Interviews Magazine scans Photoshoots

Check the new “CALIFUK” issue (september) of Flaunt magazine featuring Lily. You can also read her interview below, she talks about her role as Natasha Rostova in the BBC adaptation of ‘War and Peace’.


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Magazine Scans > 2015 > Flaunt (September)
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FLAUNT – Though Lily James grew up antithetically to Cinderella, she wears a gown sewn with similar thread: grace and charm, humility and wisdom. While the CALIFUK editorial team awaited a call from the 26-year-old actress (and impending talk of the globe), hushing gossip dominoed down the hall, murmurings bounded from office to office. “Is Cinderella calling?” Yes, the star of Disney’s latest incarnation of Cinderella (2015) carved time in her shiny schedule to briefly talk about what the princess does after the ball. A Google image search of the future superstar yields a catalogue of marvelous gowns for Cinderella’s summer premieres in Tokyo (Shinderera), Berlin (Aschenputtel), Paris (Cendrillon), and Mexico City (Cenicienta) and every other metropolitan fiefdom thrilled to screen the big-budget fantasy masterpiece. The Guardian praised the film’s “straight-faced sentimentality” and “unashamedly old-fashioned” nature, even offering contrarian commentary supporting the protagonist’s modern spirit of independence. Written with anti-revisionist mentality, and maintaining the trope-ish ethos—i.e. 18th-century European baroque-ness meets good ol’ pack-the-station-wagon Disney Americana—the film grossed $132 million on its opening weekend. Director Kenneth Branagh skipped fixing what wasn’t broken, and James—true to her hallmark character—filled the allegorical slipper perfectly.

Refined audiences might have found James’ success in the rags-to-riches princess role a refreshing switch. During her “day job” as Lady Rose Aldridge (née MacClare) on Downton Abbey (2012-2014), she’s recognized moreso for her disregard of mores, as the rebellious youngest daughter of the MacClare family. James’ character means well, though, balancing capable charm and innocent curiosity, arcing from an illicit rendezvous with jazz singer Jack Ross to a safe-but-loving marriage with Atticus Aldridge. She told Zap2it in March, “Part of me wants her to like lose her shit and come back completely wrecked and a ruined woman, and part of me wants her to keep her happily-ever-after.” But happily ever after is subjective. Fans might beg Lady Rose fair stay, while James’ real-life happiness—in the vein of Flow’s Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi—could require roles of increasing challenge, rising to her performative level.

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Interviews Television War And Peace

THE TELEGRAPH – When it was last on television, it took an epic 20 episodes to tell the sprawling story of love, family and Napoleonic war in Tolstoy’s Russia.

The BBC’s latest version, more than four decades on, has enlisted Lily James, Andrew Davies and a cast of hundreds to convince a new generation that War and Peace is for them in just six hours.

The BBC aims to broadcast the “definitive” War and Peace for the 21st century, executives said, as they unveil the first-look images from their far-from-cosy new period drama.

It will aim to encapsulate Tolstoy’s magnum opus in a six-part adaption that will showcase the “humour, energy, light and love” of the original story, while syphoning off the philosophical musings.

First announced in the Telegraph two years ago, prospective fans can now get their first glimpse of the drama with new images of Natasha Rostova, played by Lily James, Paul Dano as Pierre Bezukhov and James Norton as Prince Andrei Bolkonsky.

Executives hope the adaptation, by “master” of the genre Andrew Davies, will convince a new generation that War and Peace is not a daunting, dry book to be consigned to history, but full of the modern-day dilemmas affecting teenagers through time.

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Interviews

DAILY DEAD – On February 5th, manners will meet the macabre in Screen Gems’ Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the upcoming film adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s novel of the same name. At Comic-Con last week, Daily Dead participated in roundtable interviews with the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies director and cast, who discussed the film’s physicality, investable characters, formidable zombies, and much more.

Writer/director Burr Steers on his vision for the film:
Burr Steers: It was actually something I knew was out there because a lot of people had taken shots at trying to get it made. I looked at it and had a take on it that I was really confident would work. I went in there and rewrote it, and made it happen.

I saw it in my mind the way you’d approach a play. We’d set up this alternate world where there’s a zombie pandemic that had taken place about 70 years earlier, and everyone had grown up with that element in their lives. Create that world and then stage Pride and Prejudice in that world. In the way that if you were doing Richard III, you might set it up in Germany, to bring something new out of it.

It really was about style coming out of substance and to have you invested in these characters so that when they’re at risk, you really are worried about them. The risk seems real and it’s not cheesy—zombies are dangerous.

Steers on the influence of Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend:
Burr Steers: From a literary standpoint, Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend was a big template for me, and the idea that they [the zombies] were still retaining some of who they were as people, that there’s a brain working there. It’s not just some mindless thing walking around waiting to get decapitated. They’re more formidable. Also, now they’re getting to the point where they can pass, and they don’t view themselves as monsters. They view themselves as a competing race with the human race, that was more interesting to me. There is so much in I Am Legend. For all the film versions of it, I don’t think it’s ever been filmed.

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Interviews

THE INDEPENDENT – Lily James is best known for playing the demure Lady Rose in Downton Abbey, but her portrayal of Elizabeth Bennet in the upcoming film Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is much less decorous.

The actress will play “the most kickass Elizabeth Bennett we’ve ever seen”, according to her Mr Darcy co-star Sam Riley.

The premise of the film sees the Pride and Prejudice characters transported to an alternative version of Regency era England, where an under-class of zombies threaten to overtake the British establishment.

The Bennet sisters are trained in martial arts to help fight the zombies, but Lily James’ Elizabeth likes to use her fighting expertise to defend herself against her suitor as well.

“There is a scene where my proposal to her goes horribly wrong and we end up having a fight in the drawing room where she attacks me with the letter opener and poker,” Riley said.

“I can speak from experience that she’s pretty lethal.”

In typical Mr Darcy fashion, Riley’s character turns his nose up at the martial arts training the Bennet sisters have been given at a Shaolin temple, which he deems inferior to his own.

“We look down on them because we think Japanese style is probably best,” said Riley. “It’s the equivalent of a public school looking down on a grammar school – and those sorts of things are in the film which are quite good fun.”

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