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Omar Sy: The Charismatic French Star Of Lupin

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Omar Sy is a popular French actor of African descent. He started his career acting in French movies and TV shows. He eventually earned some Hollywood roles as well. Omar Sy became a truly globally renowned actor after the release of the popular Netflix show Lupin. It is one of Netflix’s most popular non-English shows and has made Omar Sy a household name across the world. In this post, we will find out more about Omar Sy. Let’s get started.

Omar Sy: All You Need To Know

When was Omar Sy born?

Omar Sy was born on January 20, 1978, in Trappes, in Yvelines. The fourth of eight children, he is the son of a Senegalese worker and a Mauritanian cleaning woman. Originally from the village of Bakel on the Senegalese-Mauritanian border, both of his parents are of Fulani ethnicity and his mother tongue is Pulaar. His father, from a family of weavers, emigrated to France in 1962 to accumulate substantial wealth to be able to open a shop in his native country.

How was Omar Sy’s childhood?

Even though Omar Sy’s father had initially planned to move back to Senegal, he ended up staying in France for good. He worked in the machining of automobile parts and then in logistics for an automobile subcontractor. His wife joined him in 1974. The family settled in Trappes en Yvelines where, during his childhood, Omar rubbed shoulders with Jamel Debbouze (a popular French-Moroccan actor), three years his senior. Jamel lives in the same neighborhood (Les Merisiers) and is a friend of Omar Sy’s older brother.

Who is Omar Sy’s wife?

Omar Sy married his long time girlfriend Helene on July 6, 2007. The wedding took place at Tremblay-sur-Mauldre. 

How many children does Omar Sy have?

Omar Sy and his wife Helene have five children, three girls and two boys. The family has lived in Hidden Hills, a gated community located approximately 40 km northwest of Los Angeles since 2012. Omar Sy prefers to live in Los Angeles over France because of its more diverse population. 

Which is Omar Sy’s most famous role?

In July 2018, it was announced that Omar Sy was to play an Arsene Lupin influenced role in the Netflix series Lupin. The story revolves around a modern day burglar inspired by the famous “Gentleman Burglar”, Arsene Lupin. The series was a roaring success and even entered the top 10 of the most viewed non-English speaking series on Netflix.

What is the story of Lupin?

In 1995, the young Assane Diop was shocked by the suicide of his father, accused of a theft he did not commit. Twenty-five years later, Assane organized the theft of a necklace that belonged to Marie-Antoinette of Austria. The jewel, now on display at the Louvre Museum, belonged to the wealthy Pellegrini family. He wants to take revenge on this family having wrongly accused his father, by drawing inspiration from his favorite character: the “gentleman burglar” Arsene Lupin, using the techniques of this multifaceted character imagined by Maurice Leblanc to escape the police. In parallel with his illegal activities, Assane also tries to take better care of his son Raoul, who today lives with his ex-girlfriend Claire.

What are some other popular roles of Omar Sy? 

Omar Sy has achieved international fame thanks to the success of Lupin. Here are his five cult roles before the Netflix series. 

Bruno (Tellement Proches)

We could have chosen Our Happy Days, in which Omar Sy embodies a sympathetic colo mono, but we would prefer the bittersweet role of Bruno in Tellement Proches. Omar Sy plays the role of Bruno, a Black doctor who is not taken seriously because of his skin color. He becomes infatuated with a slightly striking young woman who introduces him into her family on the first evening. This movie showed the balance in Omar Sy’s acting, between pandering and seriousness, between offbeat and commitment. Bruno somehow prefigures the role of Intouchables signed by the same tandem of filmmakers.

Driss (The Intouchables)

How can we talk about Omar Sy without mentioning the monumental hit, The Intouchables? This role also helped Omar Sy grab a Cesar award. And yet, Omar Sy has shut the mouths of many detractors in this social comedy where he plays a suburbanite, Driss, becoming a caretaker for a rich paraplegic. The clash of two worlds, of two actors, of two styles at odds with each other, those of François Cluzet and Omar Sy. A joke about chocolate, a few dance steps to Earth, Wind and Fire and a César later, Omar Sy became for a while the most bankable French actor and one of the most appreciated personalities in France.

Ousmane (De l’autre Côté du Périph)

With this movie, Omar Sy took the role which was similar to Eddie Murphy in the early 80s. The Beverly Hills Cop is also the model for Ousmane, his character in this police comedy where he shares the screen with the hilarious Laurent Lafitte. An old-fashioned cop comedy, like we don’t make anymore, a real buddy movie like 48 Hours, brought up to date thanks to its tandem which sets off sparks with its flow of humour. De l’autre Côté du Périph is also the film that allowed Omar Sy to experience the action genre before entering Hollywood through the back door.

Bishop (X-Men: Days of Future Past)

In Omar Sy’s brief Hollywood career, we will remember his very small participation in the blockbuster X-Men: Days of Future Past. A blockbuster mixing several generations of X-Men by already introducing the concept of the multiverse well before its time. The actor appears here in the role of Bishop, a mercenary and resistance fighter who teams up with Charles Xavier’s gang. It was a very small role in which Omar Sy was sufficiently convincing and invested to break the outdated image of the little Frenchman in Hollywood.

Rafael ‘Chocolat’ (Chocolat)

Chocolat is one of Omar Sy’s first escapades into straight-up drama. A biopic on the first black artist in the history of France, a clown, what’s more, renamed Chocolat, offering the actor a tailor-made role. That of a black clown forced to fight against discrimination and break down doors to get a place at the top of the bill. Chocolat is undoubtedly the film in which Omar Sy finds his most beautiful and tragic role but, paradoxically, it’s the most forgotten in his filmography as well. A bit like the real Chocolat who finally had a movie made in his tribute in 2016, 100 years after his death.

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