• Isabel Cuddy

Samuel Arnold from Emily in Paris on How to Eat, Dress, and Date in French

We talked to Samuel Arnold about his character, Julien, to learn the differences when it comes to Paris fashion, food, and dating.

Photo: Isaiah Hodges

A few short weeks ago, Emily in Paris was released on Netflix, where Samuel Arnold shined in his role as Julien.


Since the show came out on October 2nd, everyone's been talking about the fashionable clothes, delicious-looking food, and of course, the dreamy Paris lifestyle.


Samuel was born in a little city just thirty-minutes outside of Paris, but being surrounded by his friends and family, Paris has always felt like home. Of course, another reason why he loves Paris is because of the amazing food. When he's spending time in London, the one thing he misses the most is food, like those chocolate croissants the show is always flaunting in our faces.


Emily in Paris follows the adventures of Emily (Lily Collins) as she moves to the city of lights without a single ounce of French in her vocabulary, but with the determination to make this the best experience of her life. In the series, Samuel plays Julien, a co-worker (and then friend) of Emily's at a luxurious marketing firm. Samuel and Lily's characters had a rocky start, but ultimately, Julien quickly becomes a close companion to Emily. When I asked about his connection to the character, Samuel said he loved the freedom of expression that came with playing Julien.

“[Julien] says whatever he wants to say, moves whatever way he wants to move, dresses whatever way he wants to dress, and I think his freedom was the best part of it. I wish I was as free as he is" Samuel said.

Another part that Samuel loved was sharing the screen with Lily Collins. From the first day on set, Lily was very supportive and they clicked right away. Their off-camera friendship came through during the show because their characters meshed very well together. She made the experience quite memorable for Samuel, and fans, myself included, cling to the hopes of watching their friendship develop more in a second season.


Although the show was widely loved in the United States, Twitter was bustling with criticisms about the way Paris was depicted throughout it. When I asked Samuel about these remarks, he had a very positive response.

“I actually think that the show gets everything right, it just doesn’t show everything about Paris. It's impossible to see one hundred percent of Paris in a show. You've got to live a lifetime there to experience Paris fully" Samuel shared.

He also shared how everything they filmed was real: the streets, the beautiful attractions, and sometimes, the behavior of the French people.


When I expressed to Samuel that one of my favorite parts of the show was the clothing, I asked what the differences were between fashion trends in Paris and the United States.


In the United States, when you go into your local grocery store, some people look their absolute worst: sweatpants, bed head, flip flips, etc. And I can definitely relate to this from first-hand experience, but I know I'm not the only one. As Samuel confirmed, this is very much NOT the case in Paris. He believes that, generally, people always look good. And yes, that also includes when they go into a grocery store on a Sunday morning to nurse a hangover.


It is also important to feel comfortable in your clothes. But if you go to Paris, Samuel admitted that people are very careful about what they’re wearing. This is something we see as the show progresses–especially with Emily. With each episode, her wardrobe becomes more daring, colorful, and unique. Samuel's vision of Paris is exactly this: a city where people express who they are through fashion. It is clear that French people take great pride in looking good, which isn't always the case in other places.


Photo: Isaiah Hodges

Now that you've got the insight on food and clothes, you're probably wondering: what about dating? After all, this is a huge part of the show.

When it comes to dating, the most important tip Samuel gave me was that you need to emphasize food. Obviously, in the United States, we love food. But in Paris, they take a much more refined and elegant approach when it comes to eating, especially on a date.

According to Samuel, it all starts and ends with the place you choose, “Just find a very nice restaurant; a nice restaurant is going to do the work for you. And then you hang out outside with your loved one, and let the magic happen.”

So I learned that the love language in Paris is food, and I am completely here for it.


Aside from fashion and dating tips in Paris, Samuel had two more helpful tips that any American tourist in Paris should keep in mind:

  1. There is sooo much to see, but you should definitely go to museums / see attractions.

  2. Go out! People love to party in Paris. Even now, clubs are open with some restrictions.

Samuel concluded, "French people are very welcoming. Even though we've got this cliché that we're a bit grumpy and moody–some of us are–it's true, but you can make a lot of friends in Paris.”

After binge-watching season one of Emily in Paris in a day, I am confident that there will be another season on the horizon soon. In the meantime, Samuel is focused on evolving as a performer and hopes to travel to new places for work. His biggest hope? Landing more jobs here in America. And after watching him shine in his role as Julien, I have zero doubts we'll be seeing a lot more of Samuel Arnold in the near future.

In case you haven’t yet, get on Netflix and watch Samuel Arnold in the witty Rom-Com, Emily in Paris!

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