Actor Kevin Dias Talks ‘Emily In Paris’ Season 4 On Netflix And Balancing His Growing Career With Fatherhood


He may very well be best known around the world for continuing to play Benoît on the hit Netflix series Emily in Paris, but many might be surprised to learn that actor Kevin Dias has actually been a working actor for more than two decades. Starting his career around the age of 10, Dias, 31, has remained dedicated to his acting craft after all these years and is actively pursuing that next great project.

“I’m thrilled to live my passion and be able to work, doing what I love to do,” Dias tells me as we meet over coffee on an outdoor patio during his recent visit in West Hollywood, California. “I started my career really young. I just wanted to be in commercials and be on TV. I always loved to show off a little bit. I loved to dress up and do shows at home and sing. I’ve always loved Disney characters. I saw a movie and I was like ‘Now, I’m Tarzan! Now, I’m Hercules!’ I just wanted to do this – to be one of the characters in the movies. Then, I got lucky. I got in this movie called Amélie (2001), this classic French movie, and it was one of my first experiences as an actor. It was pretty epic to be a part of this.”

Born and raised in the center of Paris, Dias’s journey has been no easy feat. He even shares with me that he had a condition at a young age called hereditary multiple exostoses, which is when people develop multiple benign (non-cancerous) bone tumors or what Dias refers to as “extra bones” in his legs, which needed to be removed. He recalls spending a lot of time in the hospital while growing up, but says he has since overcome those issues and is fortunately well today.

Now appearing in the hit Netflix series that not only has his hometown in the title but is actually filmed in his familiar Parisian neighborhoods, I wondered what are the benefits he felt growing up in this capital region of France.

Dias says, “I feel like the culture, the open-mind. It’s like a big city, like New York or LA, but the story of Paris is a part of me. I love the architecture and I just loved growing up in this environment – even though I don’t have any beaches, but I’m from Portugal also. My parents are Portuguese, so I went there a lot – still going there for summer and seeing my grandparents. Movies in Paris, the theatre and museums, that is what inspired me so much. After school, I didn’t know what to do exactly. I’ve always acted but I was like ‘What should I do now?’ I’ve always loved drawing or to direct also. I love to film and take photos. I was like ‘I’m going to be a journalist,’ so I went to journalism school and focused on cinema journalism. After a year, I was like ‘It’s cool, I’m doing great but if I don’t go back to what I’m passionate about, I will regret it when I’m 40.’”

So, how exactly did this Emily in Paris role as the romantic, charming and musically-inclined Benoît initially get on Dias’s radar?

“Oh my god, it’s a funny story,” continues Dias. “My French agent called me saying they were looking for new French faces for the show for season two. Obviously, I heard about the show because it was a success. She told me about it, but without any appointment. I was like ‘I want to go to the audition’ but one month later, I was still waiting. I saw one story on Instagram of a friend of mine, an actor in Paris, showing his self-tape for an audition – it was speaking in English. I was like ‘What was it for?’ He said, ‘Emily in Paris.’ I was like ‘Oh, I heard of the casting!He was like ‘It’s happening now.’ I called my agent back and she’s like ‘No, I think it’s over.’ I was like ‘You sure? Because I think I have a friend auditioning.’ It was a miscommunication between the casting director and my agent and me.”

Dias adds, “Sometimes, you got to push yourself as an actor. You don’t have to wait. Thank god I was on Instagram that day. So two days later, my agent called the casting director saying ‘Do you want to meet Kevin?’ They were like ‘Of course we want to meet him! What happened?’ And then I went there the next day with the same scene that I saw on my friend’s story, the same lines and stuff. I did it the best I could and the next thing I know, three days later – no callbacks, no anything – I was at the table read with everybody and with [Emily in Paris creator] Darren Star telling me that when we saw your audition, we were like ‘It was you! It was meant for you!’ It was supposed to be like a small part, like three days shooting, and then they were like ‘Can you sing? Can you play a little bit of guitar?’ They wrote more for the character during the shooting.”

Now three full seasons in to Emily in Paris streaming now on Netflix, I asked Dias what it means for him to not only be a part of a popular American Netflix show, but to get to film it in his beloved hometown.

Dias reveals, “I’ve always wanted to be in an American show or movie, and they ended up coming to my hometown in Paris in the neighborhoods I grew up and I played soccer with my friends. Now, I have all these big cameras and crew and hundred of extras and my friends were coming and saying ‘Hey, remember when we…?’ I feel so grateful for that because it’s a big chance for me to be able to work in the city I grew up – in this huge American Netflix TV show.”

So, with his widening notoriety following his two seasons so far on Emily in Paris, I was curious how life for Dias has changed at all, as his Hollywood star continues to rise.

“I got a few paparazzi (laughs) when I’m in Portugal on the beach,” Dias says with a laugh. “I’m blessed to meet new people every day, coming to me and saying ‘I love the show!’ Whenever I feel someone looking at me, I’m like ‘Come talk to me’ because I want to talk with fans. It’s obviously helping me in my professional career. It has opened a door for me, internationally. I love the feedback. I just love to meet humans.”

