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John Morton is a francophile. “Everything in Paris is so effortlessly beautiful,” he says, eyes wide. “The French even argue in a stylish way. London is not like that.”
We’re discussing the W1A creator’s latest TV series, Ten Percent, a London-based adaptation of Call My Agent!, the French comedy-drama about a group of talent agents in Paris. The series, which launched in 2015, became a word-of-mouth hit on Netflix during the pandemic (Ten Percent has been made by streaming rival Amazon). The original was set to end after its fourth season in 2021, but given its newfound popularity, both a fifth season and a film were commissioned.
Morton was a fan early on. “I loved it,” he says, recalling bingeing the entire series. “There was no point trying to replicate the French show; we don’t move like that in our cultural and professional lives in the UK. The energy is different. Transplanting it all onto new soil, that was the challenge.” One of the key differences, he adds, is communication. “The very thing that makes the French show so appealing is that the characters will tell each other how they feel. But us Brits are very poor at saying what we mean; part of growing up in Britain is understanding that. And so that passion and emotion is in our show, but it’s buried deeper. It’s a different rhythm.”
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That said, some characters and storylines in Ten Percent are directly modelled on Call My Agent’s originals. Some of them look startlingly alike, too – Rebecca Humphries, who plays the doe-eyed assistant of agency boss Jonathan Nightingale (Jack Davenport), is a dead ringer for her French counterpart, Laure Calamy. It would be easy to view Morton’s show as mere replication, particularly because its first episode is almost identical to that of Call My Agent, with Kelly Macdonald taking over from Cécile de France as the actor who, overnight, has become “too old” to play certain roles. However, Morton explains, this was a case of imitation being the highest form of flattery.
“It was one of my favourite episodes,” he says of the French version. “It feels so true and yet so ridiculous that she’s told to have plastic surgery to get parts. Why wouldn’t one tell that story?” There was an accidental benefit, too. “Having a big slug of what loyal fans remember from the French show in the first episode takes them with us instead of alienating them. So, practically, it felt like not a bad thing to do.”
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From there, though, Ten Percent diverges quite sharply from the original. Different dynamics. New nightmares. And many, many more actors having meltdowns. Novelty also comes by way of celebrity appearances, with Helena Bonham Carter, Dominic West, and David Oyelowo all on the line-up of actors playing themselves.
Then there’s the added twist of the father-son relationship between Jonathan and the avuncular Richard Nightingale (Jim Broadbent), who, as in the French version, dies at the start of the show, swiftly sending the agency into financial turmoil. Hence the American company that rushes in to save the day, one nauseatingly earnest platitude at a time.
And then there is the cast. Davenport, Maggie Steed, Lydia Leonard and Prasanna Puwanarajah comprise the central quartet of agents. “I absolutely loved Camille Cottin,” says Leonard, who plays Rebecca Fox, the acerbic, high-powered agent who is very similar to Cottin’s Andréa in the French show. “Out of nerves I had to stop watching [Call My Agent!] because Camille is so brilliant,” she adds. “You’ve got to make it your own.”
The scripts – shrewd, laden with farce, and unmistakably British – made that fairly straightforward. “They just had this signature John Morton authorship,” says Puwanarajah, who plays Dan Bala. “Reading them, I wasn’t thinking of the French show; it wasn’t really on set with us.”
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Having said that, Puwanarajah did get the French cast’s blessing to remake the show. Sort of. “A friend of mine encountered one of the actors in the original show and told him he knew one of the guys in the remake. The actor embraced him and said, ‘I give all my love to him.’ How nice is that? Would Brits be like that? Or would we just panic and say, ‘Oh, well, I hope they’re not very good.’”
But back to the celebrity guests, who, Morton says, have one of the hardest jobs on set. “They’re not really doing parodies of themselves,” he explains. “What we’re asking them to do is something slightly different and more selfless, because their job is to bring believability. Their job is to bring all that authenticity into the show, rather than do a comic turn.”
Thanks to the unpredictable nature of the ’biz, none of the featured guests were chosen specifically for their roles. “The only way of proceeding was to bash a name into the script as a placeholder, and say: ‘This story has to work for a number of actors roughly at that stage in their career,’” explains Morton. “Because if you become loyal to one particular character and they can’t do it, you’re stumped. You have to trust your luck a bit; we got lucky eight times.”
