Lily James has landed one of the biggest roles for 2014, but who is she?
British actress Lily James, best known for playing Lady Rose MacClare in ITV period drama Downton Abbey, has landed one of the biggest female roles in Hollywood – that of Cinderella in Disney’s Kenneth Branagh helmed movie. It was well documented how the studio had Emma Watson at the top of their list, though the Harry Potter star rebuffed their advances. Now, it shall be Lily who lines up alongside Cate Blanchett (The Evil Stepmother) in the latest movie version of the classic Brothers Grimm tale.
It’s a heavyweight project from Disney, who hired Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada) to pen the first draft of the script, suggesting the movie will perhaps be featuring contemporary themes and fashions. “Just announced: Actress Lily James will play Cinderella in the live-action interpretation of the beloved classic tale,” became the tweet from Disney on Tuesday evening, announcing the casting.
Born Lily Thompson, the actress from Surrey, England, began her education at the Arts Educational School in Tring because going on to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, graduating in 2010.
Her first roles came in plays Definitely The Bahamas and Play House, a double bill at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond. Roles in Vernon God Little and The Seagull followed and James landed her first movie role in Warner Brothers’ Wrath of the Titans alongside Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes before signing on to star in Noel Clarke’s Fast Girls in 2012, about a group of young female athletes competing in the World Championships.
Her television credits include playing Poppy in the fourth season of ITV’s Secret Diary of a Call Girl, starring Billie Piper, and the BBC’s Just William.
Lily James At The Olivier Awards In London
Lily James At Lady Rose MacClare In Downton Abbey
Lily James At The BAFTAS in London
Lily James At The National Television Awards