Lily Collins Details the ‘Crazy Whirlwind’ of Leaving ‘Emily in Paris’ Set for ‘Mank’ Rehearsals

Working with David Fincher is worth the flight from Paris to Los Angeles.
"Emily in Paris"
"Emily in Paris"

Lily Collins’ Netflix series “Emily in Paris” shot to the top of the streaming giant’s most-watched TV chart in the days after its October 2 premiere, and it’s not the only Netflix hit the actress is expected to have before the end of the year. Collins stars opposite Gary Oldman in David Fincher’s Netflix original film “Mank,” the director’s highly anticipated first film since 2014’s “Gone Girl.” Having two big Netflix projects debut back to back is appropriate considering Collins worked on “Emily in Paris” and “Mank” at the same time. Juggling both projects required Collins to leave Paris on the weekends for just 24 hours to attend “Mank” rehearsals with Fincher in Los Angeles.

“The process of how I even got involved with ‘Mank’ was crazy,” Collins told Variety in a recent interview. “I put myself on tape the week before I left for Paris, sent the tape in, got to Paris and was in the middle of filming and did a zoom session with David Fincher. Then I found out that I got it. During [‘Emily in Paris’], I am in every scene so there are no days off, but I flew back to Los Angeles for only 24 hour periods twice while filming ‘Emily.’ I was in the air longer than I was on the ground.”

Collins continued, “I would fly on a Saturday morning get to LA on Saturday morning, go to rehearsals all of Saturday with David, and Sunday morning get back on a plane, fly through the night, get off the plane, sleep for four hours, and go into work on ‘Emily’ at 5am. It was the craziest experience but you have to do it. I’ll go from ‘Emily in Paris’ to Lily in LA and i’ll get off the plane zonked out of my mind and go into rehearsals with David and jump back on the plane. It was a crazy whirlwind.”

“Mank” stars Gary Oldman as “Citizen Kane” screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz and Collins in a supporting role as Mankiewicz’s secretary, Rita Alexander. Collins said to pass up “Mank” and miss the chance to work with Fincher because of her “Emily in Paris” schedule would have been one of her biggest career regrets. Once the pandemic hit and Collins went into lockdown, she was able to finish both projects on a lighter schedule.

“I think ‘Mank’ finished production just days quarantine,” Collins said. “For ‘Emily in Paris’ I was doing ADR from my closet and I did some ADR for ‘Mank’ in quarantine as well. They all wrapped up as we went through this. It was crazy timing.”

“Emily in Paris” is now streaming on Netflix. The streaming giant has not announced a release date for “Mank,” but it’s expected to premiere sometime in November or December.

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