Lupin season 1, part 2: Omar Sy explains why Assane doesn’t need disguise amid backlash

Lupin: Netflix tease second season of French drama series

Omar Sy stars as Assane Diop in Netflix’s new French series, Lupin, a gripping crime drama centred around a gentleman thief inspired by the classic Arsène Lupin by Maurice Leblanc. Following some harsh comments from critical viewers, the actor has come out to explain why Assane does, in fact, deserve to be known as a master of disguise.

Lupin’s leading man Omar Sy has finally revealed the full explanation for why his character, the charming burglar Assane Diop, doesn’t need a full disguise during his outlandish crime capers.

Known for his reputation as a gentleman thief and master of deception, Assane dons simple disguises to evade capture and pull off some of the biggest heists of the century.

For example, the series starts when he disguises himself as a janitor, and later a wealthy auction guest, to sneak into the Louvre and walk out with a prized diamond necklace.

Rather than using fake facial hair or makeup to disguise his appearance, Assane simply opts to change his choice of clothing to divert attention away from himself.

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Many viewers even found the premise amusing, given the 6’ 2” Sy is instantly recognisable in a crowd.

One fan said: “I watched Lupin on Netflix and it was a great show but the funniest part about it is they sell the lead as a ‘master of disguise.’

“Whole time this man is built like a linebacker and is like 7 feet tall and no one can recognize him?? lool ridiculous and entertaining.”

Another fan posted three of Assane’s different looks and joked: “Assane is not the master of disguise he thinks he is.”

However, once the first five episodes dropped on Netflix, series lead Omar Sy hit back with a convincing and poignant explanation for the show’s decision.

The star claimed Assane’s choice of disguises were directly tied to Lupin’s themes of race and xenophobia, and the series frequently demonstrates how the thief is sidelined for being Black.

He told Netflix Queue: “We thought about how he would go from one character to the next in today’s world. We couldn’t possibly use the Mission: Impossible mask effect again.

“So we went for a very simple option: Assane is defined by a sense of injustice — the fact of being ignored, of being invisible — which has become his trauma.”

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Rather than using the high-tech equipment available to Tom Cruise and the IMF team, the series draws inspiration for Assane’s natural disguises from his experiences as the son of a Senegal immigrant.

In flashbacks, Assane is ignored and passed over by his father’s employers, the Pellegrini family, who later frame Babakar Diop (Fargass Assandé) and cause his death.

As an orphan, he is then enrolled in an exclusive private school where his fellow classmates bully him, calling his dark skin tone ‘a costume’.

Sy continued: “As he changes costumes and trades, he blends in with the crowd. I embraced that wholeheartedly because it’s something I totally relate to.”

“In my experience as a TV comedian, I know that all it takes to change identities is a beanie and a pair of glasses.

“Assane only needs very small things to move up in society, because these days people tend to focus more on what people do than on who people are.”

His simple disguises may be challenging viewers’ suspension of disbelief, but Omar Sy’s complex reinvention of the classic master criminal has catapulted Lupin to become one of Netflix’s biggest hits.

Lupin season 1, part 2 will be released in summer 2021 on Netflix.

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