Starring in one of the most anticipated releases of 2015, Lily James has a lot to be thankful for. The 25-year-old actress from the United Kingdom is on an upward trajectory the likes of which only a few will ever experience.
Aside from Cinderella, James appears in a recurring role as Lady Rose MacClare on the BBC smash, Downton Abbey, as well as television’s “Secret Diary of a Call Girl” as the loveable roommate of Billie Piper’s Belle. In addition to notable television credits and appearances, Lily James recently appeared in feature films such as Fast Girls, Broken, and Wrath of the Titans. ?
The lead actress will continue to work with additional starring roles in the zombie-themed reboot of “Pride and Prejudice” – aptly titled Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – as well as taking on the lead role of Natasha Rostova in the BBC’s new period peace mini-series “War and Peace.”
The Cinderella role is indeed the largest of her career to date, and the weight of the iconic figure isn’t lost on James. According to the newest Cinderella, “It’s terrifying, because it’s such a big act to follow. There are so many iconic moments in the film that we have to do justice to.”
While initial artwork, as well as the trailer for the film, shows Lily looking ravishing as the leading lady, the role was initially earmarked for Emma Watson, who turned it down. That said, James certainly looked the part in the movie posters released as promotional items for the film, as well as initial artwork, and a few press photos featuring her wearing a period gown while riding a horse. While James is fitting for the character, we’re left to wonder about what could have been with Emma Watson as the lead. Watson will now instead play Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
According to director Kenneth Branagah, he and the production team are quite happy with Lily James sporting the iconic blue dress. He recently said, “It’s impossible to think of Cinderella without thinking of Disney and the timeless images we’ve all grown up watching. Those classic moments are irresistible to a filmmaker. With Lily James, we’ve found our perfect Cinderella. She combines knockout beauty with intelligence, wit, fun and physical grace.”
James has a remarkable cast to work with as well. The cast features some of the brightest up-and-comers as well as the veteran presence of Cate Blanchett (as the evil stepmother) and Helena Bonham Carter (the fairy godmother). In addition, James is starring alongside fellow “Downton Abbey” star Sophie McShera, who plays Drizella in the film.
Lily James may be relatively new to the spotlight, but all indications suggest that she was not only the right choice for the role, but will deliver a stunning performance as well. Don’t miss this movie in theatres when it comes out on March 13!