NEWS.COM.AU – She is about the hit our film screens in this year’s remake of Disney’s Cinderella. But who is this young beauty? Sunday Style finds out …

Hi, Lily James. You star in the Disney remake of Cinderella. Do you believe in magic?
[Laughs] Yes, I believe in the magic of people and of connections, and I believe in true love. I don’t know if I believe that you can turn a pumpkin into a carriage, though – unless you’re on some crazy drugs.

Do you have a fairy godmother in real life?
Yeah, I do! She’s my mum’s best friend and she’s wonderful. She’s not really like a fairy, but she makes me feel good, which is what the fairy godmother in Cinderella does.

You probably know that Downton Abbey is as big over here as it is in Europe, but we’ve been hearing a rumour that your character, Lady Rose MacClare, is no more.
No, no, I’m coming back. I just need to fit it in with other projects. It’s how it works with all the actors: you don’t find out there’s going to be another series until now, so then you have to work out your schedule. It’s often down to Julian [Fellowes, the writer] and how much he wants you to be there.

Is it true that George Clooney paid a visit to the set?
He did. He came for the day and was the most charming, wonderful guy. I’d hear his voice and think, “Oh, my god, that’s George Clooney!”

Tell us more, please.
I don’t think there are words… That’s why he’s a movie star; it’s effortless. He was so beautiful. You go, “Wow, that face is real.” And then you hear the voice.

Were you intimidated?
It’s funny, because I’ve recently worked with people I never dreamed of meeting. And usually they turn out to be kind and funny. So, one part of my brain is going, “Oh, my god!” And the other half is going, “This is really normal.”

Cate Blanchett pulls off a great wicked stepmother in Cinderella.
Exactly. She’d be evil stepmother – and her eyes took my breath away a bit – then she’d be Cate again. She was so down-to-earth and funny.

You’re close friends with fellow Brit Douglas Booth – who stars with you in the upcoming Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Are you more of a boy’s girl, or a girl’s girl?
I have an older and a younger brother, so I’m quite a boy’s girl. I have a few girlfriends I couldn’t live without: my best, best, best friends. But I have a lot of close male friends and live with a boy right now.

Speaking of intimidating, we saw photos of you at a fashion show, sitting next to Vogue editor Anna Wintour.
That was crazy. I’m doing War and Peace, which Harvey Weinstein is involved with, and he invited me to his wife Georgina’s Marchesa show. Anna was sitting next to me. She was cool and funny, and we looked at the dresses and discussed what I should wear to the premieres.

And you also ended up in American Vogue.
Yes, shot by Patrick Demarchelier. That was surreal, too, as I’d never thought of myself like that. When you become an actress, you don’t realise that there’s so much that goes with it that isn’t acting. You feel so glamorous.

Were you always going to be glamorous?
My mum says that from a young age, I always dressed myself for school. The other mums would roll their eyes, but I loved this pair of bright-orange stretchy flares. I was trying to look like a tiger.

How about today?
It’s a Chloé dress and Louboutin shoes, which I always wear a size too big. I have a stylist I work with, so she gets bits and bobs together and we try them on and see. I’m so casual in my normal attire, you see.

And she reminds you to dress up…
Yes. She’ll say, “Trust me on this one, Lily” and then we’ll compromise [laughs]. My sense of style has changed a lot over the past year or two. There were all these designers I wasn’t aware of, and now I get to try on their clothes.

How’s your bedroom – are you messy or tidy?
It’s incredibly chaotic, but my mum’s coming over tomorrow and we’re going to do a big tidy out and I’m going to give a lot away and live with fewer things.

That must mean you believe in happy endings.
I think you have to, otherwise life would get way too miserable. There’s so much that gets thrown your way that’s sad. I think you’ve got to believe in happiness. It’s a choice, I think, about how you look at the world.


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