All of the actors who guest-star are established British talents. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that among them could be Davenport himself, whose credits include Pirates of the Caribbean, The Talented Mr Ripley and Coupling. “I remember talking to our casting director and asking, ‘Is Jack too famous?’” Morton says. (“The answer is ‘No,’” adds Davenport.) “But we thought, f*** it, he’s right for the part,” the writer says.
Nonetheless, the process of actors playing parts alongside other actors playing themselves is an odd one, particularly for Davenport, who says he knows 80 per cent of those making guest appearances. “I’ve been doing this for a long time, so in terms of situations that actors have to face, I’ve done most of them. But I’ve never been in a scene with a friend, who is sort of playing themselves but I’m playing some other guy. It was like having vertigo.”
Playing an agent, it transpires, was an enlightening experience for all, despite the obvious fact that each of the actors involved has their own agent, and would presumably have understood the role more than most. “I have an even higher degree of admiration for agents now,” says Leonard, who has been with hers since drama school. “There’s quite a lot of comedy in the white lies that are told to lubricate the cogs of this industry behind the scenes. It does have to happen quite a lot.”
Davenport, who confesses he’s usually “not much of a researcher”, took his agent out for lunch to quiz him on the job when he got the part. “He said one of the hardest aspects is that all day long you’re making someone’s career, and then seconds later crushing someone else’s dreams. It’s very hard to hold those two things at once in a day.”
The most arduous part, though, seems to be managing multiple egos at once. “All clients think their agent is only thinking about them,” says Davenport. “They have to make it seem like that’s the case. It’s a quality of attention that doesn’t really exist in nature. So I found that really interesting.” He pauses. “Even this poorly researched actor was able to, for once, steal some good stuff.”
To anyone outside the industry, the various shambles that happen in the show – actors being played off against one another for the same roles, playing love interests while harbouring secret crushes on each other, agents sleeping with potential clients – might seem far-fetched. But this, while heightened, is the nature of acting.
“It’s the confluence of time and financial pressures versus people whose job it is to be vulnerable in public,” explains Davenport. There are huge stakes involved, and so when that goes wrong, it can make for unusual and funny scenarios. None of the dilemmas in the show felt like a reach.”
I ask Puwanarajah if he might have any anecdotes ripe for fictionalising. “Yes!” he replies, so quickly that it prompts a laugh from Leonard, who is sitting beside him in an adjacent suite to Morton and Davenport. “A strong yes,” he continues. “I think the show is at its best when a personal thing refracts into a major cultural or societal question around representation or age. I’ve had moments where an agent I was trying to get to sign me said: ‘The scene you’re in was very dark, and obviously you’re very dark, so I couldn’t really see you.’”
Much has been said about the success of Call My Agent!. If Ten Percent matches up, it won’t be for the obvious reason that it offers viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the film industry, with all of its glittering celebrity intrigue. That, Morton says, is just what sells the show. What makes people want to watch it is something altogether different.
“I think the thing that makes you want to watch the next episode is that there’s something recognisable in each of these characters, and you don’t have to be a talent agent to see that.” Indeed, there’s grief. There’s romance. There’s even an inappropriate office crush. Human experiences that aren’t limited to agents, A-listers, or anyone else.
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“The first principle of writing is that people are just people in the end,” adds Morton. “They’re agents, yes, but they’re first and foremost fallible people. On the whole, despite the fact they’re living in a pretty adversarial world, they’re mostly trying to do the right thing. And you want them to get it right eventually.”
