‘Eiffel’: Everything You Need to Know About the Epic Romance Starring Emma Mackey

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Emma Mackey is no stranger to elaborate period costumes. Since her breakout as the deliciously acerbic Maeve Wiley in Sex Education, the 26-year-old French-British actor has donned showstopping ballgowns as Jacqueline de Bellefort in Death on the Nile and will soon be seen in bonnets and hoop skirts in Frances O’Connor’s elemental Emily Brontë biopic, Emily. But, before we watch her penning masterpieces and traipsing across the Yorkshire moors—and long before we see her in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, in a role that remains shrouded in mystery—she’ll appear in a corset, with her hair in an elaborate updo, in another ravishing 19th-century drama.

Photo: Pathé Films

Eiffel, directed by Martin Bourboulon and based on an original screenplay by Caroline Bongrand, tells the story of Gustave Eiffel (Romain Duris), the civil engineer best known for constructing the metal framework of the Statue of Liberty as well as the iconic tower that still bears his name. Inspired by true events, the romantic epic opens in 1880s Paris, when our titular hero has no interest in creating the latter structure, then intended simply as a monument for the Exposition Universelle of 1889. Then, he encounters a long-lost love: Adrienne Bourgès (Mackey), a beguiling young woman he had met early in his career and had wished to marry, before being deemed unworthy by her father. In the film’s version of the tale, their meeting prompts him to build the Eiffel Tower as a tribute to her, with the shape of the landmark itself echoing her initial, “A.”

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