You may know Lily James from Downton Abbey or this could be the first time you’ve heard of her. Taking on a role like the iconic Cinderella had to be intimidating. We were waiting patiently for the Belle of the Ball to walk in and when she did we gave her thunderous applause. She smiled and blushed and was just exquisite. She answered every question with style and grace. Reminiscent of Old Hollywood. Whatever is next for Miss James she’s one to keep on your radar. I have a feeling she’s going to Soar. So Check out the interview below:
Q: Which shoes were you wearing at the premiere?
LJ: I was wearing Louboutins. I loved that they looked so beautiful and princess-y and then they had the killer red sole, it was great.
Q: How did you prepare yourself, leading up to the beginning of filming to be Cinderella?
LJ: First of all I started horse riding lessons ‘cause I’d never ridden before. When I first met Ken early on after he cast me he was like, ‘so, how do you feel about horse riding?’ and I was like, ‘[GASP] great! I had to bare back as well so I was going, every second I wasn’t filming Downton, I was at this farm learning to ride. Then I did yoga, to sort of try and feel graceful and breathe properly. That was physically, and then I was just working on the script on back-story. When I met with Ken as well, he was like, ‘I want to know, does Ella sleep with the blinds open or closed, what does she dream about, what’s her favorite food.’ He wanted for me to know all those details so that I could sort of just exist on set being her.
Q: Can you tell us about your experience with the dress?
LJ: The dress is insane. When I first put it on, there’s a scene from Runaway Bride with Julia Roberts where she puts this dress on and she looks in the mirror and, I think Richard Gere is looking really handsome somewhere and she just goes like swoosh, swoosh. She makes this sound and I put it on and I felt like Julia Roberts, it was just the best feeling ever. I was so nervous about this bit of the movie ‘cause it’s the bit where she’s the princess. I think, ‘how can anyone live up to that?’ It’s this fairy tale, it’s this sort of thing that’s very far removed from me. Then I put on that gown and I just felt transformed and it felt like a suit of honor. It was really hard to wear and it was incredibly tight and incredibly, it had a life of it’s own basically.
It was really heavy. It was like crazy heavy and it pulled down on my waist and it took about twenty minutes to get in and twenty minutes to get out. [LAUGHS] It was kind of cool because it was almost like a ritual every morning. I’d have my dress I would, we’d start from the very bottom. It would take a bit of time, we’d have some music on. The only thing was if I needed to toilet. You’re always so rushed when you’re filming so it would be like a forty minute break, so the crew would be like, ‘god, where’s Lily?’
In the end me and Helena had same problem so in the end, we had these like port-a-loo’s that we’d like put under us. It was like the most unglamorous thing ever. [LAUGHS], so Helena and I would sometimes be, like, in our tent and be next door and be both using the port-a-loo’s at the same time.
Q: So, next to the dress you think about the glass slipper. Were they comfortable? Were they really made out of glass?
LJ: They were really made out of Swarovski crystals, so, even more amazing. They’re so beautiful but, sadly, I hate saying this, but, they don’t fit any human foot. So, I’m glad it’s no foot, just not my, if it was just my foot it didn’t fit I’d feel really un-Cinderella-y. So he the prince is still looking for his princess. [LAUGHS]
Q: How did you feel during the dancing? Did it feel like you were really at a ball?
LJ: The dance switched from being the most, sort of beautiful, romantic moment of my life, actually and to being one of the most stressful and hardest. Because the dress was so heavy and it ripped by basically if Richard looked at it, it was so delicate. We learned the dance we were getting really smart, we’d been doing it for months at Pinewood studios in London with these incredible choreographers. Then suddenly they were like, ‘okay, the dress’ and I just, like, almost fainted, I thought, ‘the dress, of course, how are we gonna do this in the dress?’
I had a complete nervous breakdown and [LAUGHS] and it was Richard, did I just say that? He had to like ice skate so he didn’t step on it. He had to like slide his feet. Five minutes later, the skirt would catch up. There was a few takes where we ran it like real time so I would start outside the doors, I’d knock on the doors, I came in, I walked down the steps, the music started, I walked towards Richard and we danced. Ken didn’t say it but he let it run right ‘til the end of the whole, like where we run out of the ballroom and. Because we didn’t know who was gonna stop or not, and it was these big wides, and we just did it, and then we didn’t do it wrong. Me and Richard were just giggling ‘cause we were feeling so. It was lovely, it was such a special moment, Then, these like big burly guys in the crew would like come over with tears in their eyes and we were like, ‘guys, come on stop.’
Q: What was your initial reaction when you found out you got the role of Cinderella?
LJ: Ken rang me himself and I screamed so loudly I’m sure I burst his eardrum. He said “I’d like you–, I want you to be my Cinderella.” And I just, my heart, and was on set and I screamed. And Laura and Michelle came running over and, and they knew I’d been doing this torturous audition process and they’re like, ‘what is it, what is it?’ And then Ken was like, ‘you’re not allowed to tell anyone.’ So, I was like, ‘oh, nothing, nothing.’ And then, later that day, um, Hugh Bonneville announced at the Downton dining room table. It was really sweet.
So grab the family and head to theaters March 13, 2015 to the Belle of the Ball become Cinderella the Princess!
***Disclosure: I attended #CinderellaEvent My flight, lodgings, and expenses were covered by Disney All opinions are 100% mine. ***