Interviews

PRESTIGE – Lily James is having a moment right now. Even if you’ve somehow missed the phenomenon that is Downton Abbey, you would have to have been living under a rock this past year to miss the buzz surrounding this young actress. From the controversy over her tiny waist in Cinderella, to her beautiful portrayal of Natasha Rostov in the critically acclaimed BBC adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s literary classic War and Peace, to her budding romance with fellow Brit actor Matt Smith, aka Doctor Who, it seems hardly a week goes by when she isn’t making headlines.

When we meet, she’s in the middle of a four-month stint on stage in London’s West End, taking on yet another iconic role: the female lead in Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. Richard Madden – best known as Game of Thrones’ Robb Stark – plays Romeo to her Juliet, and Kenneth Branagh steps out as director. Having worked with both men on Cinderella, it’s a familiar crowd for James, which one can’t help but hope takes the pressure off somewhat, as she seems to be one of the busiest people in showbiz. Several projects are either in process or about to be released, War & Peace has just finished airing, she’s on stage eight times a week for four months, and she’s just been announced as the new face of Burberry’s fragrances. It’s a wonder she finds time for a personal life, but then again dating a Time Lord must have its benefits.

Not that she’s complaining. Despite being on voice rest (she sings in Romeo & Juliet, as with many of her other roles), any fears of a quiet interview and quick answers are allayed within a few minutes of meeting her. Warm and chatty, she makes it easy to forget she’s a serious rising star. Her speech is peppered with laughter, a chuckle that verges on the dirty, but with an undercurrent of nervousness that makes it truly endearing. She has a habit of wistfully repeating questions after they’re asked, as if she’s really invested in giving the best possible answer.

As the new face of Burberry fragrances – and the spokesperson for the newly launched My Burberry Black – she’s following in the footsteps of British style icons Cara Delevingne and Kate Moss. Though James differs in a lot of ways from her predecessors, she also represents many of the same things that Moss and Delevingne do, in particular an authenticity that resonates with women. “They’re both genuine people and they’re very real,” says James, “and I’d hope that would be true of myself.” Added to this is a sense of humour, which James sees as inherently British. “I feel there’s a sensibility of getting on with stuff and taking the piss out of stuff,” she says of fellow Brits. “It makes me happy.”

As chief creative officer of Burberry, Christopher Bailey has been on a mission to seek out the best emerging talent from the UK, and has proved time and again that he has the eye for it, as James is quick to point out. “I really respect [Christopher] … He has an eye for talent and I felt really honoured considering the people who have been a part of the brand, you know: Felicity Jones, Emma Watson, Eddie Redmayne … the list is endless.
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Interviews

PEOPLE – Lily James loves all things beauty and fashion.

The Downton Abbey actress, 27, became a total red carpet darling when she went on her global press tour for Cinderella last year, and has kept up an interest in fashion and beauty ever since. This month, she was even named the face of Burberry’s new My Burberry Black fragrance (for which she posed topless in the campaign).

So when we caught up with her to chat before the Burberry launch, we had to wonder, what has she totally fallen hard for now that she’s, well, in it?

Scroll down to see her top five obsessions.

1. Carrying lipstick everywhere.
“In my bag right now, I have my lip gloss and about four Chapsticks,” she tells us. “In my normal handbags, I usually have quite a few lipsticks. They sort of mound up. My Chapsticks are regular, and my go-to lipsticks are the Burberry Kisses lipsticks, which I truly love. I’m really into that nude tone that’s quite mellow and effortless.”

2. A good contour stick.
“Because I have quite a round face, I love to accentuate my cheekbones as much as possible,” she explains. “So I use a lot of contour sticks. I also like to look quite natural, so I like foundation and a little shading and some blush to make you feel like you just crawled out of bed but not too heavy.”

3. Keira Knightley’s look.
“She has such a strong structure for her face,” says James, “I can’t stop looking at her face!”

4. Her Berlin Film Festival Dior gown.
“I loved one of my first red carpets, when I did the Berlin Film Festival,” says the star. “I wore this pink Dior dress, and that was my first fashion moment. From never wearing certain clothes to be able to transform in that way was really exciting.”

5. Shapewear!
“I love a pair of Spanx,” admits James. “I don’t go too extreme. I know there are some crazy contraptions that people wear now but a good ol’ fashion pair of Spanx never goes amiss, but it’s not for everyday wear.”

Darkest Hour Movies

DEADLINE – Focus Features is reteaming with Working Title Films and Joe Wright on Darkest Hour, which will now hit U.S. theaters on November 24, 2017 with Universal Pictures International launching overseas on December 29, 2017. Production begins this fall. Darkest Hour marks Wright’s fourth feature with Working Title and Focus after Pride & Prejudice, Atonement and Anna Karenina. Wright also directed the Focus thriller Hanna starring Saoirse Ronan.

Wright will direct Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill in the film penned by Theory Of Everything‘s Anthony McCarten. He is producing as well with Lisa Bruce and Working Title co-chairs Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner. Also on tap for Darkest Hour is John Hurt as Neville Chamberlain (who Churchill succeeded as Prime Minister), Lily James as Churchill’s personal secretary, Ben Mendelsohn as King George VI, and Kristen Scott Thomas as Churchill’s wife Clementine.

Darkest Hour‘s plot is described as follows: Within days of becoming Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill must face one of his most turbulent and defining trials: exploring a negotiated peace treaty with Nazi Germany, or standing firm to fight for the ideals, liberty and freedom of a nation. As the unstoppable Nazi forces roll across Western Europe and the threat of invasion is imminent, and with an unprepared public, a skeptical King, and his own party plotting against him, Churchill must withstand his darkest hour, rally a nation, and attempt to change the course of world history.

