Lily Collins has stirred up yet another Emily in Paris controversy. Seriously, this show has been the subject of so much internet debate since it started streaming on Netflix. From discussions about whether or not it’s actually good and who might hook up in the future to outrage over the treatment of Camille’s character, there’s always something to talk about.
The latest subject of conversation: Exactly how old is the titular Emily? In a recent interview with British Vogue, Collins—who is 31 in real life—gave her opinion on the matter. “I don’t believe we’ve ever given her a specific ‘number’ for her age, but I believe that she’s pretty fresh out of college,” she said. “Maybe this is her first year after graduation. I want to say she’s like, 22-ish.”
Collins continued, “She’s had enough experience at her company in Chicago to have earned the respect of her boss. She’s a smart cookie and really innovative—and this is not her first rodeo doing what she does. She’s gone to school for this, and she’s completed internships. However, she’s not the person who travelled during college. She was really, really focused on her jobs in the Midwest, and I don’t think she’s been abroad.”
Um, what? The premise of this show—a.k.a Emily is tapped to move to Paris for a year after her boss (Kate Walsh) gets pregnant and decides not to go—is already a real stretch for those of us who’ve actually had jobs in the world. But a fresh-out-of-college assistant getting the gig? That makes even less sense. Much about the show is fantastical, which is totally fine! But come on, there’s no way this could be true. She has a master’s degree!
People on social media have thoughts. “Um @lilycollins, I’m not sure how to tell you this but a 22-year-old with a master’s degree AND relevant work experience is either a genius who graduated college at 18 or is lying about her age…” one person tweeted. “So she’s 22 with a master’s degree in communications or marketing? No one noticed how many times they changed her master’s degree? I know it’s fiction but doesn’t make sense irl,” another added. A third posted, “Emily has a MASTER’S DEGREE she is not 22!!!! Lily Collins plz.”
The low-stakes debates over Emily in Paris certainly are a great way to take a short break from the more serious issues of the day, and for that we’re grateful. Thank you, internet. Keep it up.