Summer in the Algarve and vacation in Melgaço: the Portuguese-French life of “Emily in Paris”

The opportunity to attend the casting came through the agent. It was one of the final roles on the new season’s cast. The long-awaited “yes” call came unexpectedly during a taxi ride. “When they called to share the good news, I screamed with joy. The driver was scared and we almost had an accident, “says Kevin Dias NiT, one of the new stars of the Netflix sensation series” Emily In Paris “.

Not only is he Benoît, Mindy’s new love interest, but also an actor with Portuguese roots, as his nickname suggests. Incidentally, the two nicknames: He started out as Kevin Fernandes in the films and now appears with Dias in his last name. In the series, the 30-year-old Portuguese-French actor is a musician who happens to meet one of the protagonists with whom they form an improvised band. The relationship between Benoît and Mindy is almost instantaneous, between a sudden crush and of course some drama in the mix.

In real life, Kevin is a Frenchman who speaks, writes and understands the language perfectly thanks to the help of his parents Irene Dias and Carlos Fernandes. She was born in Paris, he in Guimarães. Kevin was also born in Paris in 1991.

“I’ve always had a very strong relationship with Portugal. I’ve spent all my summers in the Algarve and Guimarães, but also in Melgaço, where we have a house, ”he says. “Of course I learned Portuguese with my parents, but also with friends on the beach.”

Although it is unknown to the majority of the national and foreign public, there is a great possibility that you have already seen it on the big screen. Kevin, then Fernandes, was only ten years old when he was voted into the cast of “The Fabulous Fate of Amélie”, Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s five-Oscar-nominated classic. Kevin was the young Dominique Bretodeau.

Kevin Dias at one of the many stops in Lisbon

He began masking and mimicking the characters of his favorite Disney films at a young age. “Then it really was a matter of course. I’ve always wanted to be an actor, I started doing commercials since I was little, I loved being on TV and doing different roles. “

About his time in the film with Audrey Tautou, he remembers that he had realized that it would be “a special project”, also because he had “the privilege of being selected from more than 200 children”. “It was a wonderful goal for me.”

In the same year he returned to acting as Pierre in “Les Déracinés” in a television film, but also in a French television series “Joséphine, Ange Gardien”. Later, in 2017 and several projects later, he decided to change his professional name from Fernandes to Dias. “I thought it sounded better as a stage name,” he explains.

That year he made his debut in a Franco-Portuguese production, “Todos os Sonhos do Mundo,” a drama by Paulo Branco in which he played the role of Bruno.

It wasn’t the only approach to the Portuguese public. In 2016 he was selected to cast “Sam”, a French series in which he appeared in more than 30 episodes – which were even broadcast on RTP. “Of course, that has nothing to do with the visibility that an American series gives on Netflix that can change an actor’s career,” he explains. And so it was.

On the set of “Emily in Paris”

“I guess my audition [para a ‘Emily in Paris’] delighted the producers and the [criador] Darren Star, ”he says. “I know how lucky I am to be part of this project because I knew that the first season was a global success.”

From being a discreet actor, he became the protagonist of one of the most watched series in the world. Something that didn’t affect your daily life for the time being. “In Paris, I have the feeling that people follow me with their eyes more often,” he says. He recently traveled to Portugal, ahead of the new season’s debut on December 22nd.

“Now only my family recognized me (laughs),” he says. “Season two wasn’t available yet, but maybe I’ll come back next time [já me reconhecem]. “

With the child in the Algarve

Interpretation isn’t the only apparent talent of the actor and model who made his debut on the Netflix series with a glowing guitar. “I’ve always enjoyed singing. I taught myself to play the guitar, ”he recalls. “I was really happy to know the role [de Benoît] it required that he could sing. We even recorded the songs in the studio with Ashley Park and today anyone can listen to them on music platforms. “

It is not your only talent. Together with his ex-wife and the French model Margot Milani – with whom he has a two-year-old son – he created The Milaniz, an unusual art project. “I had the idea to recreate Renaissance-style paintings with neon lights,” he explains before revealing that he was planning an exhibition in Paris very soon.

“I like to create. When I’m not recording, I can’t just sit around and do nothing, ”he admits. Apparently the story of Benoît in “Emily In Paris” is not over yet, but the actor prefers not to reveal more details. About the return he remains a mystery, but hopeful: “I don’t know at the moment if I’ll be back, but I hope that I can be part of the series if there is a third season.”

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