Lupin’s Omar Sy on Why the Character Is so Relevant to France and the World

Dept. of Chats and Confabs


Netflix’s Lupin has taken the world by storm. Since the series dropped in January, this fantastic reimagining of Maurice LeBlanc’s classic stories about the world-famous gentleman thief and master of disguise has been the number one show in many territories across the world. It has successfully crossed demographics and language barriers. It has also made Omar Sy a household name. (We list down 5 reasons why you need to watch Lupin in this article that you really need to read.)

Last week, we had the opportunity to interview Omar Sy over Zoom and speak to him about the physicality of his performance, the appeal of the character, and how his life has changed since the show premiered in January.


Umapagan Ampikaipakan: Omar, I wanted to talk to you about your character. You are a very tall man, and I imagine that you command any room that you walk into, and yet here you have to play a character that is forced to disappear in the most public of places. Can you tell me about the physicality of your performance and how you appear and disappear at will?

Omar Sy: There is something very real that’s happening in our country, and I think it’s not unique to France. I think it’s happening all around the world. There are some people that can be in a room and you will never really look at them. You see them, but you don’t really look at them because of what they do. If you are in a big restaurant, a chic restaurant, and if I come in with a good suit, you will see me and you look at me. But if I’m someone else, if I’m just cleaning the floor, you will never really look at me. So it’s not that difficult to disappear. 

And that’s why I think Lupin is really smart and that’s why he’s going to use that to do what he has to do. So it was really, really interesting to play with it, to say something very real, and very special, and so unfair. That’s why the physicality of the character is not that difficult to do. I’m just cleaning the floor. You will never see me.

UA: I think that is the genius of the writing, because you don’t have to be Tom Cruise pulling off a mask. 

OS: Exactly! Yeah, and that was the fun of it for me.


UA: You’ve said in previous interviews that when you were asked what character you wanted to play, you immediately said Lupin. Over here in Malaysia, Maurice LeBlanc’s novels aren’t necessarily on all of our shelves. We have Sherlock Holmes, and maybe even the James Bond novels, But Lupin isn’t a character that many people are familiar with. Tell me why you love the character so much? 

OS: We wanted to do something French. We wanted to be a good representation of France. And the best way to do it was to take something really French and make it. And what is the French James Bond? It’s Lupin! So that’s why we wanted to have something very, very French and really cool, because while the world may not know who Lupin is, we do. And we think he’s the best. He’s the best French guy. So we wanted to have something fresh and new. And as an actor, I think Lupin is the best toy, because there are so many things that you can do with him.


UA: And you get to do that because every episode is like a different adventure. So you get to play almost 10 different characters. 10 different versions. 

OS: Exactly. That’s why he is a very pleasant toy, because he’s different characters from different genres in the same series. You have the action, you have drama, romance, everything. You can go through a lot of different emotions. So it’s really cool. And on top of that, here is a character that is playing different characters. There is infinity here. There is nothing routine about a character like that. That’s why I love being Lupin. 

UA: So much has changed in the six months since Lupin first dropped. The series has become this global phenomenon. How has your life changed now that everyone on the world knows who Omar Sy is?

OS: You know, because of this pandemic, I didn’t have the chance to travel that much. But I hope that one day I could travel all around the world, and come to where you are, for Lupin Season 3 or 4, and see you guys, and feel how Lupin has traveled. For now, it’s just on social media. And I’m really happy. But I want to feel people. I want to see you guys. I want to be on the street and having “the cheese” and “the hello.” Stuff like that. But of course, I’m very happy and thrilled that Lupin has had this kind of success. And it’s really cool that it will give us the opportunity to do more and having Assane in more and more adventures. So it’s really good and we are happy. 

Click here to read why we think Lupin is the great heist series that you’ve been waiting for.

All episodes of Lupin’s first season are now streaming on Netflix.

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