"Mirror Mirror" Star Lily Collins is One of Us
Are you into writing or video blogging for your school paper? When I say “one of us” I mean one of me…and maybe one of you. The 23-year-old (as of Sunday the 18th) daughter of classic singer/songwriter Phil Collins, was a journalist as a teen, interviewing and writing pieces for “Teen Vogue”, “Seventeen” and more.
You might have seen petite, dark-haired Lily recently as Taylor Lautner’s girlfriend in the action/thriller Abduction. She’s rumored to be dating Zac Efron now…not too shabby choices in men, Lily!
We’re seated in the young star’s seaside hotel suite in sunny Santa Monica, Ca. to talk about her new fantasy/comedy/romance Mirror Mirror. Family friendly, it's the first of the dual Snow White movies. We visited the set of the other; Kristen Stewart’s Snow White and the Huntsman, last October. The two films, and two young stars, couldn’t be more different. However, both Lily and Kristen are devoted to their craft, and both “Snows” struggle to save their people.
Lily, looking gorgeous, wears my fave color; purple in her lace top and she’s slim in black pencil skirt and some killer, 6-inch purple satin heels. We enter the room still wearing our Mockingjay pin given us that morning at the press day for The Hunger Games and Lily spots it.
Lily: [excited] The Hunger Games! Did you see it?
TeenHollywood: Yes but I’m not supposed to talk about it yet (whispering aside to her… “it’s good”) but I love your outfit. Purple is my color!
Lily: Oooookay, moving on. I love magenta and purple too. All fun!
TeenHollywood: You were a journalist when you were younger for “Seventeen”, “Nick”, “Elle”, “Cosmogirl” on and off camera. So why drop that budding career and start acting?
Lily: Acting has always been something I’ve loved. I started at age 2 and then did a show in England and when I moved here, [to the States] I did stage theater, plays, musicals and I was auditioning from the age of 15 or 16 but was told I was too green and was told “no” as you are when you have no experience. Of course I was green. So I wanted to do something that few young people were doing and get experience at the same time and Journalism seemed to be a field that none were in.
TeenHollywood: Well, this was before Twitter and Facebook and YouTube. Now you can broadcast yourself really. That feels weird to say “Back in the day before you could broadcast yourself…” It’s so weird that all that has happened in the course of so few years. But I started getting feedback from young girls and took that to a bigger level to have more experience in front of the camera.
TeenHollywood: So it was good training for you being in front of a camera.
Lily: Exactly. As a journalist, it helped me do interviews on both sides of the camera and be more self-confident but also, I realize how many people you answer to. You might not be always comfortable talking about what you have to but it’s your job. Actors don’t understand some of that unless they’ve been there. It’s also fun. I love meeting people and answering questions.
TeenHollywood: You can write your own tell-all book some day!
Lily: I’m already writing it! I have a journal I write in every day. I’ll pretty much have my memoirs written.
TeenHollywood: Cool! Let’s enter the Mirror Mirror world. If you were locked away in a palace like Snow, what would you do to pass the time if you didn’t have all the cool gadgets kids have now?
Lily: Wow! Well, if I had books, I’d read. I’m a big reader and if I had pen and paper, I’d for sure be writing. I love writing. In real life, I have my cellphone and i-pad but I still love picking up a real book. I read scripts too but I just love physically having a book in my hands. I even love smelling the books and going to the library. I used to highlight in books. If you buy it on your i-pad it’s not the same.
TeenHollywood: I totally agree! So, you’ll be 23 on the 18th, what will you be doing? (Note: By the time you read this, Lily would have celebrated her b-day).
Lily: Well, Mirror Mirror has the premiere on the 17th and some of my family is coming in so I’ll have them there. I just think it would be nice to have some quality family time and be in L.A. and relax a bit.
TeenHollywood: You swordfight and run all over the place in this film. Were you ever hurt?
Lily: Surprisingly I never tripped in the dress running through the trees in the heels. I was so happy about that. With the sword fighting, Armie [Hammer who plays her prince] and I never practiced until the day before because we wanted that big sequence to be as genuinely awkward as possible.
In real life, it wouldn’t be choreographed. Obviously, I had to have a basis so I practiced with his stunt double and he with mine but then I was thrashing around wildly and he was more sophisticated and proper with his training so it kind of worked perfectly.
TeenHollywood: Is Armie as funny in person as he seems to be? He was joking with me out in the hall just now.
Lily: He’s so funny. He’s a jokester. He pranked the actors playing the dwarves a lot. He put some dead fish in one of their toilets. He’s so goofy. He didn’t dare prank me because he knew I’d get him right back but he would always tell jokes.
At the moments when we had to be serious, he switches it off and he’s so dedicated. Like when he did the dog scene with Julia [Roberts] and the kissing scene under the spell with me, he is so devoted to that scene that nothing will get in his way. He’s in it to win it and he’s so great.
TeenHollywood: Speaking of great guys [she perks up and looks scared. Are we gonna ask her about Zac?] What is your dating pet peeve…with any guy?
Lily: Texting while you are on a date with me! They’re texting and I’m like “Well, I put MY phone away!” I feel like a lot of young women would say that. “Hellooo, I’m right here!”
TeenHollywood: Totally agree. You have some really pretty and fun costumes in this film. Did you get to keep anything?
Lily: I got one of my daggers and one of the posters that says “Snow White is Dead”. I had to take one of those. Costume-wise, I would love the swan head hat [she comes to a costume ball as a swan]. That was pinned to my head but it wasn’t heavy. Sometimes it would go askew and it would be really awkward. They would stop the camera to fix it. Armie’s bunny ears would have to be perfect too.
TeenHollywood: You shot this movie in Montreal. Do anything fun off set while there?
Lily: Oh yes! I went to Cirque du Soliel, I traveled around to all these different markets and festivals. It’s so European with the old port against the modern city. I explored and took the underground and walked everywhere. I took a bike ride and had a picnic in the park. It was so fun in summer.
TeenHollywood: What fairy tale that hasn’t been made into a movie yet would you like to see made?
Lily: I loved Aladdin. I loved Princess Jasmine. The whole exotic feel to it and the colors and the magic carpet and the genie. It would be so fun to do that in real life.
TeenHollywood: I agree. What do you think about people saying you look like classic actress Audrey Hepburn, especially in this movie?
Lily: I’m honored because she was a huge inspiration for me with this character, even the physical look at the end with the bangs. That was definitely something that we talked about but just her nature in general. She’s so timeless and she said so much with her eyes without saying anything at all.
I loved her posture, the way she carried herself. She could be so endearing and make you cry and laugh. I loved her demeanor. A total class act. I just loved her in life so to be able to bring a little of her to this character was something I hope will come across.
TeenHollywood: You’ve always gotten behind several causes for kids and teens. Can you talk about that?
Lily: Back in high school I worked in a peer support group but now there is a program called Aviva [avivacenter.org] which deals with women and children out of battered homes. It’s all about building self-confidence and awareness and learning to love yourself and the quirky things that make you different. It’s about female empowerment.