Now check out the cover story by Teen Vogue‘s Lauren Waterman.
It’s tempting to dismiss Lily Collins—the pretty 22-year-old daughter of a world-famous pop star—as an already-lucky debutante who somehow keeps hitting a seemingly endless succession of ever-bigger jackpots. With her burgeoning film career (she’s currently appearing opposite Taylor Lautner in the teen action flick Abduction) and her enviable offscreen love life (also prominently featuring a certain dreamy Twilight star), she’s like the breathing embodiment of the metaphorical girl with the most cake. Even her eyebrows are perfect.
But it turns out that, despite these impediments, there’s something endlessly likable about Lily. She wears her good fortune as lightly as a breeze. While some of the actresses who’ve graced the cover of this magazine have seemed to view the photo shoot and interview as necessary evils only one step above getting their lovely teeth cleaned, Lily appears genuinely excited. “I don’t know if this is too weird to say,” she announces, only seconds after sitting down at a Montreal sushi restaurant, “but this is completely surreal for me. Bizarre. The cover of Teen Vogue has been on my bucket list forever.”
The idea of a girl her age even having a bucket list is charming—they tend to be associated with middle-aged men—but Lily seems utterly serious about hers, and it’s a fair bet that she’s already crossed quite a few things off it. Born in West Sussex, England, she made her professional debut at the age of two, appearing on a British television program called Growing Pains. By the time she had graduated from high school in Los Angeles (where she’d moved, with her American mother, shortly before turning six), she was a part-time model who’d walked runways in Madrid and Barcelona; an on-air correspondent for Nickelodeon; and, yes, an international It girl who’d worn Chanel couture to the storied Crillon Ball. Her first big-screen role was in the Oscar-nominated 2009 film The Blind Side, and she’s next set to star (opposite Julia Roberts) as the titular princess in Relativity’s as-yet-untitled Snow White adaptation.
Lily reports that this take on the fairy tale is “very much a fantasy,” and that, although she does “become a fighter at the end,” her Snow White bears little resemblance to the one that Kristen Stewart will play in Snow White and the Huntsman. “I think the audience may very well enjoy seeing two different versions,” she insists, “and I think that Kristen is perfect for hers.” (A third iteration of the story, Disney’s The Order of the Seven, was announced the day after the interview.) Lily’s been studying sword fighting for the role, building on the stunt training she undertook while shooting Abduction, a kind of junior Bourne-esque thriller in which her character accompanies Taylor’s on a quest to discover the truth about his identity. “I’m drawn to roles that have real substance,” she explains, “that aren’t just the victim or the teenage girl or the girlfriend.”
Abduction is clearly intended to be the first in a potential series, a possibility that the actress seems excited to pursue. “If it’s something that people want to see more of, why not? I mean,” she adds, “I loved everyone that we worked with.” Indeed, her feelings of regard for her primary costar were strong enough that their relationship continued—Taylor even visited her on the Malibu, California, set of her Teen Vogue shoot. But, on the record, she’s almost painfully discreet: “He’s a very funny, down-to-earth young man,” she says, somewhat stiffly, when asked about her rumored boyfriend. (In her own short-lived career as a journalist, Lily notes, she avoided what she calls “gossip questions.”)
Though she’s far too polite to say it, Lily’s current slate of projects proves that her success was never just about luck. Yes, her father is Phil Collins, but nobody is going to put a relative unknown at the center of multimillion-dollar would-be blockbuster after multimillion-dollar would-be blockbuster just because her dad wrote “Sussudio.” (If celebrity DNA were all it took, Rumer Willis would be the most in-demand young starlet in Hollywood.)
The one area in which her parentage does seem to be a factor is fashion: Lily—who on the day of her interview wears an outfit that includes a necklace made from a vintage magnifying glass, a Dior ring, a Prada bag, and a jacket from American Eagle Outfitters—says she learned her way around a secondhand shop by watching her mom. “My mother used to take me to flea markets in my stroller,” she explains, “and I would just rummage through the piles.” Lily pretty much employs the same technique to this day. “You’ve got to dig through the overstuffed racks that everyone else just walks by,” she advises. “It’s the only way to find the cool stuff.” For big nights she favors quirky British designers like Stella McCartney, Matthew Williamson, Vivienne Westwood, and Alexander McQueen, with a hearty dose of Chanel for good measure, but off-duty, she tends toward a more “eclectic” mix.
Lily’s hoping to have a fairly eclectic career, as well. Sometime soon, she’ll start shooting an adaptation of the popular The Mortal Instruments books, in which she stars as Shadowhunter Clary Fray. “But I’d also love to do some sort of comedy,” she says, “or a really gritty independent. I loved Jennifer Lawrence’s performance in Winter’s Bone.” Refreshingly, for an actress at the beginning of her career, she’s not overly worried about her future. “I really think everything happens for a reason,” she says. It’s easy to see why she would. —LAUREN WATERMAN
Source: Teen Vogue