Every once in a while, an actress rises up and you can’t help but notice. Lily James has one of those careers that has been doing well lately, and many people want to know more about her. This article takes an in-depth look at her career so far and where it’s headed.
Lily James first caught the eye of many fans on Downton Abbey, which was by far the most popular drama in PBS history. Lily played young Lady Rose, a cousin who moved into town on the last couple seasons. You may also recognize her from Cinderella. Lily starred as the title role in the first of several Disney animation reboots, which bring their classic cartoon princesses to life. Another audience may recognize Lily from Baby Driver. The sleeper hit took audiences by storm with its clever script, wicked soundtrack, and awesome chase scenes.
With her latest role in the critically-acclaimed Darkest Hour, Lily has found her place among the “it” girls of Hollywood. She stands beside Alicia Vikander, Margot Robbie, and Saoirse Ronan in an up-and-coming class of future greats. We’re awed by her vast amount of beauty and talent in a career that has only just begun.
15. Riding With Her Boy
Here’s a snap of Lily James in a vehicle on the way to the 2017 Met Gala. She looks stunning in a white Burberry dress that hugs her upper body. The black choker really exemplifies her long beautiful neck, and the dark eye makeup adds to the fashion model glam. She didn’t show up to the event alone. Lily brought her boyfriend, Matt Smith, who played Doctor Who for four years. Some Netflix fans may recognize from the hit drama The Crown. Matt brilliantly plays Queen Elizabeth’s complex husband, Prince Philip. The pair is quite the power couple, with both of their careers rising like fire. Matt Smith is the older one, at 35, while Lily is 28 years old. They both model for Burberry and have quite the following in the UK.
14. Is It Raining Outside?
Here’s a beautiful shot of Lily, who looks like she just entered an eerily-lit house after getting caught in the rain. Or maybe she’s just getting dressed after a shower. This shot was published after she landed her role in Cinderella. It’s a pretty edgy shoot, and she probably wanted to remind her audience of her range. She can pull off the sweet princess, but she can also nail the raunchy bad girl. Her greatest strength may be the cute girl-next-door type, though. She has that role locked, for sure. In Baby Driver, she played Deborah, the pretty waitress, who meets Baby in a diner, and he just cannot resist. One of her best lines in the film is “Sometimes all I want is to head west on 20 in a car I can’t afford, with a plan I don’t have, just me, my music, and the road.” That’s a great sentiment we all can relate to, and even more so for a guy who drives getaway cars for a living.
13. Zombies Invade Literature
This is a shot from the cleverly-titled film, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. That’s another thing we like about Lily, she does all these period pieces, like Downton, but then she totally contradicts them in a period farce, like Zombies. One of her lines goes, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.” The way it was written, the line sounds just like the classic Jane Austen novel, while simultaneously being the exact opposite. She met her boyfriend, Matt Smith, on the set of this film. After playing the lead in the horror/farce, Lily played the female the lead in classics, War and Peace and Romeo and Juliet, and then she went modern in Baby Driver.
12. The Yoga Pants
Let’s mix it up here. We’ve done some movie screenshots and magazine shoots, but how about the good old candid ones? This article would be lacking if we didn’t involve some yoga pants. After all, working hard in Hollywood isn’t just acting but physically exercise as well. Lily was seen running through the streets of London in this outfit. She is also seen out with her boyfriend now and then. Sometimes, she is out walking or hopping into a cab after having a few cocktails. With each role that she lands, the paparazzi attention increases. For Lily’s latest role, she plays the secretary of Winston Churchill. Churchill is played masterfully by Gary Oldman, who just won a Golden Globe for the role. Lily arrived to the Golden Globes in a long black Valentino dress with beautiful ruffles. Nearly every woman there wore black in a unified effort to combat harassment in Hollywood.
