‘I’m taking more risks. It’s an “if not now, when?” vibe’
fe should be fun,’ says Lily Collins, 25, sitting on an east London roof terrace after a long day’s shooting. It’s three years since we last met for her first ASOS cover and in that time, life has definitely been a lot of fun.
She’s had lead roles [Mirror Mirror, The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones], Lancôme campaigns and Lagerfeld love-ins. She’s sat front row at Chanel couture, travelled to Mexico to premiere a film in front of 10,000 fans and made a film [and friends] with Suki Waterhouse and Sam Claflin. Tomorrow, she’s jumping on a plane to Ibiza with her best friend from school, where, in-between shooting a Lancôme campaign with fashion photographers and Kate Moss’ BFFs, Mert and Marcus, she’s planning, in her words, “To grab a glow stick and go.”
She spends the day of our shoot listening to Disclosure and Sam Smith on repeat to get herself in the mood for her weekend adventure, making the whole crew wish they were going to Ibiza too. Right now, Lily Collins is having the time of her life.
‘I never thought I’d be doing what I’m doing at 25,’ she agrees, sipping on an iced green tea. ‘I feel happy. I’m taking more risks, whether with work or with myself. It’s an “if not now, when?” vibe and I’m definitely trying to be more of a yes person. Because yes is so much more fun than no!’
Next month sees the release of her new film, Love, Rosie. For Lily, it meant saying ‘yes’ to three things she’d never done before – comedy, a British accent on camera and playing a teenage mother. She didn’t even have to think twice.
Love Actually, Notting Hill, The Holiday– those sort of films are my favourites,’ she says, with a grin. ‘It’s those awkward moments when you find yourself laughing. Films that don’t take themselves too seriously – I just fell in love with this one. It’s not like the portrayal of a teen mum you see in reality TV shows, it’s not about a girl on a downward spiral, it’s about how she embraces what has happened and grows. She doesn’t become a victim.’
Lily filmed in Ireland and Canada with Sam Claflin [who plays her best friend Alex], Suki Waterhouse and Jaime Winstone. ‘It was a love fest right away,’ she laughs. ‘Sam is awesome and Jaime has such electric energy, she lights up a room when she walks in. And Suki is so hilarious, such a character – we text all the time, cos she’s in L.A. a lot. She just jumped right in and was game for anything. We would shoot, then all go to watch a football match at a pub and then go out dancing. We’d have three hours of sleep and then work the next day.’
While she makes friends most places she goes, the majority of her best friends are from school. When she was six, she moved to L.A. with her mum [her father is the singer Phil Collins] and still lives there when she’s not filming.
‘My friends have all known me forever,’ she says of her L.A. gang. ‘They’re all in different arenas. One works in the art world, one works for a magazine, one used to work in politics and now works for a major TV network in New York. We’re all just silly and have fun together and there’s no talk about business. I need that.’
Another old school friend who does know what it’s like to be in the public eye is the singer Banks. ‘She’s so incredible,’ Lily says. ‘I just saw her in Paris because we went to the Chanel couture show together. I caught her concert at an underground bar afterwards. She’s the sweetest, so nice and then she gets up on stage and she’s like a goddess of woman power – it’s really inspiring watching her.’
While we’re on the subject of Chanel, in May this year, Lily was announced as the face of Barrie Knitwear, owned by the brand. Her friendship with the design house started aged 18, when it dressed her for the Crillon Ball in Paris. At her second Met Ball, Chanel dressed her again.
Then there was the time she bumped into Karl Lagerfeld in the Colette store in Paris and he asked for a selfie. ‘I went to say hello,’ she explains, ‘and I wasn’t going to ask for a photo with him, but then he asked for one with me! I was dying!’
Lily’s now a front-row face, as well as having been shot by Karl himself for the campaign. ‘It was at the Chanel show in Dallas where we clicked,’ she says. ‘That show was unbelievable – I rode a mechanical bull in couture, which was amazing! He was funny and lovely and I got to spend quality time with him. After that, he asked if I would be the face of Barrie.’
Her style, she says, changes. Today, she’s dressed down in a pale cotton maxi dress by Ella Moss, with her fail-safe Chloé ballet flats and a leather jacket by Maje. ‘I own very few designer pieces,’ she says. ‘I want to collect them over the years. I’m not the type of person who buys a whole collection when it comes out. I want to make sure it’s something I’m going to love for a while. I get lent things, so experiment with my style that way, but ultimately I spend most of my money on vintage and high street.’
For a wardrobe swap, she says she’d most like to trade places with Katy Perry or pal Suki Waterhouse. ‘Suki can rock an outfit that would never work on me, but she carries everything off – it’s wacky chic. I love that she has the ability to put those looks together. And Katy Perry isconstantly changing her costumes and looks. I like people who switch it up.’
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