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.”

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During their journey in Moscow to promote ‘Cinderella’, Lily and Richard Madden visited the “Urgant Show”. Here’s a first look and you can watch their appearance in the video below. They first appear in the beginning and then around 24:40.

BELFAST TELEGRAPH – Lily James says Richard Madden helps “ground” her and finds him a lot of fun to be around.

The 25-year-old actress stars alongside the British heartthrob in the upcoming live action adaptation of Cinderella, in which she plays the title princess and Richard her prince.

While Lily is pretty lenient when on a job, her co-star is far from it.

“I’d never watched Game of Thrones, but we met, then stayed out and had a late night of drinking and bonding, and going, ‘Wow, this is crazy!’ He was great,” she smiled to ASOS magazine. “I think sometimes I get so flustered and pulled in so many directions, and I’m always like ‘yes, yes, yes’ to everything, but he’s really strong and knows his limits and when to say no. He’s a good support and really grounds me… as well as being a lot of fun!”

It’s always been Lily’s dream to play a princess, and she still thinks they’re great role models for kids as they help little ones learn more about areas such as grief and loss.

The blonde star is busy globetrotting to promote the forthcoming Disney flick and is pleased to have some family members in tow.

“I’ve got my mum and my two brothers coming with me for a lot of it and some other people along the way, too,” she added. “It’s good because my younger brother is like, ‘Lily, I don’t care,’ and my older brother is really interested in it all, so it’s a good balance.”

Lily’s name was launched thanks to her role as Lady Rose MacClare in Downton Abbey. The show even gave her the opportunity to meet Hollywood heavyweight George Clooney when he appeared in a charity episode last year.

She’s often stopped on the street by fans, but it isn’t always for obvious reasons.

“The worst is when you assume they recognise you from your work, when actually it turns out you went to school with them or something!” she giggled.

I have updated the gallery with two more beautiful outtakes from Lily’s photoshoot for The Hollywood reporter. You can read her interview below and watch the behind the scenes videos here and here. Enjoy!

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – Downton Abbey has yet to launch a major film star, but that could change with Lily James, whose work as troublemaker Lady Rose landed her the lead in Disney’s live-action Cinderella, out March 13 from director Kenneth Branagh. The English stage actress (her father is late actor James Thomson) also will be seen in Screen Gems’ Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Bradley Cooper’s chef movie and BBC’s War and Peace miniseries, which she’s shooting in Russia.

How did you get the role of Cinderella?
It was the longest and most intense audition process I’ve done. I went in for one of the sisters, but I had dyed my hair blond for Downton, so they said I should read for Cinderella. I did loads of rounds, did screen tests with live mice and met with Ken to talk about his vision.

What childhood memories do you have of the Disney princesses?
I remember going to Disneyland when I was a little kid and meeting the princesses and just feeling like it was everything to me. I had a little Minnie Mouse autograph book and I met these girls that were probably teenagers dressed up in the costumes. It was a real moment as I was growing up.

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EXPRESS – FILMING has began on a landmark TV adaption of the epic Tolstoy novel War and Peace.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest novels of all time, War and Peace will be told over six one-hour episodes and is to be directed by Peaky Blinder’s Tom Harper.

Featuring an all-star cast the BBC One show will be fronted by Downton Abbey star Lily James as Natasha Rostova while Pierre Bezukhov will be portrayed by Paul Dano.

Speaking of the opportunity, Lily said: “I am very excited and privileged to be playing Natasha, in this co-production between BBC and The Weinstein Company, of Tolstoy’s classic War And Peace. It is amazing to be part of such a prestigious cast and to appear in such a beautiful and rich adaptation by Andrew Davies.”

Jim Broadbent will play Prince Bolkonsky and Gillian Anderson stars as Anna Pavlovna.

The formidable line up will also include The Thick Of It’s Rebecca Front as Anna Mikhailovna, The Missing’s Ken Stott as Bazdeev, and Cilla’s Aneurin Barnard and as Boris.

Comedian Ade Edmondson will also make and appearance, as will Happy Valley villain James Norton who said: “I’m thrilled to be entrusted with Andrei in this exciting adaptation.

