Birth Name: Lily Chloe Ninette Thomson
Alternate Names: Lily James
Mostly Credited As: Lily James
Date of Birth: April 5, 1989 (Esher, Surrey, England)
Height: 5′ 7″ (1.70 m)
Star Sign: Aries
Born in the London suburb of Esher as Lily Thomson, James took to performing at an early age, keen on following in the footsteps of her actress grandmother, Helen Horton. After her graduation from Guildhall School of Music and Drama, James, who adopted her surname from her father’s first name, quickly won notable parts on the British stage, including playing Desdemona opposite Clarke Peters’ Othello in a high-profile version of William Shakespeare’s tragic play. Given her innate talent for drama and strikingly beautiful looks, it was not long before she landed television roles, initially playing big sister to the young lead character on the English family comedy “Just William” (BBC One, 2010).
Moving to more adult-oriented fare, James portrayed Poppy, the nice-girl roommate of Billie Piper’s Belle on the final season of the decadent drama series “Secret Diary of a Call Girl” (ITV, 2007-2011). Soon thereafter, she won her first Hollywood role as a supporting character in the critically trashed blockbuster “Wrath of the Titans” (2012). Despite her relatively minor part, James enjoyed her time on the massive star-studded production, which featured English acting giants such as Ralph Fiennes and Bill Nighy. The same year, she appeared in the lead part of highly competitive sprinter Lisa Temple in the British sports drama “Fast Girls” (2012), which proved to be a word-of-mouth hit in the United Kingdom.
With a starring film role under her belt, James had garnered enough attention to attract the interest of the producers of “Downton Abbey.” Cast as the troublemaking young Lady Rose MacClare, James succeeded in stirring things up on the esteemed hit drama during the show’s third season. After only a few appearances as the party-loving Rose, James made such an impression that Disney came knocking on her door. In the spring of 2013, the Mouse House announced that she was selected for the lead in a major live-action reboot of the iconic, rags-to-riches “Cinderella” story, with Cate Blanchett as her wicked stepmother and Kenneth Branagh in the director’s chair.