‘Emily in Paris’ Cast and Creator Weigh In on the ‘Ménage à Trois’ Question

     October 7, 2020

emily-in-paris-lily-collins-camille-razat-slice[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers through the Season 1 finale of Emily in Paris, “Cancel Couture.”]

Early in the first season of breezy Netflix concoction Emily in Paris, the titular Emily (Lily Collins) is happy to make a friend after randomly meeting the charming Camille (Camille Razat) — until, that is, she learns that Camille is the girlfriend of Emily’s neighbor Gabriel (Lucas Bravo), to whom Emily had just recently “said thank you with her mouth.” Still, being new to town, Emily ends up spending time with Camille and Gabriel together, notably in the fifth episode of the season “Faux Amis,” where the trio share a fun night of adventure on the streets of Paris.

If you were picking up on any sort of vibe between the three actors during that episode — well, you weren’t alone. According to creator Darren Star and the cast, the first season of Emily in Paris was written as they were filming. And so the notion that things might evolve into, as the French say, un ménage à trois was definitely in the air.

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Image via Netflix

During Season 1, in fact, Razat was telling the writers that she thought that Season 2 should feature the characters in a “throuple” relationship — which she’d be more than comfortable with. “It’s not a big deal because, obviously, I’m French,” she said in an interview. “So we’re much more open-minded in terms of love and relationships.”

The contrast between the laissez-fair approach to love in France and Emily’s more traditional American mindset pops up as a recurring theme throughout the first season, and appropriately enough, Lily Collins has a bit of a different take on it. In talking about the chemistry between the three characters, she was a little more noncommittal, saying that “I think that there’s romance in Paris. For me, the show is so special because it’s in the city of love and romance plays a role in Emily’s experience. But first and foremost, I love that it’s a love story within herself and finding herself.”

For Collins, moments like Emily’s first meeting with Camille, which ends with them accidentally kissing on the mouth, are all part of that: “It’s those fluster-y moments that you’re like, ‘Is this going to go somewhere? Is it not going to go somewhere?’ The fun of TV is getting to figure that out.”

And perhaps because he’s also French, Bravo was a lot more open about the idea. “It was a question throughout the entire show,” he told me. “Camille is convinced — she’s convinced that there’s sexual tension between her and Emily and the three of us, and Darren was also questioning the fact.”

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Image via Netflix

Star acknowledged this to be true, saying that “I think that we certainly thought about the sexual chemistry between the three of them.” But, he added, “there was definitely a decision that that’s not where we want to go in Season 1.”

It’s not that the creator of Sex and the City is a prude, to be clear. Instead, Star said, “I kind of liked to believe Emily’s character wasn’t necessarily ready for that, and I also feel like her relationship with Gabriel, it’s more than just a sexual relationship. I think it’s a soulful relationship and it went in an unexpected place and had unexpected ramifications.”

Thus, Season 1 ends with this love triangle in a very complicated place: Emily sleeping with Gabriel after believing that he and Camille have broken up due to his impending move to Normandy, only to discover the next morning that he’s not moving away after all, and that his relationship with Camille might not be as over as previously thought.

This could lead to a lot of hurt feelings and drama, but while Razat does feel like “I think he didn’t properly broke up with Camille, which is not cool,” she thinks her character will have a pretty mature reaction. “I think Camille will be mad for a little amount of time, but she really loves Emily. So she’s just going to, as an adult, just discuss that with her, and try to understand why they did this. And how are they going to manage this? Because obviously, I think Camille, anyways, wants to stay friends with Emily. It’s going to be more complicated for Gabriel.”

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Image via Netflix

Or, added Razat, once again: “Maybe they’re going to be a throuple.”

And while a second season has yet to be greenlit by Netflix, Star did say this — when it comes to that possibility, “all doors are open.”

At the end of my interview, I should say, Star did tease me a little bit about asking the question, saying “You want to see that ménage à trois!”

“I’m just curious!” I replied.

“I am, too,” he said.

Emily in Paris is streaming now on Netflix. For more, read our explanation of all those Season 1 cliffhangers.

Television