Anne Seibel interview: ‘Emily in Paris’ production designer
“Emily in Paris” isn’t the first collaboration for production designer Anne Seibel and series creator Darren Star. The two worked together on the series finale of “Sex and the City” back in 2004, specifically on the scenes set in France. With “Emily in Paris” naturally set in the titular city, Seibel was hired as the series production designer, with her detailed set design now earning her an Emmy nomination. “I was really surprised because I had no idea I could be nominated for the Emmy Award as a production designer,” admits Seibel in an exclusive new interview for Gold Derby. “It was fantastic news.” Watch the full interview above.
For the millions of viewers who watched “Emily in Paris,” the sense of escapism was arguably one of the contributing factors to its success. This is exactly where Seibel started, intentionally wanting to give viewers a romantic view of the city of love. “Darren and I wanted to show a Paris that would make people have a feeling of escaping, fantasy, the Paris every American or foreigner would like to see of Paris,” says Seibel. For the Savoir office, where Emily (Lily Collins) works, Seibel used specific colors to reflect the characters’ personalities. “Even the dressing of it is cold for Sylvie and Lily’s in a pink-gray,” she explains. “Even if she’s part of the open space, she has her own little bonbon place.”
Viewers may not pick up on both of the main locations on the show — the Savoir office and Emily’s apartment — being constructed sets. “The main reason is to be able to be very free with the shooting,” states Seibel. “It was a challenge for me to make everyone believe it was not a new location, a real one, but it worked.” The Savoir office was her favorite set to assemble, with the production designer having a very specific vision in mind for how it should look. “My wish was to use a really typical Parisian, Haussmanian architecture,” she elaborates, though, “instead of being a family home, give it another attribution, like getting some modernism in it, keeping the structure of it but open it and make it an office.”
Seibel and the rest of the “Emily in Paris” cast and crew just finished shooting Season 2, and while she cannot talk about it yet, she implies that the episodes to come will be bigger and better. “It’s even more beautiful, the sets, and what we did is, I think, stunning, and it’s going to be fun,” she teases. “There’s a lot more than last year; we had a lot of shooting and I think everyone is going to love it.”