Frenchwoman Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu on Ageing Gracefully - The Gloss Magazine
French woman Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu on Ageing Gracefully

Frenchwoman Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu on Ageing Gracefully

Best known for her most recent role as Sylvie in Emily in Paris, Frenchwoman Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu speaks about ageing gracefully …

58-year-old French woman Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu was born in Paris and raised in Rome. She followed in her father’s footsteps (actor Philippe Leroy-Beaulieu) and returned to Paris at age 16 to study drama. In 1985, she played her first major screen role (and earned a nomination for the César Award for Most Promising Actress), playing the distraught mother in Trois hommes et un couffin (Three Men and a Cradle). Since then she has had multiple roles in feature films and television series, but she came to larger recognition outside of France in recent years due to her roles in Call My Agent and Emily in Paris. In Call My Agent, the French series which follows a group of agents and their actors in Paris, Leroy-Beaulieu plays Catherine Barneville, the wife of Mathias Barneville, one of the agency’s partners.

In Emily in Paris she plays marketing mogul Sylvie Grateau, the chief marketing officer for Savoir’s Paris location and Emily’s formidable French boss. Always elegant, chic, confident and somewhat cold – Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu owns the role of 50-something Sylvie and brings substance to an otherwise often critiqued series. While it quickly became one of Netflix’s most watched series during lockdown, The New York Times declared it ‘ambient tv’ (the type you have on in the background while you scroll through your phone) with thin plot lines in exotic backgrounds, and French critics declared “The berets. The croissants. The baguettes. The hostile waiters. The irascible concierges. The inveterate philanderers. The lovers and the mistresses. Name a cliche about France and the French, you’ll find it in Emily in Paris”.

But we are more interested in one of its leading ladies, French woman Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu and her inspirational attitude to ageing gracefully.

In a recent interview with Glamour, when discussing the approach to ageing that is a big topic of discussion in season two – for example, Sylvie has a much younger boyfriend (Erik, the handsome Dutch photographer and ex-model) which takes her some time to come to terms with when the relationship goes public, while one of the agency’s clients, Pierre Cadault, the high-profile fashion designer played by Jean-Christophe Bouvet, struggles with his image as he gets older – Leroy-Beaulieu explained that “It was fun to play because of that and to realise that no, we need to own our age and just love it for what it is.”

Leroy-Beaulieu went on to say, “A world where people cannot age is a dangerous world. I had a talk with my daughter who’s 30 about this recently. She said, ‘Mom, I don’t want to live in a world where women cannot age.’ I think it’s important to really own this ageing thing and not make it a problem, not make it something we can’t talk about. There’s no guilt or shame around ageing. This is something that happens to everybody, you know?”

French woman Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu on Ageing Gracefully

Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu as Sylvie in Netflix hit Emily in Paris.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Leroy-Beaulieu said: “My mother worked in fashion with Dior for 20 years. I’ve known women like Sylvie since I was a kid. They’re basically scared: scared of losing their beauty, scared of ageing.”

During the same Glamour interview, Leroy-Beaulieu had some advice that we could all do with hearing. “Ageing gracefully is being a kinder person than you were when you were younger, because life kind of polishes you. And having a better understanding of how people feel, who people are, and having more compassion and less competition with everybody else.”

French woman Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu on Ageing Gracefully

Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu as Sylvie in Netflix’s Emily in Paris.

It has just been confirmed that Emily in Paris will return for a third and fourth season, and while the show has been described as slightly vacuous at times, we’ll be watching for more of the inspirational Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu as Sylvie.


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