He added: “It’s a privilege to bring to life one of Tolstoy’s wonderfully rich and conflicted characters. And to get to work alongside talents such as Tom Harper, Andrew Davies, Lily James and Paul Dano is very exciting – I can’t wait to get started.”

War and Peace tells the story of the tangled personal lives of two aristocratic familiesNapoleon’s tumultuous relations with Russia including his disastrous 1812 invasion, which serves as the backdrop for

The series will be filmed on location in Russia, Latvia and Lithuania and will bring the classic to life for a modern audience on a truly epic scale.

The TV mini-series will hit screens in 2016.

YAHOO – For her role as Ella in Disney’s forthcoming movie “Cinderella”, actress Lily James prepared herself by indulging in yoga as well as reading on people like Indian icon Mahatma Gandhi, known for his non-violence movement against British rule.

In a promotional interview for “Cinderella”, which releases in India March 20, James has opened up about how she prepared for her role as Ella, who, even under the cruellest of circumstances, manages to maintain goodness, purity and positivity.

“I started taking horseriding lessons six weeks before shooting began, and I tried to start living healthily, doing a lot of yoga to try and get the kind of posture and grace and elegance that Ella would have had.
“I also did a lot of research on spirituality and read up on people like Gandhi who have been able to deal with life in a way that I knew I never could. But I wanted to make Ella seem as real as possible and didn’t want to just play that state,”
said the actress, known for her role as Lady Rose in the show “Downton Abbey”.

The story of Cinderella has been told and retold over the years. So what makes her movie different?

“What’s different about our film is that the characters and storylines have really been beefed up, and it’s not just about Cinderella being rescued by a prince, but it’s about two people who are perfect for each other, who are going to have courage in being kind together and who are going to be very happy together,” she said.

Also, the idea of playing a “princess” seemed “magical” to James.

“It’s a dream role because Cinderella is so special and kind and unique. Plus, we have a great opportunity to create a whole life beyond the fairytale, which is already so beautiful as it is, but making it richer and giving each character their own specific back stories.
“I liked the fact that Ken Branagh (director Kenneth Branagh) wanted to keep it light and magical, much like a fairytale,”
she added.

However, she admits “it was a little terrifying” to play the role at first.

“Everyone has their own perception of ‘Cinderella’ — whether it’s from the animated film or from the storybooks, so you have a big act to follow,” she said.

What made the experience even better was Cate Blanchett playing her stepmother.

“Cate Blanchett is one of my favourite actresses ever, so I was very excited. I feel so lucky to have had the chance to work with her. She’s just so incredible to watch, so incredibly alive and versatile.”

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GLAMOUR – Lily James is an ASOS cover star, and in the new issue she talks all about playing a Disney princess in Cinderella.

The British actress, who is perhaps best known for her role on Downton Abbey, opens up about her role as Cinderella: “Playing a Disney princess is the most amazing, unbelievable thing… and on the other, it’s completely terrifying. I would say it’s a cocktail of every sort of emotion. Princesses are great role models, they teach you about grief loss and have big hearts.”

She also talks fashion with ASOS, recalling the time she sat next to Anna Wintour at a fashion show. “I’d had a couple of drinks beforehand so I was pretty relaxed… she was so nice,” she said.

“She cracked a few jokes and pointed out dresses that she thought I could wear to the Cinderella premiere. Honestly, she was really cool”.

As well as ASOS, Lily also features in US GLAMOUR’s March issue and talks about finding her real-life Prince Charming (she’s currently dating former Doctor Who star Matt Smith)

“As cynical as I can be, there’s always a part of me that believes in love and the fairy tale. But what I like about this film is that Prince Charming doesn’t just rescue a damsel in distress-it’s about two people who make each other better. That’s the fairy tale.”

She also spoke about the glass slipper, telling GLAMOUR US: “My foot was actually CGI’d into the glass slipper. It was made out of Swarovski crystal, and I was always terrified I’d drop it! I have big, ugly feet, so luckily I had a foot double.”

ASOS Magazine’s April issue is out 25 February and available online at asos.com/magazine.