The star of Netflix’s hit series Lupin explained why he wanted that role specifically. Omar Sy is French and that heavily factored into his decision. The X-Men: Days of Future Past star spoke to The New York Times about the streaming smash-hit. For those who don’t know, Arsene Lupin is a character from Maurice Leblanc’s series of tales. The fictional thief provides both the metatextual inspiration for the show and proves to be a catalyst for Sy’s character Assane Diop. When the young man becomes orphaned, he takes refuge in the amazing heists that run through Leblanc’s pages. 1907 might feel like an ancient starting point for a series, but the airwaves have been serving up versions of this classic character for decades. For people like Sy, Lupin is emblematic of his country and a hook to draw people in as well. Being a man with a thousand faces would greatly intrigue any actor.
“If I were British, I would have said James Bond, but since I’m French, I said Lupin,” Sy told The New York Times in a recent video call, in French, from his Los Angeles home. “He’s playful, he’s clever, he steals, he’s surrounded by women. Plus, he’s a character who plays characters. For an actor, he’s the best.”
“Honestly, it was just something you had to know, a part of culture,” he added. “Later on, I connected the dots between the books, the TV shows I saw as a kid, and some mangas. I became totally addicted by working on ‘Lupin.’”
“It’s the first time I play this kind of father, who has a lot of baggage and questions,” Sy also observed. “I’m always interested in fatherhood. It’s not easy, and you don’t know whether you were a good dad or a bad one until your children are grown up… The idea of inheritance moves me — what do we retain and what do we pass on? For me that’s the true meaning of life, what makes us human.”
Netflix’s bet seems to have completely paid off as Lupin is among the top 10. An earlier report from the creators indicated that the gentleman thief’s series is on pace to be viewed by 70 million subscribers during the first four weeks on the platform. Now, it will be interesting to see what Netflix chooses to do with its newfound hit series. There are more than enough capers to keep this party going.
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