Lucas Bravo: ‘In France, they don’t want good-looking. They want broken faces’

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Now that I’ve seen both seasons of Emily In Paris, I can safely say that Lucas Bravo is one of the best reasons to watch the show. He is very pretty, and he telegraphs an earnestness I never associated with French men. He plays Gabriel, Emily’s (hot) Parisian neighbor and a talented chef. His character is a dreamboat, sort of. I mean, he’s not a dreamboat if you’re Camille. As it turns out, his movie-star good looks are sort of antithetical to modern French movie stardom. The French film and television industry would rather hire those jolie-laide men, unconventional-looking men. And Lucas would like us to feel his pain. He’s too good looking to be truly successful, you see!

How his attractiveness hurts his career: “You can’t be aesthetically beautiful, and be smart or have depth. I kept getting roles like the dumb gym teacher. It’s hard to break that image. I’m not complaining, of course, but it’s a reality.”

They don’t want good-looking actors in France: ‘I’m, like, this objectified overnight thing. It made me very self-aware. Because when you think about that word and the people it encapsulates, you see always a healthy, good-looking, ripped person – and I’m not that.’ He explained that while he keeps in shape, his weight can fluctuate and that once in the heartthrob ‘category’ there is a lot of pressure to maintain appearances. ‘I don’t want to be perfect. I’ve been working against that. In France, they don’t want good-looking. They want broken faces.’

Being famous is the worst: “I think being famous is the worst thing that can happen to you. It’s just smoke. It doesn’t mean anything,” he said. And the speed at which he became famous felt “rushed” and like it possibly derailed the years of hard work he put into making it in acting — only to find himself wildly successful but with a career now heading in a different direction than he’d like.

But all French people love to complain: “I’m Parisian and, of course, we complain all the time. This is our religion. We disagree, and then sometimes it creates a revolution, and sometimes it’s just a year of yellow jackets with no conclusion.”

[From The NY Post & The Daily Mail]

Jessica Biel vibes, right? Biel complained for years that her beauty made her almost unhireable. In Bravo’s case, it sounds like he’s being offered work, but it’s just not the kind of work he wants. He wanted to be a dramatic actor or something other than a romantic lead, but that’s just not his vibe. Yet. Who knows though. Maybe he’ll find his niche in the French film/TV industry, or maybe he’ll break into the American and British industries. His English is great, for what it’s worth, and I do think he’s a talented actor.

60th Monte-Carlo TV Festival opening Red Carpet

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Netflix.

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77 Responses to “Lucas Bravo: ‘In France, they don’t want good-looking. They want broken faces’”

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  1. lunchcoma says:

    He overestimates how famous he is. By a lot.

  2. Willow says:

    He sounds frustrated with the jobs he’s offered. Happens to lots of people. But it’s hard to have empathy for a healthy good looking white guy with a job. Don’t complain to people who are worse off than you.

    • Space Geek says:

      Absolute perfection! We’re going into a possible 3rd year of a global pandemic which for a lot of us normal folk has had a negative impact on finances, mental health and both life and work opportunities. This poor pretty man and his numerous job offers, good looks and fame 🙄

  3. LeaTheFrench says:

    He’s right that in the French film industry, “interesting” roles would go to male actors with less conventional “good looks.” That’s also because these features would be seen as easier to remember by producers, or as giving their male leads a higher chance to stand out in a crowded field. You’re after distinctiveness, not standardized beauty. I’m sure his good looks are helpul in many other ways, though…😄

    • Gil says:

      Vincent Cassel for instance. He is amazingly talented and has a really interesting looking face. Both things this dude doesn’t have.

      • Helen says:

        @Gil: I still think the scene where Vincent is capoeira-ing his way through the laser maze in Ocean’s 12 is the best thing in that movie (and smoking hot, too). And he’s an amazing blend of psycho and pretty in Brotherhood of the Wolf/Le Pacte des Loups. He may not be Hollywood handsome, but he’s really charismatic and that is more interesting and attractive than whatever Monsieur Bland up there thinks he has.

      • Yup, Me says:

        Vincent Cassel is also the child of a very famous actor (who was also “beautiful ugly”) so his “broken face” was just a factor of his features. He would have had opportunities either way.

        Also, jolie laide is generally for women. It’s beau laid for men.

