DEADLINE – EXCLUSIVE: Tessa Thompson and Lily James are set to star in upcoming indie title Little Woods, with James Badge Dale, Luke Kirby and Lance Reddick also joining the cast.
The film, which is written and directed by Nia DaCosta, is produced by Rachael Fung and Gabrielle Nadig.
Little Woods marks DaCosta’s directorial debut and it’s dubbed a modern Western which tells the story of two sisters, Ollie (Thompson) and Deb (James), who are driven to work outside the law to better their lives. For years, Ollie has illicitly helped the struggling residents of her North Dakota oil boomtown access Canadian health care and medication. When the authorities catch on, she plans to abandon her crusade, only to be dragged in even deeper after a desperate plea for help from her sister.
Hot young actress Thompson, whose credits include Creed and hit TV series Westworld, can next be seen in Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok and opposite Natalie Portman in Alex Garland’s Annihilation.
Brit sensation James starred in Disney’s Cinderella and has roles in upcoming title Baby Driver, directed by Edgar Wright, and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society for Studiocanal.
Thompson is repped by Greene & Associates Talent Agency, Mosaic and Jackoway Tyerman.
James is repped by UTA in the U.S. and Tavistock Wood in the UK.
Dale is repped by CAA and MJ Management. Kirby is repped by Gersh and Gene Parseghian. Reddick is repped by Paradigm and Grandview.
Little Woods begins production in early 2017. CAA is handling sales.
USA TODAY – Eight hours might seem enough time for a film presentation of a novel, but we’re talking Leo Tolstoy’s classic, War and Peace.
“I don’t feel like any major plot points are missing,” director Tom Harper told writers Wednesday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.
He said the A&E Networks miniseries focuses on the main stories, winnowing elements of the book that deal with philosophy and military strategy. “It’s a love story between three characters. … It’s a love story and a search for meaning.”
The four-part miniseries.to be simulcast on A&E, History and Lifetime (Jan. 18, 9 p.m. ET/PT), is set against the backdrop of Napoleon’s 1812 invasion of Russia, focusing on the fortunes of five aristocratic families in the fading days of imperial Russia. James Norton (Grantchester, Rush) plays Andrei Bolkonsky, whose disillusionment about war may be cured by Natasha Rostov (Lily James), who needs to marry to keep her family from financial ruin. Pierre Bezukhov (Paul Dano) has great wealth, but is at the mercy of fortune hunters trying to prey on his naiveté.
Viewers will get to see “amazing” scenes, from battleground to ballroom, but “it’s the intimate emotional moments that make the story quite so wonderful,” Harper said.
Executive producer Harvey Weinstein said a librarian neighbor introduced him to the novel after a youthful injury playing Cowboys & Indians kept him from attending school. “It’s my favorite novel,” he said.
The production is faithful to the novel, Weinstein said. “What I think this series will do is get people to read the book,” said Weinstein, who has had a similar experience with feature film productions.
Dano (Love & Mercy, 12 Years a Slave) finds Tolstoy’s story relevant today.
“The inner life was so rich and true to how we live and feel. That’s how we bring a modern energy to our War and Peace without doing something detrimental” to the book, said Dano, who was given a first edition of the first English-language translation, “a faded, red leather book.”
James (Cinderella, Downton Abbey) said she’s long been a fan of period dramas and was “blown away” as a youngster watching Kate Winslet in Titanic. She was drawn to Natasha’s “vast” journey, which she described as “intoxicating,” and praised Tolstoy’s writing skill.
“I fell in love with Natasha when I read the book. I didn’t understand how Tolstoy could understand a 13-year-old girl like that,” she said.
Lily, Suki Waterhouse, and Bella Heathcote are featured in the new issue (January 2016) of Marie Claire, promoting their new movie Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Below you can check Lily’s cover and a sneak-peek of her interview:
MARIE CLAIRE – Lily James on her initial reaction to the movie: “When I saw the e-mail from my agent, I was like, This sounds terrible! Then within 20 pages of the script, I thought, This is so cool! Somehow these two worlds join together, and it’s a riot.”