‘Ten Percent’ comes to Prime Video on Thursday 28 April
LONDON — About five minutes into the first episode of “Ten Percent,” the British remake of the hit French show “Call My Agent!,” the partners and their assistants at the fictional talent agency Nightingale Hart are debating how to tell a famous actor that she has been deemed too old for a movie role.Is 10 the English version of Call My Agent? ›
Called “Ten Percent” (an English translation of “Call My Agent!'s” original name “Dix Pour Cent”), the original became a hit for the way it explored the often-fractious relationship between agent and talent, a relationship that can have a skyrocketing ego on one side and expectation management and endless anxiety on ...What is the British version of Call My Agent? ›
Ten Percent, the British remake of French cult comedy Call My Agent, is now streaming on Prime Video.Is the English version of Call My Agent on Netflix? ›
A French Hit on Netflix Changes Its Language and Streaming Service. “Call My Agent!,” set at a Parisian talent agency, was a cult favorite during the pandemic. But the English-language adaptation will be on Sundance Now and AMC+.Does Netflix UK have 10 percent? ›
Is Ten Percent on Netflix? No – but you can find the all four seasons of the original French comedy, Call My Agent! (Dix Pour Cent), on Netflix.Where is the house in Ten Percent? ›
Primrose Hill was once Henry VIII's hunting stomping ground. The surrounding area is also referred to Primrose Hill, with its pastel-coloured houses, independent shops and restaurants.How realistic is Call My Agent? ›
Are the stories in the series based on real events? Most of the storylines around the talent did really happen, but not to the guests in the series.Why is it called Ten Percent? ›
Ten Percent (TV series)
|Original network||Amazon Prime Video|
|Original release||28 April 2022|
All four seasons of Call My Agent! are available on Netflix (with English subtitles).What is an agent English-language? ›
In contemporary English grammar, the agent is the noun phrase or pronoun that identifies the person or thing which initiates or performs an action in a sentence. Adjective: agentive. Also called actor.
Ten Percent, a comedy series starring Jack Davenport, Lydia Leonard, and Maggie Steed is available to stream now. Watch it on The Roku Channel, Spectrum TV, Sundance Now, Prime Video, Vudu or Apple TV on your Roku device.Is Call My Agent a Netflix original? ›
|Call My Agent!|
|Distributor||France Télévisions Netflix|
|Original network||France 2|
|Original release||14 October 2015 – present|
- From the Netflix app home screen, tap the profile icon or Menu .
- Tap Manage Profiles.
- Select the profile you want to edit.
- Tap Audio & Subtitles Languages.
- Select preferred languages from Audio & Subtitles Languages. The new languages will automatically save.
Under the audio menu, you'll have to change from English to the original language of the show and if you didn't know what that was, there's a handy [Original] next to its native language. Then unless you actually speak that language, you'll have to click on English under the subtitles menu.What to watch on Netflix after Call My Agent? ›
- Dix pour cent (Call My Agent!) ...
- Osmosis – 1 season (2019) ...
- La Forêt (The Forest) – 1 season (2017) ...
- Au service de la France (A Very Secret Service) – 2 seasons (2015-2018) ...
- Le Bazar de la Charité (The Bonfire of Destiny) – 1 season (2019)
Netflix Studios UK, which is responsible for shows made in-house, increased its headcount from 160 to 225. The £59.5m in staff costs equates to an average salary of £264,000.Why did Netflix drop 35%? ›
The streaming company said 200,000 subscribers left its platform in the first quarter. As a subscriber, you have 10 gift articles to give each month.How does Netflix determine match percentage? ›
To see your previous ratings:
- From a web browser, go to your Account page.
- Open the Profile & Parental Controls settings for the profile you want to see.
- Open Ratings. A list of your ratings will appear.
Perhaps Ten Percent's most unlikely star is Stella Hart's dog Mathias, a nod to matriarch Arlette's Jack Russell terrier Jean Gabin in the French show, who gets under everyone's feet. 'He was the diva of the show,' says Maggie Steed.Where is the unforgivable house? ›
Plot. Ruth Slater is released from prison after serving twenty years for murdering a sheriff who came to evict her and her five-year-old sister, Katie, from their home in Snohomish, Washington. Upon her release, she gets two jobs, and begins to search for her estranged younger sister.
