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‘Get Away From All the Stereotypes’: ‘Lupin’ Star Omar Sy Hopes the TV and Film Industry Is Moving In a New Direction

The film and television industry has been more than put on notice for its need to diversify Black roles.

Black actors, both in America and abroad, share a common plight of fighting for role consideration and combatting stereotypical narratives. 

Omar Sy shares a photo of himself while on the set of “Lupin” in France. (Photo: @omarsyofficial/Instagram)

Actor Omar Sy, who stars in the Netflix hit “Lupin,” is a household name in France where he resides. He’s also experienced varying degrees of success in the U.S. with roles in the “Jurassic Park” franchise and “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” But with “Lupin” things are different. 

“Playing Lupin is like an English actor playing James Bond. I was so happy to give it a modern vibe, showing Lupin today and having Lupin be a Black man,” the actor told Essence for a feature story.

In France, actors of color have been noticeably vocal about feeling invisible in a sea of white creatives. 

“Once upon a time, until around the 1960s, many high-profile Black Americans, intellectuals, writers and musicians found refuge in Paris to escape segregation,” explained Régis Dubois, author of “Black People in French Cinema.” He continued, “But since then, a lot has changed, and it’s the other way around.” 

But for Sy, the experience may be slightly different in that he has found his stride both at home and abroad.

“I think I’m more hired in U.S. as a French actor than a Black man,” he shared. Still, depicting a character who is written as a white man in French literature gives Sy hope that the tides are in fact turning, and Black actors are beginning to see roles that shape a different narrative. 

“I hope that it’s going to be the first, but not the last,” he said. “Maybe it’s going to help people to grow their [audiences’] imagination. There are a lot of stories that you can tell with Black men and get away from all the stereotypes and tell different stories.”

Comedian and actor Kevin Hart shares a similar sentiment. When discussing his latest film, “Fatherhood,” Hart said presenting a Black father in a good light was important.

“I love the opportunity of being a Black father on-screen in a positive light,” said Hart while appearing on “Sunday TODAY.” “Most of the times they’re on drugs, off drugs, in jail, out of jail. To have some sort of positivity behind it and maybe being a part of changing the stereotype.”

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