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.

Ahhhh I love Downton Abbey! Is she in season 5?
But of course, along with favourites Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville and Rob James-Collier. We’ll learn more about her love affairs and, of course, watch her enjoy more of Mrs Patmore’s pies. Talking of which, she’s talked about her idea of celebs and weight, spreading positivity and saying things like, ‘I don’t like seeing celebs looking too skinny, I love it when they look healthy and comfortable in their bodies and embrace their curves’.

Is there a boy on the scene?
Yes, the lovely lady has a prince charming and he goes by the name of Matt Smith, wildly famous as the former Doctor Who star but don’t expect to see many photos of these two together as they don’t like being a ‘celebrity couple’. Poor guys… but you don’t half look cute together!

What can we catch Lily in next?
As well as season 5 of Downton Abbey, are you ready for a live-action version of Disney’s Cinderella? Cause that’s what we’re getting, complete with Oscar nominated Kenneth Branagh behind the camera. The British actress has already talked about the costumes she wore for the part, saying that her, ‘corset was so tight, I could only have liquid food’. Nice. The film is also set to star Downton Abbey actress Sophie McShera, as well as Richard Madden, Holliday Grainger, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Derek Jacobi and Hayley Atwell. Most of the film has been filmed in England in amazing locations including Blenheim Palace, Windsor Castle, Old Royal Naval College and Black Park. Though we are excited to see what’s to come, we have to wait until 2015… booooo! At least we have here as Rose MacClare this year.


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