However, the most problematic star in the cast wasn't one of the A-listers, it was Stella Hart's (played by Maggie Steed) office dog. "He was called Smurf," revealed Puwanarajah.Why did Call My Agent end? ›
Is Call My Agent returning for a fifth season? The French comedy-drama was originally set to end after its fourth series, with the writers saying they felt they had told the story through to its conclusion.Why is Call My Agent popular? ›
The show, she said, was so big because it was “set in a milieu we don't know well but would like to; because the agents are sympathetic and passionate and people like them even more than the guest stars; because it's very French – it's in Paris, it has office love affairs … And because it's on Netflix.”Is Call My Agent filmed in Paris? ›
Want to know where Call My Agent! from 2015 was filmed? The series starring Camille Cottin, Thibault de Montalembert and Grégory Montel was shot at more than 6 locations, including Pere Lachaise cemetery - enterance in Paris, France. All the filming locations of Call My Agent! are listed below.What is another way to say 10 percent? ›
Alternate Synonyms for "ten percent":
one-tenth; tenth; tenth part; common fraction; simple fraction.
Definitions of ten percent. a tenth part; one part in ten equal parts. synonyms: one-tenth, tenth, tenth part. type of: common fraction, simple fraction. the quotient of two integers.Is Call My Agent worth watching? ›
There isn't a weak episode and with 24 episodes, that is quite something. You will love the episode with Sigourney Weaver - it's comedy genius and what is even more amazing is it is based on real events. Definitely a recommended watch from me.Has Call My Agent been Cancelled? ›
Call My Agent! Season 5 is under production alongside a spin-off film, noted Variety. The fifth season is in an earlier stage of development at France Televisions.Is Call My Agent Bollywood based on true story? ›
The show is about a fictional talent agency based in Mumbai, and the trials and tribulations that the central characters go through as they try to please their celebrity clients and also remain one step ahead of their colleagues.What are the 4 types of agents? ›
- Artists' agents. An artist's agent handles the business side of an artist's life. ...
- Sales agents. ...
- Distributors. ...
- Licensing agents.
late 15c., "one who acts," from Latin agentem (nominative agens) "effective, powerful," present participle of agere "to set in motion, drive forward; to do, perform; keep in movement" (from PIE root *ag- "to drive, draw out or forth, move").
- Universal Agent : A Universal agent is one who is authorised to do all the acts which the Principal can lawfully do and can delegate.
- Special Agent: ...
- General Agent: ...
- De Credere Agent: ...
- Pakka Adatia And Kaccha Adatia. ...
- Broker : ...
- Factor : ...
- Commission Agent:
- Fierce Creatures.
- Guest House Paradiso.
- Mikybo & Me.
- Waist Deep.
- War Games.
- Cry Baby.
All three seasons of This Is Us are available on Amazon Prime Video. While seasons one and two are included with your Prime Video membership and therefore available to stream for free, season three is available to purchase. READ NEXT: What do you get with your Amazon Prime subscription?Is the Americans on Netflix or Amazon Prime? ›
How to Watch The Americans. Right now you can watch The Americans on Hulu Plus or Amazon Prime. You are able to stream The Americans by renting or purchasing on Vudu, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, and iTunes.Why does Netflix call everything original? ›
Because they premiered on Netflix in your region. LITERALLY EVERY CHANNEL and STREAMING SERVICE calls the shows that first run ( domestically ) on their channels or services their original series.How do you know if a show is a Netflix original? ›
A “Netflix Original” is defined by the status Netflix gives to the show. This may be defined by the following: Netflix commissioned and produced the show. Netflix has exclusive international streaming rights to the show.Is Call My Agent subtitles in English? ›
What Parents Need to Know. Parents need to know that Call My Agent! is a French dramatic comedy (with English subtitles) geared towards older viewers.How do I change my region on Netflix? ›
The country on your account can't be changed unless you move to a new one. If you have moved recently, see Traveling or moving with Netflix for details. Using a VPN to access Netflix will hide your region and only allow you to see TV shows and movies available to all regions globally.Why are so many Netflix shows dubbed? ›
As Netflix pushes to expand international programming, dubbing helps make more shows and films accessible to viewers who do not like to, or can't, read subtitles.
