INDEPENDENT.IE – She’s the star of a Disney fairytale blockbuster that’s coined over €200million and counting at the US box office. But Cinderella beauty Lily James claims she’ll always be left in the shade by her Downton Abbey co-stars.

“No one looks twice at me when they’re around and Cinderella has made no difference,” she tells at the film’s London junket in Claridge’s Hotel. “And I know that isn’t going to change.

“I was with a group of us the other week, with Sophie McShera [kitchen maid Daisy] and Laura Carmichael [Lady Edith] and people were going crazy for them. I was largely ignored until they realised I was in Downton too. And I’m delighted by that. It’s the best of both worlds.

“And someone said to me there, will you feel like the biggest star on the Downton set now because of Cinderella? I think we can safely say, nothing is going to change.”

But will the 25 year-old actress, currently dating Doctor Who actor, Matt Smith, be returning to UTV’s smash hit period phenomenon as Lady Rose MacClare?

After the success of Cinderella, James will follow up with BBC’s lavish six part retelling of Tolstoy’s War and Peace before leading an all-star cast including Game of Thrones’ Lena Headey and Bradley Cooper’s model ex Suki Waterhouse in Jane Austen horror spoof, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

“Well Rose did get married and left Downton the last we saw her but I hope she’ll be back and I like to think I’ll be back. But I’m totally unaware at the moment and have heard nothing so far. It’s getting slightly concerned I must say. I’d be gutted to leave but it’s not up to me. So all I can leave you with is, I’ll be back…hopefully.”

Released this weekend in Irish cinemas, the Kenneth Branagh directed epic, which stars Cate Blanchett as the Wicked Stepmother, has faced a backlash from parents claiming James’ princess has an unnaturally small waist in the film’s show-stopping ball gown.

Lily rubbishes these concerns, declaring not a single young child has commented on her teeny size.

“This has been the most ridiculous storm in a teacup,” she says, “because I haven’t heard anyone, no children saying anything about small waists or anything like that.

“So I don’t know where all these concerns are coming from. It’s missing the point of the entire film and I’m annoyed that this has come up. It’s so unnecessary.”

The actress hopes cinemagoers will enjoy the real message of the film, about an outsider looking to belong, something she strongly relates to.

“I think everyone can feel like an outsider. I know I have. I’ve always felt like one. And with Cinderella, there’s this very relatable desire to transform and feel like someone completely different for a night. Supremely confident and supremely your best. I can definitely relate to that chameleon nature.

“Ultimately, Cinderella is the story of the underdog. You root for her in this fairytale; the girl who has nothing, deserves so much more and gets it.”


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