After leaving us with a huge cliffhanger, the hit French series Lupin is finally returning on Netflix this June 11!
The second part of the series will take us back to France where Assane Diop, the modern incarnation of the French literary figure, Arsène Lupin, must rescue his son Raoul while playing a game of cat and mouse with the authorities and the henchmen of his rival, Hubert Pellegrini.
Before the release of its second part, Netflix held a virtual press conference where actors Omar Sy and Ludivine Sagnier, as well as the show’s creator George Kay, answered some questions about the series and the upcoming Part 2. Here are the highlights of the press conference.
The French show that became an international smash-hit.
Like Money Heist and The Girl From Nowhere, Lupin is one of those shows that gained the international attention that they deserve, thanks to Netflix. But of course, with the number of online content popping up even on the streaming platform alone, Lupin gets full credit for standing out among Netflix’s vast library of shows.
Ludivine Sagnier, the actress who plays Claire– Assane’s childhood love and the mother of his son– shared that she did not expect the show to be this big outside of France.
“Personally, I had a feeling that it would be big in France because Omar is a very popular actor and he is beloved everywhere,” said Sagnier. “But I had not expected that it would be worldwide. I thought it was only going to be on Netflix in France. And so I just [realized it] very late in the process, and I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe the numbers.”
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The show is currently the most popular series in the first quarter of the year. According to Netflix, 76 million member accounts worldwide watched at least a couple of minutes of the series over its first four weeks of release.
Assane Diop’s actor Omar Sy said that he also didn’t expect the viewership to be so massive, but when they were making the show, he was aware that they would be representing France for an international audience.
“I used to say that Netflix is the Olympics for series. So we had the French flag and we wanted to do something very, very cool and we wanted to represent French in a good way. So we were very focused and we worked very hard,” said Sy. “And we’re very, very happy and fulfilled that [viewers received it] like that.”
The thrills and drama of Lupin Part 2.
While the first part of Lupin leans more on the fun side of the gentleman burglar, where he commits ingenious crimes without being caught, the second part turns up the suspense and drama.
On balancing these two tones, Lupin showrunner George Kay said: “I think in part 2, Assane’s story gets more intense. You know, where we [left off] in the end of part 1, it’s obviously a really intense personal situation so we really drive hard to the intensity of a father with a mission. But then keeping the tone varied is part of the challenge but hopefully something that we managed to do.”
For Omar Sy, these varying tones of the show gave him the “perfect ride” as an actor because he was able to play with the character in different situations. Speaking of thrills and a perfect ride, the actor also shared that some of the most fun scenes for him in Part 2 are the fight scenes and a car chase.
“I was happy to do everything, really,” said Sy. “This show, it’s a blessing you know, it’s the perfect tool for an actor, to have all of that to play. I had the [car chase], the fights, the romance with a beautiful actress (referring to Sagnier beside him). All of those were very, very fun to do and so different.”
Themes about the unseen.
Besides the thrills, drama, and the show ultimately being a story of revenge, Lupin also tackles social issues including racism, injustice, and corruption, and it also highlights how some people are ‘unseen’ especially by the upper class. As seen in the show, Assane gets away from his crimes by disguising himself as a delivery rider, a janitor, and so on.
“I think that it’s really important to keep returning to those themes, the people who work below stairs, above stairs, and all walks of life as a piece about society, but never as the primary thing,” explained George Kay. “It’s always at the service of the story, and the fun of the show, because no one wants a political piece of TV for 10 hours. You wanna have those messages floated around but essentially have fun and tell a cool story about the characters.”
Omar Sy, who also co-produced the show, agreed, saying that they’re keeping these themes because it has become part of the “DNA of the show”.
Lupin and Sherlock
For some viewers, Lupin reminds them of the series Sherlock which starred Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. After all, both shows have added a modern spin to literary icons who are best known for their genius minds.
According to Kay, the hit British series may have been one of the inspirations for his show.
“Sherlock is really great. I think when we started making this and I was approached about this, there was definitely a kind of desire to try and do something contemporary. And I really feel like Assane’s character is a very modern man, and so it’s a long way from an adaptation. Sherlock is a great adaptation, but this is not an adaptation of Arsène Lupin. It’s a story of Assane Diop, a modern man, so it’s a really different thing, internally and in terms of the structure of episodes and stuff. We try to be playful in a way that maybe shows like Sherlock are. It is probably one of the many inspirations.”
Lupin’s fashion in the modern day.
One of the things that makes a character iconic is through their clothing. As for Assane Diop, he has a catchy modern-day getup that is also inspired by the original Arsène Lupin. During the press conference, Omar Sy described how Assane’s official attire came to be. He said that the getup was decided by him, costume supervisor Camille Janbon, and Louis Leterrier who served as the director for the first part of the show.
“We know that Lupin has a very specific style– there’s the hat, the monocle, and the cape,” began Sy. “So we wanted something like that because for us, our Lupin is a superhero played by a simple modern guy. We wanted to have something like that. So we wanted to keep the cape, that’s why we have the long coat. And I remember Camille and Louis came with a coat that’s close to the knee, and I wanted it longer, because I wanted to have the cape to be more superhero-style.”
And the hat for Lupin was something very special, and our Lupin is French but we wanted to make it [modern], so what could be the hat today? That’s how we have the beret. And for modern fashion were the sneakers. Louis and I loved the shoes. And so that was the combination. But we took a lot of time to think about it because when you think about Lupin, you see his look, you know, and we wanted to have the same for our Lupin.”
Describe Lupin Part 2 in three words.
During the press conference, the actors and creator Kay were also asked how they would describe this upcoming second part of the show in just three words, to which they answered:
“I would say dense, dangerous, and exciting,” said Sagnier.
“Can I use the same?” joked Omar Sy, channeling his inner gentleman thief.
Finally, for George Kay, he described it as “intense, tricky, and surprising.”
Are you excited to see the continuation of the show?
Lupin Part 2 is coming to Netflix this June 11. The show also stars Clotilde Hesme, Mamadou Haidara, Hervé Pierre, Soufiane Guerrab, and Fargass Assandé. For more information, visit the show’s official Netflix page.
Homestream image courtesy of Netflix.