STEPHANIE BRANCHU, NETFLIX
The star of Netflix's Emily in Paris has us feeling lost in translation. In an October 6th interview with British Vogue, Lily Collins makes an alarming statement about how old she thinks her character Emily Cooper is when she takes the year-long position to be the "American perspective" at a French marketing firm. Now, those of us who actually exist in the real world are scratching our heads through our berets.
“I don’t believe we’ve ever given her a specific ‘number’ for her age, but I believe that she’s pretty fresh out of college," Collins said of Emily.
"Maybe this is her first year after graduation. I want to say she’s like, 22-ish."
Collins continued, "She’s had enough experience at her company in Chicago to have earned the respect of her boss. She’s a smart cookie and really innovative—and this is not her first rodeo doing what she does. She’s gone to school for this, and she’s completed internships."
Okay, so...if Emily is 22 years old, that places her around the age one receives their undergraduate degree if they went to college the year following high school graduation. Fair enough, but Emily mentions several times throughout the series that she has her master's degree in communications (and/or marketing? The degree actually changes throughout the series).
Therefore, there's no feasible way Emily can be 22 years old with a master's degree and "enough experience at her company in Chicago to have earned the respect of her boss." There's simply no way, and many argue this comment shows just how out of touch Collins is from the reality.
If the show had made Emily out to be a naive, fresh-out-of-college young adult with no real-world expertise in her field, but a dream to go to France and live as the Parisians do, then sure, we can buy the 22 story.
But time and time again we are reminded that Emily has been sent to Paris for a reason—she's just that good at marketing and that educated in social media. No 22-year-old right out of college is that skilled at anything (speaking from experience, here).
Emily has a MASTER’S DEGREE she is not 22!!!! Lily Collins plz— Ira Madison III (@ira) October 15, 2020
Like the many times we cringed at Emily's behavior in Paris, the internet collectively cringed at Collins making such an outlandish statement.
i love when very famous people who have never worked a 9-to-5 try to map out what a normal office career trajectory looks like, especially in gatekeeper industries (i thought emily was maybe 28) https://t.co/Wvo8hwE09c— alexander smith (@alexqsmith) October 15, 2020
But honestly, "22-gate" adds a fun layer to the Emily in Paris internet discourse that has been a much-needed distraction from, well, the real world Collins seems to be so detached from.
Lily Collins herself has no idea how old #EmilyInParis is and I think that’s adding to my obsession with this show. I think we all are unsure of her age but most will agree there’s no way in hell she’s 22 with masters degree and that much life experience 😂 pic.twitter.com/VHSLsijy5d— Misery Spice (@misery_spice) October 15, 2020
Maybe Emily being 22 is simply part of the show's unbelievable mystique—Emily was created by Sex and the City's Darren Star, after all, and we're still trying to figure out how Carrie Bradshaw could afford that apartment and those Manolos on a writer's salary.
Collins hasn't responded to the criticism and that's probably for the best. Letting this Emily in Paris plot hole/fun fact stand as is is tres perfect, in our opinion.