HUFFINGTONPOST – If you’ve been watching a lot of television these days, then you’ve probably caught a glimpse of the new trailer for the upcoming Disney remake of “Cinderella.” (Especially if you watch “The Bachelor.”)
And if you still have no idea who the actress playing Cinderella in the movie is, look no further for your answer. Robb Stark’s Richard Madden’s onscreen love is 25-year-old Lily James, and you just might recognize her from some award-winning TV series.
Here are five things to know about the British beauty:
1. Lily James’ real name is Lily Chloe Ninette Thomson.
The actress, born in Esher, Surrey, took her stage name in honor of her father — British actor and musician James Thompson — who died in 2008 after a cancer diagnosis.
2. Her grandmother was an actress as well.
James’ grandmother is the late American-born actress Helen Horton, who is the voice of Mother, the ship computer, in Ridley Scott’s “Alien.” She also appeared in “Superman 3” and “Phase IV.”
3. James plays Lady Rose MacClare on “Downton Abbey.”
James first appeared as the rebellious great-niece of Dowager Countess of Grantham (Maggie Smith) on the last episode of Season 3 of “Downton Abbey.” She is now a series regular, starring alongside Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Elizabeth McGovern and Hugh Bonneville on the hit show.
4. James has been referred to as the next Keira Knightley.
“The next Keira? I’ll take that as a nice thing because just as many nasty things are written,” James told The Independent. “When I worked with Bill Nighy on ‘Wrath of the Titans,’ he said to me, ‘There’s one thing you can promise me and that’s never ever, ever, read your reviews.’ And I have taken that on board with the theatre, but for some reason I looked at stuff with the television I’ve done and it’s silly; I won’t again.”
5. She dates fellow Brit, and former “Doctor Who” star, Matt Smith.
James confirmed to the New York Post that she and Smith are an item in a recent interview. But don’t expect her to divulge information about their romance. “In regards to your love life, you’re just entering into a whole [lot] of pain if you talk about it,” James told InStyle UK in January. “If you’ve never said anything, there are no sound bites to haunt you when you’re crying into a box of Kleenex after it all goes wrong.”
6. She’s a natural brunette.
James dyed her locks for her role on “Downton Abbey.” Luckily, a casting director of “Cinderella” noticed her blond hair and asked her to read for the lead role in the movie, despite the fact that she originally auditioned to play an ugly stepsister.