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NET-A-PORTER – If Lily James could play any role from cinematic history, what would it be? “That’s a tough question,” says the actress, who you’ll probably recognize as Rose in Downton Abbey and Disney’s princess Cinderella. She wrinkles her nose in concentration. “I was watching The People vs. Larry Flynt last night,” she offers finally, referring to the ’90s biopic of the American porn baron, starring Woody Harrelson as Flynt and Courtney Love as his stripper girlfriend, Althea Leasure. “Courtney Love in that,” she drops her voice to a whisper. “Oh, God, incredible. It would be good to go that far, to go into a space and be with a director and a group of people and just let everything go. That would be cool.”

This is an interesting moment for James. After a deftly timed flirtation with darker, edgier subject matter in last year’s Baby Driver, plus an eye-catching appearance as Churchill’s secretary in Darkest Hour, the 29-year-old actress is raising her game with three female-led features that promise to position her as a British leading lady with international clout. First up is the long-awaited film adaptation of beloved historical novel The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, directed by Mike Newell. Later this month there’s Little Woods, an indie gem developed by its 28-year-old director Nia DaCosta in a Sundance incubator; and finally July’s sun-drenched, all-singing, all-dancing sequel Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again, in which James plays Donna (aka Meryl Streep’s younger self).

It is the morning after the Oscars, and James and I are meeting at a north London cafe close to the actress’s home. Ever-so-slightly disheveled, she could be any cute London girl – dressed in reworked vintage jeans (“From Austin”), a huge overcoat, Burberry plaid scarf and sloppy sweater sourced from a local boutique – if it weren’t for the Julia Roberts-level mega-wattage of her beauty, which she only really switches on once we’re ensconced at our table and sipping coffee. After months of Mamma Mia!-ing (“So intense, because I had to sing, I had to dance… and I felt kind of like I was going to screw it up”), she is recovering. “Seeing friends that I haven’t seen in so long and just not feeling guilty about being able to drink wine every day. I can eat what I want and not go to the gym and just be really lazy.” Ergo, she spent Oscars night in bed (asleep), waking to excited text messages from her actor beau Matt Smith (currently out in Los Angeles) about Gary Oldman’s Darkest Hour win. Since then, she’s mostly been watching Frances McDormand’s acceptance speech: “So many times. Like on repeat! I met her at the BAFTAs and she is just a complete rock star. She’s just so completely herself.”

(Read the rest of the story at the source)

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Magazine Scans > 2018 > Porter’s Edit (April)
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On The Record
With her all-singing, all-dancing role in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Lily James is clearly well-versed in ABBA. But which other artists does she listen to when she’s at home? Press play to watch her wax lyrical about her favorite musical memories in an exclusive behind-the-scenes video

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