Ashley Park on Filming 'Emily in Paris' Season 2 in France During COVID Pandemic: 'It Was A Lot'

"We just can't even believe that we got to go back to Paris and we actually finished filming the whole season," Ashley Park told PEOPLE

Emily in Paris
Photo: CAROLE BETHUEL/NETFLIX

Ashley Park is thankful to have been able to safely work and complete production on Emily in Paris this summer.

While speaking with PEOPLE about her new partnership with Ketel One Vodka Botanical, the actress, 30, opened up about filming the sophomore season of the hit Netflix series in France while the COVID pandemic was still prevalent around the world.

"We just can't even believe that we got to go back to Paris and we actually finished filming the whole season. It was very ... it was a lot," recalled Park, who wrapped shooting in Paris and the south of France in August.

"We were going into a country that was still on lockdown. I think we were just happy that we finished the second season, everybody was safe and we finished the entire thing," the Broadway star said.

Emily in Paris premiered to record-breaking streaming numbers for Netflix when the 10-episode Darren Star-created series launched on October 2020 — a stressful time when the world was eight months into COVID lockdowns and a month out from the presidential election.

Emily in Paris
CAROLE BETHUEL/NETFLIX

Season 1 followed Emily Cooper's (Lily Collins) new life as a marketing executive in Paris and the glamorous culture shock of moving from Chicago to the fashion capital in order to infuse an American perspective into the French marketing firm, Savoir. Park plays Mindy Chen, an heiress-turned-au pair who helps Emily navigate her way in her new surroundings all while finding her own passions.

And as if filming during a global pandemic wasn't crazy enough for the cast, the show also earned two nominations for this year's Emmy Awards in the outstanding production design for a narrative program (half-hour) and outstanding comedy series.

Emily in Paris
CAROLE BETHUEL/NETFLIX

Win or lose, Park said "our celebration" was being able to complete production on season 2 and learning on the nominations while together as a cast.

"Whatever happens at the Emmys, what is so nice about getting nominated for best comedy is we happened to be on set that day. We shared [the news of the nominations] with the world because we were like, 'Oh my God, this is the one nomination that acknowledges every single person who's working so hard on this show,' " she explained. "All of these crew members had to wear a mask every day. It was a lot. I think just the nomination was a big celebration for us."

Park added, "What's funny is this entire last year has been so wonky and different in terms of awards in the first place. I think I've gotten very used to things not being normal."

As for season 2 spoilers, Park was tight-lipped. Fans can recall that Mindy moved into Emily's apartment after being fired by the family she was babysitting for wanting to sing at the drag bar twice a week. "They're roommates now and they're spending a lot of time together," she said, vaguely.

Park also teased more singing for her character.

"I don't know what I can say, but what I will say is that our audiences are smart. I think that anything that you assume based on, like where she was working and stuff, is probably going to be correct. She works at the drag club now so that says something," Park added.

The star of Girls5Eva, which is also nominated for an Emmy, will be spending her Emmys night in Vancouver where she is set to start production on Adele Lim's directorial debut, a comedy about four Asian American women on a trip to Asia in search of one of their birth mothers.

Production starts this month and Park said she has already had a "very much a pinch-me" moment.

"I went to L.A. straight from Europe and one of the reasons was to do an in-person table read. It was outside and socially distanced, but it was pretty wild. I was so grateful that we got to do an in-person table read. I've never been in an environment, especially at this top-level where it's all Asian women creatives and me," she said.

Also in the cast are Sherry Cola as well as Park's Broadway friend and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel star Stephanie Hsu.

"I'm super psyched. We have always wanted to work together too. We've always been supportive of each other in the Broadway world," Park said working with Hsu in the yet-to-be-titled film. "There are not very many of us Asian American women who've been on Broadway in a substantial way. We're so excited to be able to meet on this project and it's going to be very much like it's going to be the first of its kind. Especially in reading the script. I have never laughed and cried so much while reading a script. We're really, really psyched. I'm excited."

Park continued, "Whether it's this new movie, Broadway, Emily in Paris or Girls5Eva, I really like working on projects that feel like they're going to be really fun, good-natured and good energy."

Related Articles