• Golden Globe Awards

Nominee Profile 2022: Omar Sy, “Lupin”

Released in 2020, Lupin is the first global French-language hit for Netflix, with 76 million households watching it during the first 28 days on the streaming platform. This year, Maurice LeBlanc’s iconic detective stories about the gentleman thief Arsène Lupin, received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Television Series – Drama. The show’s charismatic lead, Omar Sy, has also received his first Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Television Series – Drama for his role as Assane Diop, a contemporary fan of the novels who employs the character of Lupin to avenge his falsely accused father. Sy is currently shooting in Paris the third season of Lupin.
The character Arsène Lupin was introduced to the world back in 1905 when The Arrest of Arsène Lupin was published in the popular French science magazine Je Sais Tout. Followed by numerous novels and novellas, the crime series was adapted to comic books, plays, films, and television shows. The peak of popularity was reached in the 1970s, after the TV series starring Georges Descrières.
The modern adaptation is produced by the French major studio Gaumont, and it came as no surprise that French superstar Omar Sy would front the new show, now that he is one of the most popular people in France behind Jacques Cousteau, Yannick Noah, and Zinedine Zidane. Moreover, in 2021 Sy became the only Frenchman to be included in Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people of the year.
His journey to such a tremendous success started 25 years ago. Born on January 20, 1978, and raised by immigrant parents in a working-class city not far from Versailles France. Sy enjoyed early success as an impersonator and sketch comic at one of the local radio stations. That’s when he met his comedy partner, Fred Testot. They successfully co-hosted SAV des émissions, on Canal+, a sitcom about call-center operators. Sy’s feature film debut was in 2001 in La Tour Montparnasse Infernale, a slapstick comedy where he played a taxi driver. A few years later Sy voiced one of the key characters in Luc Besson’s Arthur et la vengeance de Maltazard.
After almost a decade doing various parts in all sorts of films, Sy finally secured a breakthrough role. In 2011 he starred in The Intouchables, a buddy dramedy where he played an irresistible ruffian from the suburbs of Paris who is hired to assist a quadriplegic aristocrat. The Intouchables was a huge success, becoming the highest-grossing French film of all time in the domestic box office. Sy won a best-actor César, the first recipient of African descent to win this prestigious award. He remains one of the most popular actors in France.
After achieving such smashing fame, Sy relocated to Los Angeles, where he has been based for nearly a decade. He lives with his kids and his wife, Helene, whom he met when they were both teenagers. They’ve been married since 2007. In his interview with the HFPA, he joked about the list of things he knew about Los Angeles before his move to the USA: “Hollywood, the cinema, Hollywood sign, Sunset Boulevard, hamburgers, Caesar’s salad, Lakers. Kobe Bryant, a lot of things. Rodeo Drive, Pretty Woman.”
Sy worked with his English tutor and focused on his career in Hollywood, a daunting turnaround and fresh start for someone who was already a famous French actor. Now, his filmography includes the 2014 role of an energy-absorbing mutant named Bishop in X-Men: Days of Future Past, directed by Brian Singer, as well as the voice of a robot who metamorphoses into a sports car in Transformers: The Last Knight, directed by Michael Bay and released to big success in 2017.
Sy has acted alongside Golden Globe Nominee Bradley Cooper in Burnt, Golden Globe Winner Tom Hanks in Inferno, and most recently with Cecil B. deMille Award Winner Harrison Ford in The Call of the Wild. He is also about to join Chris Pratt and a few velociraptors in Jurassic World Dominion, and, later in 2022, in Candy Story, alongside Golden Globe winner Robert De Niro and Golden Globe Nominee Keira Knightley.
Earlier this year Sy joined his co-star François Cluzet in Paris to celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Intouchables release. The actor has reteamed with major French studio Gaumont in Father and Soldier, directed by Mathieu Vadepied and set during the First World War. Sy co-produces the film and stars as a parent who enlists in the army to stick by his seventeen-year-old son recruited against his will.

Later this year it was announced that Sy signed a multi-year feature film deal with Netflix under which the Golden Globe nominee will star and executive produce multiple Netflix Original films to be developed by Sy’s production company based in Paris and Los Angeles.