Lily looked great yesterday, at the London screening of War and Peace. She wore an elegant black column dress with dazzling sequin embellishment on the bodice. A matching, jewel encrusted belt cinched in the garment at the waist, highlighting her slender frame. She was joined by her co-stars James Norton and Tuppence Middleton. Several photos from the event have now been added to the gallery, but be sure to keep the site and twitter (@lilyjamesonline) checked in case of more additions! Enjoy :)
Public Appearances > 2015 > War and Peace Screening in London
Tell us about Natasha
I agree with Andrew Davies that Natasha is the most lovable romantic character in literature. As she goes on an enormous journey from child to woman, you can see all her flaws. She’s very unabashed but in spite of that, you still really like her because she has a huge heart and a beautiful soul. She lives in the moment and she’s completely uninhibited, but of course that leads to disaster. She’s such a vast character to portray –I love Natasha so much and it’s such a joy trying to bring her to life. I’m quite protective over her too! As an actor and as a woman it’s a part that’s going to stay with me. These big parts, these big heroines, they change you as an
actor and as a person.
It was surprising that with War & Peace, it sounds so epic, but I really found myself relating to each of the characters.
What is her relationship with her family like?
Natasha loves her family and she is incredibly close to her brother and to Sonya. The only sadness is that when she gets so lost and wrapped up in her own world and her own trauma she loses her family for a while.
Natasha’s parents are amazing – the relationship with her mum is so beautiful, it’s an intimate mother/daughter relationship. Natasha’s relationship with her father again it’s a really fun one. He’s an extravagant father which she relishes, he’s over indulgent and completely wonderful.
How did you and Paul Dano play the scenes between Natasha and Pierre?
Paul is great to work with, but it’s still a difficult relationship to portray. How do we tap into the undeniable connection they have without them knowing it? When Pierre walks into a room, Natasha is instantly drawn to him.
What are Natasha’s costumes like?
They’re fantastic. I wouldn’t have been able to play Natasha without these wonderful costumes. How you’re dressed really impacts on how you feel. I’ve loved wearing her flowing dresses – funnily enough, you actually feel more freedom in those than you do in jeans. What item would I take home with me if I could? I wore a tiara for the Tsar’s Ball scene that was just amazing!
Tell us about the locations you filmed in?
The locations we’ve been to have been mind-blowing. When we were in Russia we filmed at Catherine’s Palace, outside the Winter Palace and in these huge churches. James and I also filmed a lot of beautiful romantic scenes in the snow. I’ve never seen locations like it that were actually real. When we filmed the ball in Catherine’s Palace, I walked in and was stunned and silenced.
What were the riding sequences like?
Riding side-saddle was difficult. It’s very painful – much worse than the way men ride. You have to trap your legs on the saddle – I’m very glad women don’t have to do that anymore!
Why is Tolstoy such a great writer?
Because he always finds the core of a character. He hones in on what’s important and universal, which is why War & Peace is such a classic. People always say this, but it feels very relevant.
That’s why great books are great books. This novel has stood the test of time because the themes Tolstoy discusses are eternal. The things these characters are talking about – love and death – are never going to change.
Have you read the novel?
You have to read the novel! It’s so addictive! The characters are so rich and I adore Tolstoy’s tone and the humour with which he describes people. It made me laugh, and it made me cry. I was reading it while we were filming Downton Abbey. I’d be reading between takes at the dining table. The director would call “Action!” and – bang! – the book would be back under the table. Everyone was laughing about that!
This is why Andrew is such an amazing writer and adapter because he manages to keep the essence of the story and the characters. It’s a huge book he’s condensed down into these scripts but he’s kept the vitality and it feels accessible. I think the audience will be really drawn in.
A new promotional picture featuring the whole cast of ‘War and Peace’ can be found in our gallery, thanks to FFA.
Thanks to Far Far Away, we’ve added in the gallery new HQ production stills from Lily’s new drama War and Peace. Be sure to check them!
Television Productions > War and Peace (2016) > Season 1 > Episode Stills
UPI – The small-screen adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s 1869 novel War & Peace will be simulcast in the United States on Jan. 18 on Lifetime, A&E and History.
The four-week, television event stars Paul Dano, Lily James, James Norton, Jim Broadbent and Gillian Anderson. The collaboration from BBC Cymru Wales Drama, The Weinstein Co., BBC Worldwide/Lookout Point and Lifetime was penned by Andrew Davies and directed by Tom Harper.
“A thrilling tale of love, war, and family, War & Peace is widely considered the greatest novel ever written,” a synopsis said.
“Set against the backdrop of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, War & Peace is the ultimate story of passion and romance, scandal and deceit, following the rise and fall of fortunes of five aristocratic families — the Bezukhovs, Bolkonskys, Rostovs, Kuragins, and Drubetskoys — all jockeying for top position in the waning days of imperial Russia.”
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.’
A brand new promotional picture for Lily’s new drama War and Peace has been released and added to our gallery! Thanks to Far Far Away for the HQ. Enjoy!