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.

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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.


SWIDE – Lily James is set to enchant cinema goers in 2015 when she takes on the role of the leading lady in Kenneth Branagh’s live-action version of Disney’s Cinderella. Having charmed her way into our hearts as the cheeky Lady Rose MacClare, prepare to be seeing her face a lot more.

Here are 5 things to know about this rising star.

What’s she made of?
Born April 5 1989 in Esher, Surrey, the English actress is known as Lily Chloe Ninette Thomson to her family and Lily James to the rest of us. She got into acting thanks to her grandmother Helen Horton, who had roles in Alien and Superman 3, and took to performing arts at a young age. Lily James began her studies at Arts Educational School, and later won a place to take on acting at Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, graduating in 2010. She then took to the stage, appearing in major productions before getting picked up by the BBC.

Where have I seen her face before?
In the same year as graduating from Guildhall, Lily landed the role of Ethel Brown in BBC 4-part drama Just William, which picked up the BAFTA Children’s Award for Best Drama. Then she starred opposite Billie Piper in the 4th and final season of the highly successful ‘Secret Diary of a Call Girl’ putting her face out there on a larger platform. That same year, she started filming her part for Jonathan Liebsman’s ‘Wrath of the Titans’ as Korrina, alongside the likes of Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and Sam Worthington. But, it is since she burst onto the scene in 2012 as Lady Rose MacClare in the Golden Globe winning Downton Abbey that Lily James has become one to watch.
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