On her first big role as Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors: ”I remember putting socks in my bra to make my boobs look bigger. I’d love to do Little Shop of Horrors again. Now that I’m slightly more mature, I wouldn’t need socks in my bra.”
On dating her costar Matt Smith: “He just made me laugh all the time. I actually loved being able to talk about work. It was great that he had to propose to me.”
HARPER’S BAZAAR – There has been an invasion of Russia. The imperial palace of Gatchina outside St Petersburg has been overrun by a motley army that has brought its own field kitchens, transports and baggage trains in its wake. Men in Hussar uniforms stride purposefully by, horses champ and stamp, and serfs dressed in woven-leather slippers look on.
But this is no Napoleonic conquest. The BBC has descended in force, breathing new life into War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy’s sweeping story of Russian society during the early years of the 19th century.
‘We wrap tomorrow,’ says Lily James, fresh from her roles as Lady Rose in Downton Abbey and Cinderella in the Disney fairy tale. Now she is playing Natasha Rostova, the bewitching young countess at the heart of the novel. Natasha loves, and is loved by, many of the other characters – not only her sprawling family but a succession of variously eligible young men. James herself was not proof against Natasha’s mercurial charm. ‘I had a lot of time to read the book and totally fell in love with Natasha,’ she says as she sits patiently in a make-up trailer, wearing a white T-shirt and ripped black jeans, while her hair is plaited, primped and transformed into an empire style.
‘She’s got such spirit, such soul, and feels things so intensely and extravagantly. At times I can be like her. There’s a description of her first ball at her dancing teacher’s house and it says she falls in love with every person in the room. She’s so open to the world and her heart is so big. I think I fell in love with everyone when I was growing up too, and my friends say I do fall in love really easily.’ The BBC team spent time in Vilnius in Lithuania as well as in Russia and was granted unprecedented access to film the young Countess Rostova’s first real ball in Empress Catherine’s palace. ‘That’s where the Tsar’s ball actually happened,’ explains James. ‘Being in that room with a Russian orchestra playing the music… those are some of the most breathtaking moments I’ve had filming. They made my hair stand on end.’
Just imagine sitting in a room full of people, everyone staring at you waiting for your reaction to you winning that coveted award… How would you react? Or you’ve just lost, and are simply holding back the rage.
Either way, we put the very same question to the likes of Gemma Arterton, Maisie Williams, Bella Thorne, Richard Madden and Lily James, to see what reactions they’d go with.
It’s no wonder they’re all super successful actors, as we were left utterly convinced by their performances!
We all know that in the fairy tale, Cinderella wears glass slippers, but actress Lily James is looking for slightly more comfortable—and no less stunning—heels. Here she tries several designer pairs. Watch to see which will be fit for a princess.?
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.Continue Reading
INDIEWIRE – Lily James
There are times when those of us not in thrall to the televisual crack cocaine that is “Downton Abbey” feel like we’re missing out, and Lily James’ turn as Lady Rose MacClare is a case in point. Prior to the all-conquering period drama, James had a recurring role on the Billie Piper-starring “Secret Diary of a Call Girl” and a small role in “Clash of the Titans,” along with a couple of smaller British films, notably feelgood competitive running movie “Fast Girls.” But for all that, she remained largely under the radar. But as little as we watch ‘Downton,’ it’s clear that casting directors pay it a great deal more attention, and James is about to become inescapable. Appropriately, her professional rags-to-riches story really kicked into gear when she was cast as the titular, uncomfortable footwear-sporting “Cinderella” in Kenneth Branagh’s live action version. After that we’ll see her in Bradley Cooper’s untitled restaurant film, scripted by Steven Knight and co-starring fellow 2014 On the Rise alum Jamie Dornan, and recent word has it that she’ll be back in corsets once again to play Natasha to Paul Dano’s Pierre in a lavish BBC miniseries production of “War and Peace” (billed as “the most ambitious event series ever made for the BBC”). She’s being somewhat typecast into period pieces and princessy type roles at the moment, but if Disney’s “Cinderella” does anything like the business the studio clearly hopes for, she could turn out to be the next Anne Hathaway—she has both the face and the talent.