      • NotSoSocialB says:

        @yup, thanks for that. The misuse of female adjective form stuck out to me, too.

      • GrnieWnie says:

        Vincent Cassel….his face is perfection imo.

      • lolalola3 says:

        Cassel? Didn’t he marry a 20 year old? Sorry dude but ICK. Bravo is pretty in an American way. The French like their stars to be more than just a face so maybe Bravo will grow into something far more interesting than his role in that crappy show. At least, I hope he does.

      • Ashley says:

        @yup me in Europe (Britain and France) most actors come from other famous actors. It’s nepotism on a grand scale. Look at famous French actors, most of them had famous actor parents. It’s so gross. At least in America it’s not like that.

    • Coz' says:

      Hugo Becker or Pio Marmaï might beg to differ 🙂

    • thinking says:

      I would agree that it’s probably distinctiveness they’re aiming for.

      Even if the actors are good-looking on American tv or movies, the ones who seem to survive over the long-term career-wise seem to have some kind of distinctiveness that you can remember in some way. I don’t think it’s that they’re simply good-looking — they are good-looking and distinctive (I can actually remember what they look like).

      • Cath says:

        Robert Redford and Paul Newman would like to agree to disagree with you on that statement… 😉

      • thinking says:

        Aren’t Robert Redford and Paul Newman distinctive-looking in some way though? Their very handsomeness is still distinctive. I can remember what they look like — that’s my general point. They’re handsome, but not bland. A bland-looking handsome person won’t register in my memory the same way Robert Redford and Paul Newman do, who are distinctively handsome from other men. They’re not bland-handsome — they’re way above the regular level of handsome (partially because of their looks, but also because of their charisma?). There’s handsome (which most people are in their youth, barring some kind of anomaly), and then there’s HANDSOME that is off the charts, and that off-the-charts handsomeness IS distinctive.

        Maybe that’s why this French actor’s comment is a bit off-putting — he’s handsome enough, but he’s not sooooooo handsome like Robert Redford or Paul Newman, who are usually put in some other stratospheric category of distinctive handsomeness.

      • EBS says:

        Yes, thinking, I agree. I think to me it’s the difference between a Henry Cavill, who is very good-looking in a boring generic way (at least to me) and, for example, a young Brad Pitt, who was so good-looking and distinctive in Thelma and Louise that I couldn’t quite believe he was real.

    • Veronica S. says:

      Honestly, I think that’s true of most movie actors. You need stand out features, something big and unique, like a famous smile (Julia Roberts) or intense bone structure (Angelina Jolie) or big eyes (Mila Kunis). If you’re beautiful, you have to be extremely beautiful because it’s so common in the industry. Being generically beautiful makes you expendable. When you think about big names in Hollywood that last for more than a flash, a lot of them aren’t the prettiest but the most striking. There’s something that makes you remember them.

    • Sally says:

      Yeah, I think he meant it that way too tbh. I know it’s fun to pick at him for being “too beautiful for the world”, but it’s really kinda true that continental European cinema favours interesting male faces over classically handsome or Hollywood pretty faces, at least when it comes to more challenging roles. Very few of them are truly ugly of course, but they don’t look like your standard Abercrombie and Fitch model, which he kinda does.

  4. BrainFog 💉💉😷 says:

    Unimpressed with his looks. Seriously. Also not here for his whiny attitude. Next.

  5. KBeth says:

    He looks like a young Gerard Butler. Never heard of him before reading this..

    • Zapp Brannigan says:

      If Gerard Butler and Armie Hammer had a French baby.

      • BusyLizzy says:

        OMG I keep telling he looks like the French version of Armie Hammer. I hope he is nothing like him though.

    • Jayna says:

      Gerard Butler had a more interesting face. Although, I see a tiny resemblance, like you say. I find this guy a pretty boy in the same way Rob Lowe was (maybe not quite as beautiful as Rob was in his 20s), but I always found Rob bland because of it.

  6. Desdemona says:

    In Europe they’re looking for regular looking people, no need to be a model. A normal, common person because police officers, nurses, doctors, teachers etc are normal looking people, some very pretty and others not so much. It’s showing the reality, the true reality or is everyone in the US a supermodel???
    Thank goodness for normalcy and acceptance of people’s genuine looks..

