Kate Walsh Has ‘Fun’ Playing the ‘Ugly American’ on ‘Emily In Paris’

Sacré bleu! Kate Walsh is having a great time portraying an “ugly American” on Emily In Paris — and she doesn’t care who knows it.

“It’s kind of fun to play. It’s all clichés,” the 54-year-old Grey’s AnatomyExclusively told by alum Us Weekly earlier this month while promoting her partnership with Alcon’s Systane Complete Preservative’s-Free Eye Drops. “I don’t speak French, but it’s really delightful for me to be able to play a character [who] thinks she speaks really good French and is actually speaking terrible French.”

Since the Netflix series’ debut in October 2020, Madeline Wheeler (a Chicago native) has been playing the role of Madeline, her boss. Walsh joined the rest of the cast — including Lily Collins Ashley Park — in France for season 2, but her personal experience in Europe ended up being much different from her character’s.


Kate Walsh as Madeline on ‘Emily in Paris.’
STÉPHANIE BRANCHU/NETFLIX

“The French are always really kind to me,” she told Use. “I think sometimes people can experience it as being tough in Paris if you’re American, but for me, everyone’s been so kind and welcoming. It’s just a dream to go work there.”

Although her character had trouble fitting in among the French, Walsh said it was “a blast to shoot” across the pond where both she and Madeline “ate their way through Paris.”

The Private PracticeAn actress spoke previously to UseAbout the criticism surrounding Emily in Paris’ depiction of French culture back in 2020, claiming that the Darren Star-created series wasn’t “meant to be a drama or French realism.”

Kate Walsh Loves Playing the Ugly American on Emily In Paris
Shutterstock/Gregory Pace

At the time, Walsh also pointed out that the show was about “an American in Paris,” which means “absurdity and kitsch” are part of the package deal.

Before she moved to Netflix, Perks of Being A WallflowerStarred as actress Grey’s AnatomyShe was Dr. Addison Montgomery in three seasons, 2005-2007. She left ABC to create her own medical drama. Private Practice, a spinoff company of the Shonda Rhimes hit.

The Honest ThiefStar recently returned to her Grey’s AnatomySeason 18, which is currently airing, will see her in a leading role. Fans will see her have “a great medical story line, but with some great personal stuff,” Walsh said of her return.

Kate Walsh Loves Playing the Ugly American on Emily In Paris

“It’s been like [being] a little salmon swimming in the stream,” she told Us. “It was very emotional when I first went back. It was surreal. It’s like going back to a job that changed my life in amazing ways.”

Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital was an emotional place for her character. She cried with Meredith Grey.Ellen Pompeo) over Derek Shepherd’s (Patrick Dempsey) death, and the memories he left behind.

Christina Garibaldi reporting

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