Wright’s canon with Focus Features and Working Title has amassed two Oscars, two Golden Globe Awards, and four BAFTA wins.

No word yet whether Darkest Hour will go wide or limited. Pic will encounter Fox’s Murder On The Orient Express, Disney/Pixar’s Coco and Universal’s romance title Let It Snow.

Movies The Exception Videos

DEADLINE – Kaiser Wilhem, last emperor of the German Empire, ended his reign as one of the most hated men on earth. Held largely responsible for the disaster that was World War 1, he was as despised by his own subjects as he was by the world at large, and after Germany’s defeat was forced into exile in the Netherlands, where he spent the last 25 years of his life. He has largely been forgotten in popular culture however, thanks of course to the far worse monstrosities of the Nazi regime, but the upcoming TIFF drama The Exception aims to shine a light on the complicated and difficult man. Starring Christopher Plummer, the World War II-set film follows the complex political machinations within the former Kaiser’s Dutch household and his own contradictory tendencies, and in the exclusive clip above, we get a glimpse of that as he shows leniency towards the personal affairs of his household staff.

A humanistic portrayal of the man and his bundle of contradictions has a lot of promise – Wilhelm was a man even Hitler hated (which would normally be a recommendation to his character but, alas, he was sternly opposed to democracy, enjoyed Germany’s conquests in WWII despite his exile, and was kind of a bigot). We’ll have to wait a while to see it for ourselves, alas. The Exception has its world premiere during the Toronto International Film Festival.

Directed by David Levaux from a script by Simon Burke, the film stars Christopher Plummer as Wilhelm, along with Janet McTeer, Jai Courtney and Lily James.

Chemistry Short Films

A few years ago, Lily starred in a short film called ‘Chemistry’ alongside Tom Riley and Al Weaver. We have finally found the full release and the gallery has been updated with HD screencaptures. You can watch it below, enjoy!

Johann, a brilliant young scientist, conspires with his friend Eric to perform a dangerous chemical experiment with an exhilarating goal: the secret of eternal life. Their fraternal relationship is tested to the limit by the addition to their duo of the beautiful, capricious Ines. A compelling blend of humour and anxiety, CHEMISTRY is the dark tale of Johann’s naïve obsession as he finds himself caught in a perilous love triangle.

GALLERY LINKS
Film Productions > Chemistry (2012) > HD Screencaptures

Campaigns Videos

Interviews

VOGUE – Lily James first became a household name as Lady Rose in Downton Abbey, before going on to star in Disney’s Cinderella in 2015 and Kenneth Branagh’s production of Romeo and Juliet this summer. As Burberry reveals a new side of the actress in her first ever campaign – for My Burberry Black – we sat down with James to talk about everything from fashion to food to fragrance.

On Fragrance
I have also always been really drawn to fragrances. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve had signature scents that I’ve worn or been bought, and for every character that I play when I’m acting I have a scent which helps immerse me into the character. Especially when I’ve been doing series – like for Downton Abbey, every year when I went back I’d spray my Lady Rose perfume and was like: “Ah, here I am”. With My Burberry Black I like that it has this floral feel but then the darker sensual note of the amber, which feels stormy and a bit seductive. I really overspray perfume, I use a lot! But I like when people are like: “Ooh I can smell you”. I spritz it in the air and walk through it, spritz it on my wrists, on my neck… The other smell I really love is lavender – my granny loves it and so I always get her lavender gifts.

On Skincare
I’m a big cleanse, tone and moisturise every night and morning kind of person. I take really good care of my skin actually and I love products, I love Kate Somerville, Liz Earle – stuff that feels really natural and light on your skin. I never sleep with my make-up on. Even when I’m really drunk I wake up with a washed face. It’s a miracle sometimes, I don’t know how it happens. I like feeling like my skin can breathe.

On Brows
I know it should be like “beauty comes from within” and all that, but the best beauty advice I’ve ever been given was when I was once told to grow out my eyebrows. It wasn’t even from a beauty angle, it was from a director I was working with where I was playing a 13-year-old. So he was like: “Your eyebrows are too thin, you shouldn’t pluck them!” So I grew them, and it kind of revolutionised my face. I used to pluck my eyebrows so they were about one hair thick – it was a bad phase.

On Make-up
I wear quite a lot of make-up in Romeo and Juliet because it’s on stage – though I cry most of it off – but in normal life I tend to just wear tinted moisturiser and mascara. I like with the Burberry make-up that you can use your hands, it’s tactile. The Fresh Glow Highlighting Luminous Pen and Face Contour are really easy to use. I love a red lip but I don’t think I do it very well because I’m always drinking or something and then it ends up all over my face. It feels a bit restrictive. I like going for a nudey, smudgy, smoky vibe. Very Burberry. When I did the London premiere for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies I really liked my hair and make-up because it was a bit more sexy.

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Appearances Campaigns

Yesterday (August 22) Lily attended the official launch of her new campaign “My Burberry Black”. Both the advertisement and the various promotional shots for the campaign look great, and she was a real queen at the launch – in a Burberry custom dress. The event took place in Regent Street, at the Burberry Thomas’ Café.

Matt Smith, and several of her friends (Jenna Coleman, Douglas Booth, Laura Carmichael, Gemma Chan and others) were there as well to support Lily!

Some photos from the event have now been added to the gallery, be sure to check them!

GALLERY LINKS
Public Appearances > 2016 > My Burberry Black Launch Event