As Netflix (NFLX) pursues international expansion by making local content for foreign countries, it's offering a plethora of non-English language movies and TV series to subscribers in the U.S.Is there a way to filter out foreign films on Netflix? ›
While you can hide titles on Netflix, you can't blanket hide a specific language but you can browse languages on Netflix much easier than ever before.Can you watch Squid Game without dubbing? ›
The most basic answer to a question like “should you watch Squid Game dubbed or subbed” is: whatever you're comfortable with. It's ultimately your decision, but what we'll do here is break down reasons why you should or shouldn't pick one instead of the other.How do heists make money in English? ›
Currently you are able to watch "Money Heist" streaming on Netflix, Netflix basic with Ads.How do you unlock hidden shows on Netflix? ›
- Action & Adventure: 1365.
- Action Comedies: 43040.
- Action Sci-Fi & Fantasy: 1568.
- Action Thrillers: 43048.
- Adult Animation: 11881.
- Adventures: 7442.
- African Movies: 3761.
- Alien Sci-Fi: 3327.
- Asian Action Movies (77232)
- Classic Action & Adventure (46576)
- Action Comedies (43040)
- Action Thrillers (43048)
- Adventures (7442)
- Comic Book and Superhero Movies (10118)
- Westerns (7700)
- Spy Action & Adventure (10702)
Although other factors influence the actual cut agents take, agents usually receive around 10% of an actor's earnings for roles they secured. The payment process is fairly straightforward: An agent will negotiate a contract, close the deal with a production company, and take their cut.Is Call My Agent a good show? ›
Audience Reviews for Call My Agent!: Season 1
Brilliant show. Love the individual characters, the interactions between them, the backstabbing, the twists and turns, the insight into the movie industry, and the highly rated movie stars that came on to either play themselves or make fun of themselves.
Misha has decided to follow her absent father, Jonathan, and grandfather, Richard, in their talent agent career, arriving at London agency Nightingale Hart just in time to be spontaneously hired as an assistant when one is fired.Do actors pay their agents? ›
Working with an agent:
Agents have access to the casting breakdown services and submit actors for auditions. Agents receive payment from production companies. They take their 10-20 percent commission, and then cut their actor a check for the remaining amount the actor has earned.
yes, you can have more than one voice-over agent, but you gotta know how to work with multiple agents and you've got to understand a little bit about that process. Agents are not really thrilled when actors work with more than one agent and it's for the obvious reason: because they're all competing for the same work.Do agents look for actors? ›
A talent agent finds jobs for the actors (or authors, athletes, musicians, models, etc.) they represent. More specifically, acting agents submit their clients for auditions, pitch them for roles, follow up on submissions and auditions, negotiate better pay and contracts, and renegotiate existing contracts.What should I watch after calling my agent? ›
- Speakerine. Just like Call My Agent! ...
- Laëtitia. Featured, just like Call My Agent! in the New York Times' list of the best TV shows of 2021, Laëtitia is most probably the best French mini-series of the past 10 years. ...
- Les simone.
The show is a huge hit in France, with 3-4 million viewers per episode, and internationally, too—there are rumblings of remakes from Europe to Asia to, of course, the U.S. But like one of its forebears, beloved workplace comedy The Office, there will likely never be anything quite like the original.Do actors still use agents? ›
An agent is the key relationship you will have in your career as an actor. They are your first port of call and connection to the industry. As well as offering you advice and negotiating your contracts, the key role an agent will play in your life is getting you acting auditions.Are the actors in Call My Agent playing themselves? ›
'Ten Percent') is a French comedy-drama television series that premiered on France 2 on 14 October 2015. The series depicts talent agents at the fictional agency ASK (Agence Samuel Kerr) and their relationships with their actor clients, who are real, mainly French, celebrities playing themselves. Call My Agent!How do agents know about auditions? ›
An agent spends a lot of time on the phone and can talk about you—and your talent—with casting directors, directors, and producers in order to get you an appointment, meeting, or audition.Is Mischa Jonathans daughter 10 percent? ›
And aside from the delicate handling of their clients, the agents and staff in Ten Percent also have their own personal lives to deal with. The biggest storyline comes when Misha Virani (Hiftu Quasem) gets a job at the agency. Turns out she's Jonathan's daughter, but nobody knows and he wants to keep it that way.Who is Margot in Ten Percent? ›
Ten Percent (TV Series 2022– ) - Eléonore Arnaud as Margaux Martorana - IMDb.