Petra Emily in Paris: Who plays the controversial Ukrainian student in season 2?

Emily in Paris: Lily Collins stars in season two trailer

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Emily in Paris season two provided the perfect festive treat for fans when it arrived on Netflix. The second outing saw Emily Cooper (played by Lily Collins) return to a French class to brush up on the language. Here she met a Ukrainian student called Petra, who has caused quite a stir.

Who is Petra in Emily in Paris?

In one of the season two episodes, Emily is sent back to French class as her grasp of the language is poor.

She is asked to find a partner to work with and ends up introducing herself to Petra.

The pair start to bond outside of class and Petra takes Lily shopping.

However, the Ukrainian student proceeds to shoplift and is accused of having poor fashion sense.

There is also a reference to her character being afraid of deportation.

The actress who plays Petra is Daria Panchenko, an actress and producer known for Existir, Bright-eyed Revenge and Astrid and Raphaëlle.

The star seems to be on Instagram but her profile has been deactivated.

Her other credits include The Speech, Best Intentions, and Dernier recours.

The actress opened up about her early life on her website, saying: “Being passionate about all types of artistic expression since my very early years, at the age of five I started to create little musicals with other children of my neighborhood in Kiev (Ukraine).

“This favourite pass-time would lead me later to study singing, theatre and dance.

“I would be studying in the Ukrainian Ballet Academy at the same time as in the prestigious Klovky Luceum that gave me the opportunity to learn five languages and to get a couple of scholarships to study in the USA.

“Later on I entered the Kiev Linguistic University already working as a lead dancer in a dance show and taking my first steps in the world of cinema.”

Finally settling down in France, she has worked on producing her own film projects.

Her character in Emily in Paris has been blasted by Ukraine’s culture minister, Oleksandr Tkachenko.

On Telegram, he said: “In Emily in Paris, we have a caricature image of a Ukrainian woman that is unacceptable. It is also insulting, is that how Ukrainians are seen abroad?”

According to Ukrainian media, he sent a letter to Netflix complaining about the portrayal of Petra.

Express.co.uk has contacted Netflix for a statement in response to his claims.

Emily actress Collins previously opened up about how other stereotypes were addressed in the series.

She told Elle UK: “For me as Emily, but also as a producer, after season one, hearing people’s thoughts, concerns, questions, likes, dislikes, just feelings about it, there were certain things that spoke to the time that we’re living in and what is right, moral and correct and should be done.

“I wanted diversity and inclusion in front of and behind the camera to be something that we really put our focus on.”

Actress Panchenko has not shared her thoughts on her character in the hit Netflix series.

On her website, she continued: “Still looking for new experiences and new acting techniques my next destination choice was New York and Lee Strasberg Film and Theatre Institute.

“Before returning to Paris and being accepted to the Masters course of the Theatre Directing in the University Paris 10.

“Finally settled down in France I multiplied my experiences as an actress, dancer and choreographer for both video and stage productions.

“The director and producer Eric Atlan offered me my first leading part in a French fantasy feature film called Mortem.”

Emily in Paris season 2 is on Netflix now.

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