11. Riding The Train
Lily is absolutely smoldering in this black-and-white shot, that places her on a public train. Or, maybe it’s a bus, we’re not sure. Does anybody out there take public transit to work? If so, we hope you are saving money for a car because most of the time, there is something awful that happens. You can deal with insane people, bums, or even sit in some old lady pee. Nothing even close to this beautiful woman ever shows up on a bus, unless you are so very lucky. Maybe Lily hit the slums to research for her role as a call girl. One of Lily’s first roles was as Poppy, on eight episodes of Secret Diary of a Call Girl. Lily was featured in more than one scandalous scene, but the risk paid off, and more roles kept flowing in.
10. Filming On A Boat
Well, if you’re a young actress working on your acting game, being in a movie with the legendary Meryl Streep is a good idea. Even better than that, Lily plays the young Streep in the musical sequel Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again. Lily studied the actress closely in an attempt to mimic her mannerisms, and the challenge was not easy. She compared the role she played in Darkest Hour to Mamma Mia 2, and there was a clear winner. “I mean… Meryl?” Lily said, “Both parts were intimidating. Elizabeth Layton, who I play, in Darkest Hour, was a real person, she worked for Churchill through the whole second World War. And she was so dedicated, and incredible, and her stories are so fascinating. But then, Meryl is Meryl.” The public is more familiar with Streep than most actresses on the planet. We’ll see how Lily did when Mamma 2 comes out in July. Here’s a funny pic from the movie shoot, when she almost lost her top.
9. Her Burberry Ad
Lily James has been compared to Emma Watson plenty of times. After all, they’re both British, and they’re both stunning. They are only a year apart in age (Emma is 27, Lily is 28). And they’ve both done Disney animation remakes, with Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast. Add one more comparison to the list because both actresses have also modeled for the high-end fashion brand, Burberry. That said, their ads are way different, and Lily comes ahead as a much bigger risk taker. In fact, the ad you see here is spicy but not nearly as revealing as another shot where she appears topless. While Emma Watson has taken a conservative role and avoided nudity, Lily is just the opposite. Both beauties are beautiful and well-respected. Watson is obviously a way bigger star now, but we’ll see what happens next.
8. Lounging On The Couch
You often see shots of actresses lying on couches, and Lily is no exception. And we have got to mention an unexpected resemblance in this one, but doesn’t she look like Demi Lovato? Certainly, that’s a testament to James’ chameleon-like range of appearance. If you saw Cinderella, you would never think that the actress looked like Lovato. The ability to take on other looks is a must for an actress, and Lily has taken advantage of that trait. She has worn about every hair color, even looking slightly red, most recently at the Golden Globes. She’s been sporty and glam. She does well in every time period from World War One, to the 1970’s, and all the way up to modern times. She hasn’t done any real science-fiction films yet, but maybe that will happen soon.
7. The Exception Movie
In yet another period film, James portrays a Jewish spy who gets busy with a German soldier. There is a scene in this film that leaves nothing to the imagination. We obviously couldn’t show you a picture here, but you get the idea. Besides the gratuitous scene, The Exception is actually a pretty good film. There’s a little romance, some violence, and some suspense too, which keeps everybody interested. There are some scenes that seem a little too complicated at times, but that’s usually how spy movies roll. By now, Lily James must be an expert on the era. After this film and Darkest Hour, she’s got WWII memorized. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society comes out in April and is yet another wartime film. It also stars Downton alum Jessica Brown Findlay. The two actresses never met on set, since Findlay’s character, Lady Sybil, died before Lady Rose was introduced.
6. The Instagram Account
How else can you still seem modern after acting in all of these period dramas? Well, there’s nothing more modern than social media, and Lily James has some pretty nice pics on her Instagram account. Her “lilyjamesofficial” page is a pretty diverse mix of photos from her magazine shoots, party pics with friends, goofing around, and travel shots of sunsets and seas. She has a good eye for photography and a nice camera too. There aren’t as many pics as we expected of her boyfriend, Matt Smith, but maybe he’s not a social media fan. Her latest post was just recently, detailing her reasons for wearing black to the Golden Globes. There are several beautiful images of this woman on Insta that are hard to find elsewhere. If you’re a fan, it’s a page worth checking out.
