Articles Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again Movies Photoshoots

ALLURE – It’s Wednesday at 3 p.m., and Lily James is handing me a shot of Patrón XO Cafe, a sticky coffee-infused tequila that goes down way easier than it should. “It’s good, isn’t it?” the actress asks after we toss them back. “I much prefer it to, like, tequila-tequila.” She licks her lips. “I find that really drinkable.”

We’re at a pub in Finsbury Park, a neighborhood of North London that isn’t known for being particularly posh, and since James has the luxury of an afternoon off, it feels appropriate to day-drink. It started with a few frames of bowling next door at Rowans Tenpin Bowl, then some pints, then talk of something called a “strawpedo,” where you reportedly suck Smirnoff Ice out of a bottle as quickly as possible. Thankfully, this pub, a typical British working-class spot called the Twelve Pins, doesn’t serve Smirnoff Ice. So instead, we’re slamming back shots of tequila.

Here’s what you’re probably thinking: Isn’t Lily James known as a good-girl actress? She’s doing shots on a Wednesday afternoon in a dingy pub? Didn’t she play Cinderella?
And yes, James is exceedingly nice and noticeably polite. The 29-year-old actress has cultivated a career playing kind protagonists in period pieces like Downton Abbey and the upcoming Netflix drama The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and she embodied one of the most iconic fairy-tale princesses in Disney’s live-action adaptation of Cinderella. Her characters always overcome the odds, get the guy, and live happily and sweetly ever after. There’s a reason no one writes anything negative about James — because how could you? But public perception, filtered through Instagram and TV and the press, isn’t always a representation of the truth. The reality is that James is like any person, complicated and layered. One minute she’s recounting her work as a patron of the North London branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association, and the next she’s telling a story about being recognized in a bathroom line at the Glastonbury Festival at 5 a.m. You can be a good person and still do shots in the afternoon.

When James first started working as an actress, after graduating from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London in 2010, she didn’t feel quite as pigeonholed as she does now. Her work in theater was far edgier than the women she embodies these days onscreen, and ultimately it was being cast as Cinderella that tipped the scales toward always being seen as the good girl. She’s ventured off course, particularly in last year’s Baby Driver, but James always seems to come back (or be pulled back) to the amiable blonde heroine.

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ENEWS – Lily James and Matt Smith are still going strong and may take a major step in their relationship.

The 29-year-old Cinderella and Downton Abbey actress and 35-year-old The Crown and Doctor Who actor started dating in 2014 and made their public debut as a couple the following year. In an interview with Marie Claire U.K., published in its July 2018 issue (on sale on Thursday), James talked about the possibility of her and Smith buying a home together.

“We want to get somewhere,'” she said. “That’s going like, ‘Can we go furniture shopping?’ We bought a rug…and I love getting flowers and making things look nice.”

James also told the magazine she hopes to spend time traveling for a few months and “just switch off.”

Both she and Smith have kept busy with their acting careers in recent years. Last year, James spent time in Croatia filming Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again with returning stars Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried. More than a month ago, she began filming a new film directed by Danny Boyle in her and Smith’s native England. A few months ago, Smith finished filming his role as the late Charles Manson in the biographical crime drama film Charlie Says in Los Angeles.

“When you’re an actor, it’s like, ‘You’ve got to keep the momentum up.’ And I’m like, ‘No!'” James told Marie Claire U.K. “You have to trust that things won’t go away if you stop for a bit. I haven’t really stopped, and I don’t think that’s a feasible way to work. For me, eventually, that’s not the lifestyle I want. You never really know where you are. That’s not only with regards to my relationship with Matt, but with my friends and family. There’s so much you miss. That’s why I know I can’t keep working at this intensity. I finish a job; Matt starts one.” (source)


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THE TELEGRAPH – The day before we meet, Lily James went to a yoga class for the first time in many years.

‘I was lying on my back and they were like, “Do a crab,”’ says Lily. ‘And I was like, “Sure…”’ she mimes an awkward attempt at the pose, pushing her chest out, arms flailing hopelessly to the side. ‘And I suddenly realised that I can’t just… you know, I can’t do a crab any more!’

She used to do yoga regularly, but the habit fell by the wayside. Well, I say, you’ve been otherwise occupied. She nods. ‘I have.’

At 29, Lily already has the sort of CV many older actresses can only dream of. She landed her first role in the BBC adaptation of Just William straight after graduating from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama eight years ago. By 2015, Lily was playing the lead in Disney’s live-action retelling of Cinderella.

