Conversation with a Gentleman Actor
In Lupin, Omar Sy finds a thousand roles in one.
English . | . FRANÇAIS
Coat, sweatshirt, and trousers by Lacoste; Air Jordan 1 Low sneakers by Nike
I sat down with the gentleman actor to discuss this iconic role.Franck Garbarz: I heard that you came to this project under ideal conditions: Gaumont, the production company behind the show, asked you to pick a character you wanted to play.
Suit by Brunello Cucinelli; T-shirt by Louis Vuitton
The show takes place in two different time periods. We follow the present-day Assane, and then we follow Assane as a child in the 1990s through a series of flashbacks. What was that like for you?
OS: It was great! When you talk about Lupin, it conjures up the fun element, the heist mastermind, the smart-ass who’s always one step ahead of everybody else, the action — so it’s all quite exhilarating. When you get down to the acting itself, you have to consider the character’s backstory, how he became who he is, the grey areas, the nuances. George Kay and François Uzan, the series’ co-creators, wanted to explore Assane’s childhood. I thought it’d be interesting to see what Mamadou Haidara, the young actor who plays the younger version of my character, would do with it, and then use that in my acting. When you take this into account you have more leeway to explore things, because you have this backstory that informs your acting.
All I can say is I had a ball.”
How did you build the character costume-wise?
OS: We talked at great length about the costume design with the costume department. We were aware that the character comes with a rich iconography. We had to create something new while staying true to Lupin’s spirit. We gave him a long coat, which hints at the iconic cape. We wanted him to wear a hat, and we picked the beret so that he might still be elegant and retain a French flavor. And to bring our modern touch we went for the Jordan 1 sneakers.
Can you talk about filming the incredible opening sequence at the Louvre Museum?
It was wild! When I read the script, I thought to myself that the scene couldn’t possibly be shot on location. It came as a total surprise when the Louvre not only opened their doors to our crew but proved to be extremely flexible and supportive — so much so that after spending five nights on the premises I got the impression that we were home. The Louvre felt like any set, except that at some point I realized I was all by myself with the Mona Lisa for more than 15 minutes. It’s an experience I’ll never forget. Can anyone claim they ever went on a date with the Mona Lisa?
on Netflix now.