CS Interview: Lily Collins on complex thriller Inheritance
ComingSoon.net got the opportunity to chat with Golden Globe nominee Lily Collins (Rules Don’t Apply) to discuss her role in the crime thriller Inheritance helmed by Vaughn Stein (Terminal), which is available on digital platforms now! Pick up your digital copy of Inheritance here!
When looking at taking on her role in the film, Collins found the biggest draws of being in the project included getting to work with Simon Pegg (Mission: Impossible — Fallout), who she says she is “a huge fan of,” and also the opportunity to dive into a character she hasn’t previously played.
“I’m so used to his witty, darkly comedic roles and his screenwriting, so when I heard Simon was playing a character that was drastically different than the normal, that right away was something very interesting to me,” Collins explained. “Then when I read it, I’d never played a character like Lauren and for me it was a real page-turner just as I was reading it and going, ‘Wait, what?’ There just seems to be so many twists and turns and I’m somebody who I’d like to think I’m a good forecaster of the storyline and where it’s going and there just seemed to be so many moments that I personally hadn’t really expected. That in and of itself was exciting, I got to the end and I thought, ‘I kind of want to re-read that to see if I missed anything.’ When I spoke to Vaughn, he’s just so infectious, his passion, his excitement for what he believes in is so infectious that the combination of all those things lent itself to something I was interested in trying out and playing around with. For me, there were so many things, emotionally vulnerable moments that Lauren finds herself in that I hadn’t gotten to explore as an actor yet in other projects I’ve done and I’m always seeking out moments and things for me as a character that I get to try new things, and I saw a lot of that as potential in this and I got to stretch myself in ways that I hadn’t before.”
Reflecting on her character, Lauren, Collins found a relatable connection to her, as being the youngest district attorney means she often finds herself “underestimated,” which the 31-year-old actress also frequently struggles with, namely in the fact she’s frequently seen as “younger than my age.”
“So it was kind of knowing that playing that kind of a character when there’s so much already that people are expecting or thinking about you playing that character or having her be that role, you’re setting yourself up to be like, ‘Okay people are underestimating me being the district attorney, or me playing this kind of a role,’” Collins described. “For me, it gives me more incentive to rise to the occasion, and I feel like that’s Lauren as well. She’s wanted to rise to the occasion of breaking out on her own from her family and be this very fiercely independent woman and at the same time she’s created this very stoic exterior but once she finds out everything that’s going on and is on this quest to find out more, she starts to, understandably, flounder and sink under the surface. She’s going through so many emotions that trying to keep it together isn’t easy, finding that fine line between panic and composure was really interesting for me, especially in those scenes that are one-on-one with Simon’s character because she doesn’t ever want to give away too much about how she’s feeling or what she knows. But everything is just silently bubbling under the surface constantly and so finding that fine line was challenging but also fun in a sense.”
Despite their characters’ onscreen animosity towards each other, Collins and Pegg found themselves building quite the friendly rapport off-camera together, with the Golden Globe nominee looking back fondly on the time she first got to meet the Mission: Impossible star and began rehearsing with him.
“I was a huge admirer of his work before getting to work with him and the second you meet him you’re just like, ‘Oh my god, what a cool human,'” Collins recalled. “He’s so funny and giving and kind and witty and fun and all these things and the second that I met him, I had been working with Vaughn I think for two or three days before Simon got there. When Simon arrived and I met him, we did these rehearsals in a board room of one of these hotels in Alabama and Vaughn had set up tape marks of the sides of the room and had put a table in the middle in the exact footage and diameters of the room and we played around with how much to physically touch and how much Lauren dreads crossing that line on the floor and we really got to play around with the space before getting on the actual set, which was really helpful because almost all of our scenes take place in that room and the room becomes a character itself and really helped dictate where we’re at emotionally in our exchanges and how they react to one another and how much is in the light and how much is in the dark and how much of her emotions he’s able to see. The looks that he gives that she doesn’t see, we got to play around with all of that and it was just so much fun because Simon is such a fun collaborator and it was also hard because he is so funny and witty and lovely that in between scenes we’re just joking about something utterly ridiculous.”
Prior to Collins signing on for the lead role, Kate Mara (House of Cards) was previously attached, but due to scheduling conflicts had to drop out of the part, which Collins finds is a normality on some projects given how much of a “quick process” some can be when coming together.
“I was sent the script and knew the situation of what was happening but I was told it was moving quite quickly and if I responded to the script I would be able to speak to Vaughn and so I got the script and I read it within two hours of receiving it and spoke to Vaughn,” Collins explained. “I think what happens is projects fall in and out of different people’s laps and I just saw this as a really interesting opportunity to grow as an actor and challenge myself and I didn’t compare myself to anyone who had had it before. I knew that if Vaughn responded to my ideas of the character and he believed I could step into the shoes then we were good to go and just explore and have fun so I feel very fortunate that I was able to have the experience. You just never know what’s going to happen and you never know what kind of email you’re going to get or what comes into your inbox. I responded and here we are, so I just got to kind of put my own spin on it and I had a great experience doing it.”
Inheritance examines a wealthy family whose patriarch dies, which causes a lot of family drama. Once his wife and daughter receive a shocking inheritance in his last will and testament, it could end up destroying their lives.
The film stars Golden Globe-nominated actress Lily Collins (Rules Don’t Apply) as Lauren, Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) as Morgan, Chace Crawford (Gossip Girl, The Boys) as William, Connie Nielsen (Gladiator, Wonder Woman) as Catherine, Marque Richardson (Dear White People) as Scott, Michael Beach (Aquaman) as Harold Thewlis and Patrick Warburton (Seinfeld).
Inheritance is directed by Vaughn Stein from a script written by Matthew Kennedy. Richard B. Lewis (The Space Between Us) will be producing through his Southpaw Entertainment banner, joining David Wulf (The Night Clerk) of WulfPak Productions and Dan Reardon and Santosh Govindaraju (The Night Clerk) of Convergent Media.
The film is available now on DirecTV Cinema and digital platforms!