    • Haylie says:

      Unless you’re overweight in France. Then it’s difficult to get a job as a teacher, nurse, officer, get a loan to buy a home, etc.

      That acceptance of true selves only goes so far.

      • Desdemona says:

        Really? That’s awful… Not French, but I find it annoying that everyone on TV should be perfect models…

  7. LovesitinNM says:

    He looks pretty young so I’m sure that affects the roles he sees.

  8. Jules says:

    I don’t know what he means and also other commenters who claim that beauty doesn’t play a part in casting choices. Yes, in some movies, people are cast who might not fit the American beauty standard but they do fit the beauty standards of the respective countries. Maybe he is just too American good-looking to fit the French standard but e.g. you’ll find not a single bigger production in Europe with a normal or even ugly looking female lead. Men always had more chances without looking like models.
    (Maybe he also isn’t as complex as an actor as he wants to be?)

    • Desdemona says:

      You should watch “Vera” for instance (a British detective who wears a Colombo alike raincoat). That’s mighty average and she’s the lead character.. (I find her quite normal looking… )

      • antipodean says:

        Don’t come for my Vera (lol), she is the best detective ever!!! Brenda Blethyn has the face of a chameleon, she is so full of intelligence and wit that her “ordinary” looks are transformed. Also if you have seen red carpet pics of her, she scrubs up a real treat! She is a deeply talented actress with a vast body of excellent work. This pretty boy would be lucky to even approach a career like hers.

      • BlinkB says:

        We have a lot of really strong, jobbing actors in the UK who don’t fit the conventionally attractive mold. It’s a bit of a thing here. But to make it in Hollywood as a Brit, as a leading man or woman, then you do need to fit into a more generic model type of beauty. I get what this man is saying, actors are generally dissatisfied with the parts they get until they hit a certain level of profile, but from what I’ve seen of him, he’s nothing more than a pretty face. He’s very beautiful in the show, but he’s lacking in depth, and it feels like he’s still learning to be comfortable with himself. He’ll either age into it, and then his roles will change, or he’ll age out

  9. Merricat says:

    Lol, this reminds me of when young Johnny Depp declared he couldn’t wait to be older and less good-looking, so he could get better parts.

  10. Bettyrose says:

    OMG that was the laugh I needed this morning. I haven’t watched the show and don’t know this actor, but I’m always here for someone complaining that their combined good looks and intellect are holding them back.

  11. Marion says:

    Is he related to Daniel Bravo the footballer?

  12. thinking says:

    He’s objectively attractive, but I think he made a mistake in saying he’s good-looking by French standards (whatever that means).

  13. salmonpuff says:

    I rolled my eyes at the pull quote — poor, good-looking Parisian. La vie tragique! But I laughed out loud at the quote about Parisians and complaining. I once sat next to a non-Parisian French woman on a train out of Paris, and she spent the whole ride complaining about how much Parisians complain.

  14. FHMom says:

    I don’t watch EIP, but I just started watching Lupin, which also takes place in Paris, last night. There are a lot of average looking people on the show. You should all check out this amazing French series. The lead actor, Omar Sy, is far from average looking. HE should be the new James Bond. Seriously, check it out if you are looking for a non frivolous, but very entertaining watch.

    • Marietta2381 says:

      Loved the show… Omar Sy is delicious and a fantastic actor to boot. And he should be the next Bond!.

  15. Lucy says:

    Whatever. I’d still bon appetit him 😉

  16. manta says:

    If Gaspard Ulliel, Guillaume Canet, François Civil, Romain Duris , Melvil Poupaud, Laurent Laffite managed to have a career, boy here won’t be hindered by his looks. His whining it’s another story.
    I could go on with names from older generations: Delon, Giraudeau, Lhermitte, Lambert Wilson.
    The french industry certainly employs more normal looking actors than Hollýwood, that doesn’t mean pretty faces can’t get meaty parts.

    • Normades says:

      I think with the exception of Guillaume Canet who was quite the pretty boy when younger, all the dudes on your young list are ‘ugly-hot’ while the EIP guy is just boring hot.

      Funny about what Kaiser said about him having an earnestness not associated with French men. I live in France and find French men to be actually quite earnest. Very open about their feelings if they’re into a woman.