As much as Dias is focused on the work he can create on-screen today, off-screen is where you will find his greatest creation, being the father of a three-year-old son named Milo. Dias proudly shows me Milo’s name tattooed on his abdomen and informs me that his son lives back home in Paris with his mother. So, I wondered how being a dad has perhaps changed his business mindset and his overall outlook in life.

Dias reveals, “I feel more relaxed in a way because I’m not the center of the attention now. You’re doing this for someone else – for this human you created. It’s me but younger. He comes first now. I thought it was going to be more difficult having a kid and stuff because you need to have the money, you have to have the time and you also need to be successful. I was like ‘Maybe it’s going to be more stressful because I don’t have any choice now. I have a mouth to feed.’ At the same time, it’s the best gift in life to have this beautiful son. We’re good together and we’re a good team. He’s helping me a lot because he’s so innocent and so funny and so inspiring. They’re the best actors – kids. They don’t think about anything. They just do the things. They don’t have a script. My first role is to be a dad and it’s the most fulfilling.”

Today, Dias is in the midst of filming another season as the recurring character of Alex on the French comedy/drama series Sam. If you look at the very top of Dias’s official Instagram page, he leads with the phrase “living many lives for a living” which he tells me he spent 11 hours finding the perfect quote to sum up the many aspects of his life. So, I asked Dias what have been the greatest obstacles that he continues to face, being a working actor on the rise right now.

Dias responds, “It’s exciting, but at the same time, it’s so stressful. For me, it’s the most beautiful job in the world, when you get the chance to do it and when you’re on-set with other people. Otherwise for me now, it’s auditioning and reading scripts. I’m getting there but it’s all about staying driven by this and don’t forget why you want to do this.”

He continues, “You can hear that I’m not completely fluent in English, but I’m working on my American accent for auditions. I speak Portuguese and French, and I’ve always loved to speak English but I’ve never had a teacher. I mean, I learned it in school, but in school, you’re like playing with your friends and not listening to your teacher too much (laughs). I have this American name, so that’s one of the cool things. Actually, Kevin is the most given name in the 90s in France. I don’t know why! For me, it’s the language. I don’t have a strong French accent but I want to be able to have American roles, Latino or whatever. Not only the French guy in an American movie, so I’m working on it.”

In season three of Emily in Paris, Dias and his often on-screen love interest Mindy (played by co-star Ashley Park) cover a French version of the rather iconic song “Shallow,” made famous by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in the 2018 film A Star is Born. Even though their Emily in Paris duet has become a hit with the show’s fans and music lovers, I asked Dias if he felt any pressure taking on such a popular song.

Dias says, “Ashley is quite a singer. Ashley had done a lot of Broadway shows, so she’s super talented. She always gives me so much confidence and support and advice whenever we are in a recording studio, because it was the first time for me being in an actual recording studio singing. I love A Star is Born. I love this movie and I love ‘Shallow,’ of course. When I heard they wanted to do a French version, I was like ‘It has to be good lyrics.’ We changed a few things because the translation was bizarre, but at the end, it sounded perfect. I felt a bit of pressure because it was like a lot of risk also to sing this on this huge show on Netflix. It has to be good and people love that song, so a French version with me singing it? People were going to be like ‘Who are they? Who is he?’ I was like ‘No no, we have to go all the way and do it the best we can.’”

With a fourth season of Emily in Paris already announced at Netflix, I was curious of what Dias has been hearing so far about the plans for this upcoming season.

“We might go to Eurovision, obviously,” Dias says, which was briefly teased at the end of season three. “I usually just discover the episodes, the scripts, a few days before shooting. They love for us to gather all together and to read and discover what’s going to happen on the table reads with the producer and all the cast. We’re shooting season four this year, that’s for sure. I kind of disappear in episode five of season three, but Darren Star came to me saying like ‘Don’t worry, you’re going to come back in an unexpected way.’ When I saw Eurovision, I didn’t expect that! It was so cool for him to come to me to say ‘Hey, you’re coming back!’ I guess we’re not done surprising you!”

As Dias looks to expand his acting career beyond Benoît on Emily in Paris, I asked him what is next for him and the types of projects he wants to take on most.

“I just want to work with directors I love,” Dias reveals. “I don’t want to be stuck in one box or something. I want to keep a wide acting range. I don’t want to be just the pretty face or the cute boyfriend. I’m so eclectic when it comes to movies and music and fashion. I want to do more dramatic, dark roles. I want to go from the massive production big blockbuster to the more independent movie, A24 production. I love digging deep into the human soul and searching and exploring.”

As I began to conclude my conversation with Dias on a California patio, I left him with one last question – Kevin, what professional advice might you have for other international actors and creatives, who like you, have come to America hoping to make a name for themselves in Hollywood today?

Dias says, “Just be focused and work hard and not be too distracted by the little things in life. Of course, you have to live and have fun, but it’s so hard being successful as an actor. It has been like more than 20 years for me. I’m 31 and I started when I was 10. I think you just got to be yourself and believe in yourself. I had and I still have a lot of problems of lack of confidence. At some point, you have to not compare yourself to others and somehow find the things that speak to you in this job. Stay true to yourself and true to the craft and to the work ethic. Go for it! Never quit.”


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