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French TV hit Call My Agent could be coming to America

Actors in French TV series Call My Agent can't wait to start work on a feature-length movie of the blockbuster show with New York tipped as the likely location, they told AFP at the Cannes festival.

French TV hit Call My Agent could be coming to America
Gregory Montel, Camille Cottin and Nicolas Maury, stars of 'Call My Agent'. Photo: Valery HACHE / AFP.

The series of four seasons, originally produced by French TV and called Dix pour cent in French, became an international smash hit after streaming on Netflix, propelling the French cast, especially Camille Cottin, to global stardom.

But fans of the series, which chronicles the goings-on at a Paris showbiz talent agency, have had to wait for more episodes as Covid-19 put the brakes on shooting.

The series’s producer, Mediawan Studios boss Thomas Anargyros, told French radio in April that there would be a single feature-length episode of Call My Agent to be produced this year and broadcast by early 2022.

While the location has not been confirmed, all signs point to New York City.

“I’m not sure how much I can say about New York for now, but it’s in the process of scripting,” Nicolas Maury, who plays the agency’s assistant, Hervé, told AFP in an interview on Sunday.

“I’m all packed already,” he laughed. “New York is a city I love and that I fantasise about. It would be amazing to go there, great fun,” Maury said.

READ ALSO The French in-jokes from TV series Call My Agent

Cottin, who plays one of the senior talent agents in the series, also seemed ready for the trip when asked about a shoot in New York. “If I need to pack my bags and go, I will,” she told AFP.

But Maury still sounded a cautious note, saying that the Covid risk could affect the project, its timetable and its financing. “Everything is still fragile at the moment,” he said. “If there’s only enough money to go to (French industrial city) Clermont-Ferrand, then that’s where we’ll go. Only joking.”

The feature-length episode would serve to bridge the gap between the show’s fourth season, which aired last year, and a fifth season, which producer Anargyros said he hoped to tackle quickly after the feature.

Commenting on the international success of Call My Agent, which is being adapted in several countries, Maury said he had only become fully aware of it recently.

“Some international artists I admire came to see me this year and that was very moving,” he said.

“It’s a comedy about work. And I think a lot of people are interested in that. Work is a big part of our lives,” Maury added.

“All these stories about the office, about colleagues, affairs of the heart and the betrayals — I find they’re all done very intelligently in Call My Agent.”

Some industry observers, meanwhile, already see Camille Cottin as walking in the footsteps of Marion Cotillard, who has conquered Hollywood. Cottin is already in a major US production, co-leading opposite Matt Damon in Stillwater, which premiered at Cannes this year out of competition.

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CULTURE

Le goûter: The importance of the afternoon snack in France

The French have developed an entire cultural tradition around the idea of an afternoon snack. It's called "Le goûter" and here's what you need to know about it.

Le goûter: The importance of the afternoon snack in France

With all those patisseries and viennoiseries tempting the tastebuds in high street boulangerie after boulangerie, there can be little wonder that France  – which takes food very seriously – has also invented the correct time to eat them.

Let us introduce you to the cultural tradition of le goûter – the noun of the verb “to taste”, and a cultural tradition in France dating back into the 19th century, perhaps even as far back as the Renaissance … allowing for the fact that people have snacked for centuries, whether or not it had a formal name. 

It refers to a very particular snack time, usually at around 4pm daily. This is the good news.

The bad news is that, officially, le goûter is reserved for children. This is why many schools, nurseries and holiday activity centres offer it and offices don’t. The idea is that, because the family evening meal is eaten relatively late, this mid-afternoon snack will keep les enfants from launching fridge raids, or bombarding their parents with shouts of, “j’ai faim!”.

Most adults, with their grown-up iron will-power, are expected to be able to resist temptation in the face of all that pastry, and live on their three set meals per day. Le grignotage – snacking between meals – is frowned on if you’re much older than your washing machine.

But, whisper it quietly, but just about everyone snacks (grignoter), anyway – a baguette that doesn’t have one end nibbled off in the time it takes to travel from boulanger to table isn’t a proper baguette. Besides, why should your children enjoy all the treats? 

We’re not saying ignore the nutritionists, but if you lead an active, reasonably healthy lifestyle, a bite to eat in the middle of the afternoon isn’t going to do any harm. So, if you want to join them, feel free.

What do you give for goûter 

It’s a relatively light snack – we’re not talking afternoon tea here. Think a couple of biscuits, a piece of cake, a pain au chocolat (or chocolatine, for right-thinking people in southwest France), piece of fruit, pain au lait, a croissant, yoghurt, compote, or a slice of bread slathered in Nutella.

Things might get a little more formal if friends and their children are round at the goûter hour – a pre-visit trip to the patisserie may be a good idea if you want to avoid scratching madly through the cupboards and don’t have time to create something tasty and homemade.

Not to be confused with

Une collation – adult snacking becomes socially acceptable when it’s not a snack but part of une collation served, for example, at the end of an event, or at a gathering of some kind. Expect, perhaps, a few small sandwiches with the crusts cut off, a few small pastries, coffee and water.

L’apéro – pre-dinner snacks, often featuring savoury bites such as charcuterie, olives, crisps and a few drinks, including alcoholic ones, as a warm up to the main meal event, or as part of an early evening gathering before people head off to a restaurant or home for their evening meal.

Un en-cas – this is the great adult snacking get-out. Although, in general, snacking for grown-ups is considered bad form, sometimes it has to be done. This is it. Call it un en-cas, pretend you’re too hungry to wait for the next meal, and you’ll probably get away with it.

Le goûter in action

Pour le goûter aujourd’hui, on a eu un gâteau – For snack today, we had some cake.

Veuillez fournir un goûter à votre enfant – Please provide an afternoon snack for your child.

J’ai faim ! Je peux avoir un goûter ? – I’m hungry! Can I have a snack?

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