      • Laura says:

        LMAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! I looked up each and every one of them and for me the only slight exception was Melvil; the rest are definitely not attractive to me.

  17. Stef says:

    He’s the best part of Emily in Paris, just a gorgeous and down to earth man. Emily looks like a selfie obsessed idiot by comparison.

    Hope to see him in more stuff while seeing less whiny, self indulgent interviews like this one…

    • Elodie says:

      Wait….so people like Gabriel? I always thought he was a terrible character – second only to Emily in awfulness. The way he treats Camille in the first season was terrible. In the second season (SPOILERS if anyone cares) his ambivalence towards her was cold for a 5 year relationship partner but at least they were broken up and that made sense…all the way until he asks her to move in with him…like you barely gave a sh*t this whole time and now just because Emily is unavailable you go for Camille? Anyway the actor isn’t bad but I don’t think he’s charming enough to carry the unlikeable role he’s playing.

      • thinking says:

        Yeah, I think the character is horrible. What a drip.

        Maybe for the first 5 minutes I might have thought this guy was good-looking. Then the character seemed so lame, I got over it. Looks can only take you so far! You still need a decent personality!

    • Cath says:

      Hear, hear!

  18. Andrea says:

    On Quebec TV shows, I found regular looking people even overweight people or 40 something and up people. It is quite refreshing! Watch Way Over Me (Sortiez Moi De Moi) and you will know what I am speaking of (great psychological show too). I wish they would use more regular average looking Americans on American TV shows.

  19. AmelieOriginal says:

    He is right when he says they prefer less conventionally attractive looking men in France, I dunno if I would use the word broken. Google Gerard Depardieu, Thierry Lhermitte, Daniel Auteuil, Gaspard Ulliel, Bruno Gouery (Luc on Emily in Paris), the entire cast of Call My Agent etc. Even in their younger years these guys weren’t Sebastian Stan/Chris Evans level of good looking. Lucas Bravo was definitely hired because his looks fit in more with American beauty standards. I myself have never really cared much for celebrities complaining about their beauty all that much, but as a shy person I would also hate to be objectified. Lucas Bravo should be careful the way he phrases it as he is so early in his career. Emily in Paris is a silly show but if he’s smart he can use it as a springboard for other roles (though maybe all he’s getting are rom coms right now).

    But beauty can sometimes get in the way of being taken seriously. It’s a bit of a one off but the story of the gorgeous actor Hedy Lamarr and her role as an inventor and the story of how she helped develop a patent for the technology of frequency hopping system to avoid radio controlled torpedo signals getting jammed during WWII isn’t super widely known. Her status as beautiful actor got in the way of being taken seriously as a scientist/inventor (plus she was a woman to boot). There’s a great fictionalized version of her story in the book The Only Woman in the Room which I highly recommend! (Sorry for Hedy Lamarr tangent).

    • Winechampion says:

      Really? I think the Hedy Lamarr story is common knowledge at this point. It’s actually the only thing I DO know about her. I couldn’t name any of her movies. And every time someone brings it up, they’re like “this isn’t common knowledge, but!” 🤣

      • AmelieOriginal says:

        Her story is definitely known and isn’t a secret but it isn’t a household name kind of story like Marie Curie. I’ve recommended the book to several people and none of them had heard of her or that she was a scientist on the side

  20. Bendy Windy says:

    I haven’t watched Emily in Paris and I don’t know this guy, but this doesn’t give me shades of Jessica Biel. In Hollywood, good looking, perfect people are the norm, which is why the idea that she can’t get roles because of her face (rather than lack of acting ability) is ludicrous. I don’t get that here because he’s not lying. Ok, maybe he’s not hot like [insert hottie of your choice], but he’s a lot more attractive than say Javier Bardem or that Vincent guy from Ocean’s 12. I watch a lot of European television and they truly cast people who look normal and like regular people. Many, many times characters are looked down on by other characters for being too attractive. It’s a common theme. It doesn’t mean European actors are ugly, but many of the more attractive actors come to Hollywood and then American audiences love them for looking interesting and unique compared to American celebs.

  21. thinking says:

    It’s not hard to make himself look less good-looking if he wants to. Just wear less tv make-up and add a beard or something. He doesn’t need to gain weight or do anything unhealthy — just don’t gloss yourself up the way most people do these days.