5. The Running Movie
Here is an unexpected role for an actress that is constantly cloaked in petticoats and princess dresses. This is Lily James letting it all go in the sporty film Fast Girls. The actress auditioned for the 2011 film via video, since she couldn’t make it to the screen test, and producers needed to see if the girl could run. And run she did, with a smooth gate and rock-hard abs that made her totally believable as a sprinter heading to World Championships. But she didn’t do all of her stunts. The film met some criticism after it was viewed at the Toronto International Film Festival. Some critics thought the transition from actress to athlete stand-in was too obvious. Others thought the film was just too darn cheesy to ever become a real success. The film acted as a springboard for Lily’s career, though, and it only got better from there.
4. The Stylish Top
Sometimes, the fashion trends allow actresses to show off a little bit. Every actress in the business has warn a deep v-neck like this one at some point. Just recently, at the Golden Globes, Margot Robbie wore a v-neck that went all the way down. Catherine Zeta Jones wore one that was even more revealing. At least the gowns were black, though, so the feminists couldn’t get too upset. Lily wore this frock on the red carpet when she arrived at the Baby Driver premiere in Sydney, Australia. There seems to be an invasion of Australians in film lately, but not Lily. Lily Chloe Ninette Thomson was born in England. Her mom was an actress, and her father was a musician. Lily has an actress aunt, Helen Horton, who was born in Chicago and appeared in such films as Superman III and Alien.
3. The Mouse Photobomb
For this article, we dutifully browsed through hundreds of beautiful Lily James pics and didn’t notice the mouse in this one for a while. First, the eyes go to her eyes, wide set and full of expression. Then you look up at her hair, which is slicked back like Alec Baldwin in 1989. Then, of course, the eyes browse her figure, which looks curvy and full in her tight dress. Then, wait a second, is that a mouse? This shot was undoubtedly taken during the huge promotional period for the Cinderella film. The baby blue color and rodent itself is an obvious reference to the princess story. What is it with Cinderella and animals anyway? If you think about it, it’s kind of like she’s a superhero. Is she the one controlling the animals with her mind? Teaching them how to make dresses and fetching her keys to unlock her door? Then, she summons a magical spirit who transforms pumpkins into carriages? Or, was the fairy godmother just a hallucination and Cindy made the magic herself. Believe what you want, but the theory is out there.
2. The Side View
Although this photo is not revealing, there is something about it that is. After all, that patch of skin under your arm is no big deal. Athletes show it off all the time when they’re throwing a ball or doing the backstroke in a swimming pool. But there is something about the angle of this shot that is undeniably attractive. This photo shows that Lily James is toned in all of the right places. You can see how her waist turns in at her hips and her shoulders broaden at the perfect angle. We’re not sure when this shot was taken, but it seems to be relatively recent. Of course, the actress’ entire professional career has only begun in 2010. That was when she starred in four episodes of Just William, a British show about a little boy who constantly gets into trouble.
1. Simply Brunette
Okay, you’ve made it this far, so you’re a fan. You’ve seen a bunch of Lily James pics and you want more. You want to check out her movies and watch her career develop. But after all of this, when you close your eyes and picture Lily James, is she still blonde? Most fans would say yes. The reality is, however, that James is arguably even prettier as a brunette. Exhibit A: the photo seen here. This was taken for the March 2016 issue of Town and Country magazine, which even included a topless shot or two. She appeared with super dark hair to combat the Cinderella image. She also was a brunette in Darkest Hour. However, even though Oldman nailed the Churchill portrayal, the masses are not flocking to see that film. They will flock to Mamma Mia 2, and Lily’s blonde again in that one. Oh well, she looks great either way and definitely has the acting chops to back it all up.