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Netflix's 'Call My Agent!' is Back, This Time With Sigourney Weaver in the Mix
January 20, 2021  | By Alex Strachan
 


Call My Agent!
 is the anti-Entourage. And when the popular French showbiz-insider comedy returns to Netflix Thursday with new episodes, fans and followers alike already know what to expect.

As for the rest, there's still time to get au fait with one of the most unlikely European imports ever to visit Middle America.

Call My Agent! is as French as they come, but it has a decidedly American inspiration.

Dominique Besnehard, the show's co-creator, was fed up with the talent-agency business after 20 years at Artmedia, the top talent agency in Paris. In a recent interview with France's Le Monde newspaper, he noted Desperate Housewives was all the rage on TV at the time in France as well as in upscale Beverly Hills.

He thought to himself: Why not do Desperate Housewives for a French audience, but set it at a talent agency rather than on a suburban cul-de-sac, because a talent agency was the one world he knew inside-out, having worked the better part of two decades wrangling temperamental and insecure yet egotistical celebrities.

Call My Agent! clicked with audiences, much as Desperate Housewives did, because it wore its heart on its sleeve from the first casting call. There's an underlying affection for its flawed yet often well-meaning characters that's plain for all to see.

It touched enough of a nerve at the time, with regular viewers and showbiz insiders alike, that celebrities clamored to appear in guest roles. French celebrities, that is, until these latest new episodes, which initially aired on France 2, France's equivalent of PBS, last summer. Who should turn up in one fourth-season episode than, wait for it, Sigourney Weaver. Now Jennifer Aniston and Nicole Kidman — herself no stranger to high-class Desperate Housewives-style makeovers; see Big Little Lies — are said to be admirers, and may even be considered for star turns of their own, if Call My Agent! is picked up for a fifth season.

This season is being promoted as the last for Call My Agent! Perhaps Besnehard is reluctant to chance fate with a fifth season while Call My Agent! is still both popular and respected — it won the ASC France Award, that country's equivalent of the Emmy, in its debut season in 2016 — but Netflix is understandably reluctant to walk away from a hit that has crossed international boundaries in a way few series ever do, comedy or drama.

In any event, much like Entourage and Sex and the City before it, Call My Agent! has already been green-lighted for a feature film.

Weaver, the daughter of pioneering NBC executive Pat Weaver, told Variety last year she said yes to Call My Agent! without even reading the script — "the first and last time I've done that in my life."

Weaver described Call My Agent! as a love letter to the business — not something you hear about Hollywood agents every day, least of all in Entourage — that has an uncanny insiders' understanding of actors' mood swings and having to "deal … with different directors."

Call My Agent!  is also proving to be an unlikely springboard to the big screen for some of its homegrown stars: Camille Cottin, Agent's standout performer but a relative unknown in the US, appears opposite Matt Damon in Tom McCarthy's Stillwater and will appear in the Ridley Scott-directed biopic Gucci, featuring Adam Driver and Lady Gaga as the designer's former wife.

Perhaps the success of Call My Agent! shouldn't be that much of a surprise. After all, marital spats, money problems, existential panic attacks, emotional meltdowns, and accidentally hanging up on a Very Important Person never go out of style where TV romcoms are concerned.

New episodes of Call My Agent! start streaming Thursday on Netflix.

 
 
 
 
 
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