THE TELEGRAPH – The day before we meet, Lily James went to a yoga class for the first time in many years.

‘I was lying on my back and they were like, “Do a crab,”’ says Lily. ‘And I was like, “Sure…”’ she mimes an awkward attempt at the pose, pushing her chest out, arms flailing hopelessly to the side. ‘And I suddenly realised that I can’t just… you know, I can’t do a crab any more!’

She used to do yoga regularly, but the habit fell by the wayside. Well, I say, you’ve been otherwise occupied. She nods. ‘I have.’

At 29, Lily already has the sort of CV many older actresses can only dream of. She landed her first role in the BBC adaptation of Just William straight after graduating from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama eight years ago. By 2015, Lily was playing the lead in Disney’s live-action retelling of Cinderella.

The next year, she was Natasha in the BBC’s critically acclaimed War and Peace. In 2017, she put on a faultless American accent to star as diner waitress Deborah in the Edgar Wright-directed Baby Driver, and took on the role of Winston Churchill’s secretary in Darkest Hour, the film that won Gary Oldman a Best Actor Oscar.

And now her latest role sees Lily back in 1940s tailoring, playing Juliet Ashton, a writer emotionally scarred by the Second World War, in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Adapted from the bestselling novel of the same title, it is directed by Mike Newell (of Four Weddings and a Funeral fame).

Lily’s 20s, she says, have been ‘mad. I’ve just been going and going and going.’ Along the way, she’s also had to contend with the endless interest in her relationship with the actor Matt Smith, 35, who she has been dating for four years, since they met on the set of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. There were rumours of a romance for months, but Lily stuck firmly to the ‘just good friends’ line until they finally made it public with a red-carpet appearance at the Cinderella premiere in February 2015.

(Read the rest of the entry at the source)

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Magazine Scans > 2018 > Stella (April 08)
Studio Photoshoots > Outtakes & Sessions > 2018 > Session 003

Yesterday (December 6), Lily was guest on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” to promote ‘Darkest Hour’. She also talked about filming ‘Mamma Mia’ sequel, Meryl Streep and much more! You can watch the full interview below:

VANITY FAIR – With each new role James takes, she is looking to test her acting abilities. She’ll next play Winston Churchill’s secretary in Darkest Hour before starring in the upcoming Mamma Mia! sequel.

AGE: 28.

PROVENANCE: London.

ROLE MODEL: “My grandmother Helen Horton was an actress; I looked up to her in every way.”

UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS: After graduating from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, James brought mischief to the manor-born as Lady Rose, on Downton Abbey. “Being cast was life-altering. We were like a family, and it was as good as it looked.”

FULL TANK: Since then, she’s played Cinderella for Disney, Shakespeare’s Juliet onstage for Kenneth Branagh, and an American waitress, Debora, for Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver. “I was ready to break loose of the mold and try something different.”

WAR ROOM: This holiday season, in Darkest Hour, Joe Wright’s W.W. II biopic, James stars as Elizabeth Layton, the secretary to Winston Churchill, played by Gary Oldman. “I read her book and it was endlessly fascinating hearing about Churchill’s quirks and their relationship.” As for working with Oldman? “I’ve only met Gary out of costume a handful of times. It’s awe-inspiring how he transforms as an actor—it took my breath away.”

DANCING QUEEN: This summer, in the sequel Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, she’ll share a role with Meryl Streep, singing the part of Donna during her early years. “There’s no cynicism; it’s all joy. You can’t help but be completely drawn in and dance like a lunatic!”

ELLE MALAYSIA – Jodie Whittaker being cast as the 13th Doctor in BBC1 series Doctor Who is a huge step in opening up traditionally male roles to female actors (your move, Bond). Jodie’s Doctor will be the first time the character has regenerated into a female form.

Not unaware of this monumental moment for the British TV series is Lily James, the star of Baby Driver (interesting fact: she is also dating Matt Smith, who played the 11th Doctor for three seasons).

“I’m so excited about Jodie; we actually went to the [Guildhall School of Music and Drama] at different times,” Lily said this morning at the Baby Driver press conference in Kuala Lumpur. “I’ve always been a real fan of hers, I think she’s the perfect person to take on the role.”

Since its inception in 1963, the lead character in Doctor Who has always been male. Even his arch-nemesis, the Master, has had a female incarnation who was played by Michelle Gomez.

“I think having a woman [in the Doctor’s role] is just spectacular, and it’s about time,” Lily added. “I think everyone was ready, that everyone was feeling like ‘I can’t wait’. I think it’s brilliant. Jodie’s going to bring new life, and new energy and hopefully just blow open the audience even further than she already has.”

