it’s you!’ Nobody complained to us or anything. ”

You can’t complain about Ashley Park. Ashley was born in Glendale, California, and has been passionate about the stage since she was three. This passion brought the actress with Korean roots to Broadway, where she shone alongside Jake Gyllenhaal in “Sunday Afternoon in the Park with George”. In 2017 she celebrated her breakthrough: Her portrayal as Gretchen Wiener in the Broadway version of “Mean Girls: Caution Biting” earned her not only a Tony nomination but also opened the door to television and series entertainment for her. She plays in Tina Fey’s “Girl5eva” series but describes her role in “Emily in Paris” as life-changing.

Ashley Park on Discrimination and Representation

Her next role in Adele Lim’s film project will also be her first leading role in a movie: Four Asian-American women travel through Asia to find their birth mothers. The film becomes a milestone for Asian-American culture: Not only did the leading roles consist of Asian-American actresses, everyone on the team had something to say, “everyone, were Asian woman,” said Park. “I didn’t even realize that, especially in the last year, I was always proud of my Asian roots. If you had given me a magic lamp by the time this film started shooting and I had made wishes, one of the first would certainly have been, that I want to be white. ” On the one hand it is a depressing statement, but on the other hand, it shows that something is finally changing in the film industry. “It’s the first comedy in which the protagonists all have Asian roots and are funny and warm and rough – and it’s really about the characters.”

Ashley Park is also proud of the representation in the new season of “Emily in Paris”. Last year the series was criticized for not being diverse enough. Lily Collins, who also acts as the show’s producer, vowed to get well soon in season 2 . “I’m really proud that the new characters on the cast, especially the love interests, were cast in such a way that they paint a current picture of Paris, “says Ashley happily. About her role, Park says:” What I love about Mindy is not necessarily that she’s the only Asian: in the series. I am happy that all the 58 million viewers who saw the first season of ‘Emily in Paris’ in the first week now associate my character, an Asian, with a good person, one with whom they want to move in. That is still missing in the representation of the population of Asian origin. ”

But according to Ashley Park, this self-image is not always easy: “I always have this small voice in my head that says, ‘But what if Mindy Chen wasn’t an Asian heiress? Would you have got the role then?'” Because if Ashley Park Looking back on her career, she sees herself exposed to prejudices: “I’ve really been to a lot of auditions where I would have just fit the role perfectly. That’s why I hate it when people come up and say, ‘Oh, they wanted to a diverse cast, so that’s why you got the role. ‘”

However, according to Park, these absolutely inappropriate sentences don’t just come from competitors: “The hardest thing is when your own friends say something like that when they take out their micro-aggression on you. Little things like, ‘Oh, that’s a good one Time for yourself now. You are lucky that they are looking for diversity everywhere now. “Sure, a lot would change for the better right now, but casting agencies clearly need to focus even more on equal opportunities for people of color in the Appointment of the good roles. “I want to get a role because I am best suited for you. I don’t want you because you are looking for this or that externality,” says the “Emily in Paris” actress.

When we talk about past discrimination, I ask Ashley Park directly if she ever missed a role because of racism. “The simple answer is, absolutely,” said Park. “I’ve heard it all: ‘We wanted a Person of Color, so we decided on a black actress.’ That person is simply ignored with my origins … “Park shakes his head. But she doesn’t give up: “I’ve got a thick skin: ‘Yes, that hurts, I don’t know why this is happening to me .. Tick off, look ahead, carry on!’ – I got this resilience and this positive mindset from my parents. ”

Ashley Park on Self-Care and Mental Health

Ashley Park had to learn resilience and resilience at the age of 15 when she was diagnosed with leukemia and spent eight months in hospital. How do you get along with such a diagnosis as a young person? “I grew up in a city where mostly white people live. But I didn’t want to be the only ‘Asian girl’. I was the ‘smart girl’, the ‘nice girl’ or the ‘funny girl’. And then suddenly I was the ‘sick girl. This experience showed me what resilience means and which people you want to spend your life with. ” Park also says of her leukemia diagnosis: “Today I apply this principle to my life:

So much wisdom and self-care when you are only 30 years old? “I was known to be a Duracell bunny in my twenties,” laughs Park. “Now, with my busy schedule, I know that I have to take time off and sleep in. Very simple things to feel good about yourself. Time-outs and me-time have nothing to do with egoism – even if you are us Taught women differently. ”

And how does the new decade of life feel now? “I love to be 30 years old! I feel that I have arrived in my life. And I have had really difficult times but have also reaped the fruits of hard work. I know what true friendship and love feel like. And now I also know that as a woman I don’t have to constantly prove myself. “

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