The next year, she was Natasha in the BBC’s critically acclaimed War and Peace. In 2017, she put on a faultless American accent to star as diner waitress Deborah in the Edgar Wright-directed Baby Driver, and took on the role of Winston Churchill’s secretary in Darkest Hour, the film that won Gary Oldman a Best Actor Oscar.

And now her latest role sees Lily back in 1940s tailoring, playing Juliet Ashton, a writer emotionally scarred by the Second World War, in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Adapted from the bestselling novel of the same title, it is directed by Mike Newell (of Four Weddings and a Funeral fame).

Lily’s 20s, she says, have been ‘mad. I’ve just been going and going and going.’ Along the way, she’s also had to contend with the endless interest in her relationship with the actor Matt Smith, 35, who she has been dating for four years, since they met on the set of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. There were rumours of a romance for months, but Lily stuck firmly to the ‘just good friends’ line until they finally made it public with a red-carpet appearance at the Cinderella premiere in February 2015.

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HARPER’S BAZAAR UK – There is something about Lily James’ enchanting beauty that makes her the perfect heroine of period drama – but it’s her vivacious spirit, warmth and intelligence that bring these roles to life for a modern audience. She talks to Sophie Elmhirst about being inspired by her grandmother’s life in occupied France in World War II, the importance of having more female directors in Hollywood, and the positive changes already underway.

There’s a story that Lily James has heard her French grandmother tell over the years. In World War II, James’ grandmother was a child, living in the French countryside. The Nazis took over the house during the occupation and the family were forced to flee to Paris in convoy with the French army. When they finally returned after the war, they found their home destroyed, the cellars flooded, a fur coat floating on the water. ‘When I talk to her,’ says James now, in amazement, ‘I think of how their lives were completely turned upside-down, the horror of it all, and how she carried on and could be here sitting having a cup of tea with her granddaughter.’

There’s something about that fur coat: how a detail can summon an image, an insignificant moment in an epic chronology of destruction that for some reason lingers. Lily James and I are sitting in a Highgate café talking about World War II because she is, once again, starring in a film from that time, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, adapted from the 2008 book of the same title, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. (In fact she’s in two, released in quick succession: the other is Darkest Hour, in which she stars as Winston Churchill’s secretary.)

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EVENING STANDARD – The British actress, 28, said that taking on the role of Elizabeth Layton in the new biopic was a refreshing change following turns on the big screen in Baby Driver and Cinderella and in TV shows Downton Abbey and War And Peace.

“It was just really great for me and refreshing to play a character where her storyline wasn’t about falling in love with a man and getting engaged and married,” she told the Standard.

“It was about a woman who was ferociously dedicated and she adored Churchill. She was aware that she was in the presence of this great man, but her focus was her work and getting it right and being a really crucial part of the whole war effort.”

She stars opposite Gary Oldman, who has been nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance as Churchill, and Dame Kristin Scott Thomas, who plays his wife, Clementine.

James said: “With Clemmie she was right there with him all the way through, his support, his courage, and gave him the strength to be the leader that he was. And with Elizabeth and all the other women who worked down in the War Rooms, they were right there, without them things wouldn’t have happened: telegrams wouldn’t have been sent, speeches wouldn’t have been written.”

Playing a real-life character felt like a much bigger responsibility than a fictitious role, she said.

“It’s feels similar to when I play literary characters because you have this book of information and you know what their thoughts are because you can read it,” she explained.

“In a way when you’re playing a character in a book you don’t want to let down the readers and the people who have imagined this character and then with playing a real-life person you think that her children might watch the film so you don’t want to do her an injustice — it feels very important.”

Darkest Hour is directed by Joe Wright, the British filmmaker behind Atonement and 2005’s Pride & Prejudice.

James said: “Initially I started talking about the film because I was so excited about the prospect of working with Joe Wright. He’s someone I really looked up to and Gary Oldman as Churchill is an insanely brilliant thing. Then I started reading Elizabeth Layton’s book and I was so drawn to her and her experiences and this different perspective on Churchill, it was a much more intimate view of him from her eyes. She was an incredible woman, so dedicated and committed to Churchill. She was witnessing history unfold and was the first person to hear these speeches, so it was a real thrill.”

Darkest Hour is out on January 12.

Articles New Projects

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.

Articles Television War And Peace

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.

Articles Photoshoots Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

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 CLAIRELily 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.”​

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