Emily in Paris fans have fallen hard for Lucas Bravo, who stars in both seasons as the stylish title character‘s neighbour and on-off love interest, Gabriel. However, his popular performance as the charismatic chef has earned the actor a label he’s not entirely keen on: “heart-throb.”

During a new interview with The Times, 33-year-old Bravo spoke candidly about the impact the show’s success has had on his sense of self, saying: “I’m, like, this objectified overnight thing.”

Asked what it feels like to be called a “heart-throb”, Bravo replied candidly: “It made me very self-aware. Because when you think about that word and the people it encapsulates, you see always a healthy, good-looking, ripped person – and I’m not that.”

When the interviewer suggested that Bravo seems to fit into this mould, the actor balked at the suggestion, saying: “I’m not. I’m healthy, of course, but I can be overweight.”

“All the little things that define who you are and make you human once you’re in that [heart-throb] category are perceived like a flaw,” he continued. “And I don’t want to be perfect. I’ve been working against that. In France, they don’t want good-looking. They want broken faces… You can’t be aesthetically beautiful and be smart or have depth. I kept getting roles like the dumb gym teacher.”

“It’s hard to break that image,” he added. “I’m not complaining, of course, but it’s a reality.”

Bravo’s comments are a reminder that being scrutinised for your appearance – something women in the public eye have routinely endured for decades – is a deeply uncomfortable experience that can happen to men, too.

It’s also an experience that may feel relatable to anyone who’s experienced “Zoom boom“: heightened insecurities around everyday lines, wrinkles and pigmentation after seeing your face on so many video calls during lockdown.

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