Lily’s character Debora in Baby Driver is just one of two female supporting roles – the other is Eiza González’s Darling. They may not be the criminal masterminds in the film, but to Lily, they also contribute to the landscape of strong female characters on film.

“On one hand, you’ve got Debbie who is sort of a loyal girl that wants to hit the road, and then you’ve got Darling who’s shooting double machine guns and is totally badass and gangster,” Lily explained. “I think you’ve got two very different, brilliant women in the film and so I think it’s really well represented – it’s a really bold kind of show.”

THE TALKSMs. James, how do you usually feel the night before your first day on set?
It’s weird because I’m not that nervous anymore. I don’t stay up all night getting nervous about work. I do get frightened of not being good enough. I’ll get quite anxious after days where I’ve had a big emotional scene, I worry that I haven’t given enough or I get frightened that I haven’t been true enough. So that’s a kind of fear that lasts pretty much the whole shoot. But it’s doesn’t make me nervous, weirdly — except in auditions.

Do you still audition?
I still audition but it’s done in a different way. It’s like I meet the director now and we talk about the role. There are less of those relentless, open call ranks… What I really love is when you’re in an audition or the first day on a film set where you’re like, “Hi, pleased to meet you and I’m proposing to you today,” and you’ve literally never met them before. (Laughs) I’m quite used to being flung into a false intimacy with someone on set. I like when things are a bit more relaxed because that’s when I’m a bit better I think. Like, if I audition and I don’t know the scenes well, I’m accidentally funny, or I do more of what you can’t do when you’re actually working.

When is the last time that happened?
Well, when I auditioned for Baby Driver, and I was thinking a lot about the American accent, so much that it became the focus rather than the actual scene, like, “Fuck, what am I actually doing in the scene?” (Laughs) It ended up coming out in quite a natural way. I feel like because I’m British and the way that I’ve started, you know, I’ve ended up doing period dramas, more classical stuff. I’ve gone down that route… I really wanted to break out of that kind of style and genre.

Were you starting to feel like the prototypical English Rose character?
Yeah, I wouldn’t say that is even more me, that’s just what I’ve been doing. It’s not even necessarily where I’m most comfortable — it’s just kind of where English girls from drama school end up going. Cinderella and those roles make people think of me in a certain way, and I’m excited to change that perception. Making more contemporary film is the route that I want to keep going down so I can express myself in a manner that is closer to me as a person.

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Lily talks everything ‘Baby Driver’ and more with W magazine in a new interview and photoshoot. Head over to our gallery for high quality outtakes and don’t forget to read the full article below. Enjoy!

GALLERY LINKS
Studio Photoshoots > Outtakes & Sessions > 2017 > Session 004

W MAGAZINE – Lily James is really, really excited to breathe.

Since her breakout role as Lady Rose MacClare on Downton Abbey in 2012, the 28-year-old English actress has starred almost exclusively in a slew of high-profile period pieces—read: corset-confining—including 2015’s live-action Cinderella and BBC’s War & Peace. But with her latest role in Edgar Wright’s much buzzed-about film Baby Driver, James has finally arrived in the modern age.

“It was heaven,” James told me last week. “That waitress outfit was pretty tight, but I would breathe, which was a change. And it was great. I really wanted to do something contemporary, which felt like an escape. It was breath of fresh air to get into 2017.”

The highly stylized film, which focuses on a getaway driver named Baby, played by Ansel Elgort, in the midst of his final heist, is in fact just that—a breath of fresh air. “In a world of a lot of franchises and remakes, it’s an original story and the characters are really unique; I feel kind of bowled over by Edgar and the movie,” James said. “When I saw the finished movie with the cast, I was like, ‘This movie is so cool, I can’t believe I’m in it.’ It feels really iconic and I think it could be a real cult classic, but it’s mainstream enough that anyone and everyone can enjoy it. It’s got romance and action and comedy—it’s kind of genre-less.”

In the film, which is in theaters on Wednesday, James played Deborah, a Southern waitress whom Elgort’s character quickly falls for, prompting him to leave a life of crime. “She’s a total dreamer,” the actress said of her Deborah. “She’s lonely, and yet she’s optimistic. She kind of rattles around in this dead-end diner job with only truck drivers to talk to. You get the feeling that she’s a bit of a drifter and doesn’t know what she wants or what she’s about, and then this guy walks in and she kind of finds a purpose. She’s just a really genuine person.”

The role also saw the Brit ditch her usual posh lilt (see: period pieces) in favor of a twangy Southern accent. “I really worked on it,” said James. “I had this amazing voice coach, and I really focused on the character because being American isn’t just the voice. We really spent ages on it. Half of my family is American, so I do feel like I have American blood. But I’m still working on it.”

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