Articles Television War And Peace

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.’

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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!

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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.?

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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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INDIEWIRELily 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.

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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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