    On British and European shows you might see actors who are less-good-looking or glossy-looking by Hollywood standards. But I do think the shows might also deliberately make the actors look bad as well, On American shows, there’s a lot of good lighting and make-up effects to make an actor look a certain way. When you see the same British or European actors glammed up on tv shows, they look just as good as American ones. I don’t think these people are actually less good-looking — the shows just don’t seem to put as much effort into glossing them up (maybe there’s a cheaper make-up budget?).

    I’m not sure about French tv and their general standard, but I’ve watched a couple of Spanish and Italian shows where the people are pretty-goodlooking though — better-looking than what I might see on the average young adult American tv show. Granted the actors are young, but if you want to find good-looking actors in Europe as a whole you can find them — ha ha.

  22. Tisme says:

    I’m near the end of the first season of E in P, and I thought he was good looking until I read this interview…WTF, stop complaining about your success as a hot white dude in the industry!! Wahhhh

  23. Ann says:

    It does sound a little whiny but he’s not wrong. They do seem to cast/prefer more off-beat looking men in France. I saw someone above mentioned Call My Agent, and that’s a great example. It’s not just the agents who are less than conventionally handsome, it’s a lot of the famous actors they represent. The actresses, on the other hand, are beautiful.

  24. april says:

    He does have a gorgeous face.

  25. Barbie1 says:

    Hang in there Lucas and stay pretty. French cinema needs to say “yes” to good looking males. It’s what we deserve.

  26. Bex says:

    He’s not lying. If you watch ANY French language show/movie (Netflix is a GREAT place to start), you’ll see the men look busted. Foreheads too big, yanky teeth, and nose for days. Just look. The women are always tall, gorgeous, and very stylish. The men? ROUGH.


    • Normades says:

      It’s true. The French have a long history of busted looking dudes with gorgeous women. Serge Gainsbourg/Brigitte Bardot/Jane Birkin etc et…

  27. thinking says:

    When he’s 40, he’ll probably look as bad as the other actors on French tv. Some of them are older, it would seem. Everyone keeps referencing Call My Agent, and some of the male actors on that show seem to be in their 40s. Right now, he has youth on his side. Most of the time when people are good-looking, it’s because they’re young-ish and possess the good skin and metabolism associated with youth.

    I think it’s much easier to make yourself ugly than to make yourself good-looking though. If you want to look bad, you simply don’t put in the effort. Being good-looking does involve some degree of high maintenance grooming and hard work (even JLo has to work hard at looking the way she does. Looking at her work-out schedule and the process of putting on fake eyelashes and whatever else makes my head spin.). When Christian Bale has to make himself good-looking as opposed to ugly, it does seem like a certain degree of pain in the gym is involved. When this guy is 40 and his metabolism slows down, he’ll probably get what he wants.

  28. Mabs A'Mabbin says:


  29. A. Key says:

    I think he’s confusing good looks with charisma. He’s good looking but I’m not feeling any magnetic pull and charm oozing out of him. That’s what European stars have, and yes it’s harder to put your finger on it as it’s about something other than the symmetry of your face and body.

  30. Adrian says:

    It’s true, even if you remove Serg Gainsbourgh’s talent, I would find him hotter than this guy.

  31. Yinyang says:

    Good looking women play “the nerdy girl” all the time or it’s written into the script that she’s “normal” when her next movie part is the hot girl. He could grow a ridiculous hair cut, man bun or a facial hair or something to give him character. I once read about men’s suits, American suit cuts are broad shouldered and french men are sloping shouldered and English is narrow. Maybe his body is built too American.

  32. Ashley says:

    Maybe they prefer less attractive MEN because everyone in Paris is hot? When I moved to Paris back in 2014 I was shocked by the amount of good looking people. These days it’s no longer shocking but there are moments when I look around and think it may suck to live in Paris but at least they’re hot. And the men are good dressers (in Paris, not the banlieue). They would never wear that travesty blazer. In Paris he’s a 7 at best. There exists hotter.

    That said some people who went to school with him have said he was stuck up, so maybe it was his personality that wasn’t landing him jobs, not his “good looks”. 🙄

    I actually hate his character. No French guy, not in a million years, would ever be that “earnest”. It’s an American trope that doesn’t exist in France.