Trailer of Mrs. Harris Goes To Paris (2022) by Anthony Fabian.
Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris is a fashionable feel-good movie that proudly claims its identity – that of an adorable cinematic work at the crossroads between a sweet Christmas movie and a kitschy Disney tale. It unfolds the story of a pretentious old widow obsessed with Christian Dior’s designs, who travels to the Paris of the 1950s to buy the dress of her dreams... Adapted from Paul Galico’s novel of the same name , Anthony Fabian’s new movie treats itself with a vintage wardrobe loaned by the luxury house, Lambert Wilson as a gallant aristocrat, Isabelle Huppert as a bitter-chic manager, and Lucas Bravo as a shy Sartre-loving accountant. The 34-year-old actor, who played the all- too-perfect Frenchie in Emily in Paris, and the clumsy pilot in the comedy Ticket to Paradise, has agreed to answer Numéro’s questions in a quite appropriate setting – an elegant suite at Le Bristol Hotel in Paris.
Numéro: In Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, you play the role of a shy and slightly awkward accountant named André Fauvel, whose expertise on Jean-Paul Sartre’s work is undeniable. A sharp contrast with your previous character in the series Emily in Paris  ...
Lucas Bravo: It is quite difficult to deliver a performance when you play a character close to your own identity. I feel close to André Fauvel in many ways... Gabriel, the man I play in the series Emily in Paris, is kind of a heartbreaker, to use the words of the journalists. But the “sexy neighbor” is completely different from me. I was raised by a feminist who would always tell me that “all guys are pigs”! So, I have more often avoided bothering people than gone upfront with flirty phrases... Playing against type remains the most interesting thing though. In Ticket to Paradise for instance, I recently had the opportunity to show a new side of my acting full of irony.
Are you satisfied with your performance in Anthony Fabian’s film?
It is the first film I have made abroad. I came in with my impostor syndrome wondering if they had really made the right choice in a cast including Isabelle Huppert and Lambert Wilson. Watching the film today, I have realized that I could have really brought more nuance to many scenes, or been more accurate in my acting. Two years ago, when I was shooting, all I could do was to be as authentic as possible.
Lucas Bravo influent French “Emily in Paris” .
Should we really talk of an “impostor syndrome”?
It is only very recently that I have been able to put words onto it. It is something that has unraveled over time, childhood traumas that you have to make peace with. I have always had the feeling that I wasn’t working hard enough, even though I have done all the jobs in the world. I used to work in supermarkets, restaurants, I have been a barman, a bouncer, and done all the summer jobs. Despite all that, I still had the impression that I wasn’t “cutting to the chase”, as if I still had to try harder to deserve what I have today. I don’t really know where it comes from. It probably deserves some psychoanalysis...
Do you think you have made progress since the shooting?
I hope so! [Laughs]. It would be presumptuous of me to say so. I guess I have the hindsight needed to admit that I could have done it differently. When I was younger, I didn’t want to be shaped by any kind of training, I wanted to remain “raw” like many actors before me. I had to recognize that I needed a framework though! The Actors Factory [a Parisian acting school in the 11th arrondissement] taught me a lot about the technique and allowed me to be less self-critical about my performances. Over there we did some TransDance, or painting meditation... we got rid of everything that no longer served us. The first year is a kind of therapy, far from the ultra-competitive atmosphere that you can find in other schools. It was only in the second year that I learnt how to handle a text, how to deal with the unexpected during a casting or on a film set...
If you were hosting a dinner party just for your own pleasure, which personalities from the film industry would you invite?
I guess I would like to have dinner with director David Fincher, since I love his work. Some of my friends, including actress Lily Collins [the protagonist in Emily in Paris], have had the chance to work with him and they all say that he is a fascinating man. I would also invite Robert Pattinson. I really loved his performance in the Safdie brothers’ film Good Times. Then Sofia Coppola, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and Xavier Dolan, who often takes the risk of telling different things. I must say that it would be an endless dinner table.
What was your biggest disillusionment when you entered the film industry?
It took me a long time to start making a living out of it, so I still feel the magic of it right now. Just like when I was amazed by everything in my first short film – “Oh a camera! Oh a microphone!” I still have that childlike look. There is a lot of ego in this industry, so you have to find a place of your own. Even if the Emily in Paris series gives me a lot of visibility, I still have everything to learn, I’m just a little sparrow. We are not always lucky enough to be on a set filled with kindness... For instance, George Clooney and Julia Roberts are exceptional in this respect. On the set of Ticket to Paradise, their goal was to put other actors in the spotlight. If they had to take a back seat for the sake of another character in a specific scene, they didn’t hesitate for a second, even if it meant changing their own lines.
Are you happier than you have ever been before?
I don’t think happiness is quantifiable. In any case, if I’m happy today, it is because I’m finally able to take things lightly, to make a living from my work, and to work with people I have admired for years. Until now, I was waiting for the moment when everything would fall apart. Things can go back as quickly as they came so I might as well enjoy the ride...
Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris directed by Anthony Fabian, with Lucas Bravo, Isabelle Huppert, and Lambert Wilson. Released on November 2nd.