Five Favorite Films with Lily Collins
Plus, the star of Mirror Mirror on playing Snow White, tangling with Julia Roberts, and what she thinks of Kristen Stewart's take on the role.
Lily Collins was born into fame -- her dad, Phil, could bang a drum and write a hit tune or two -- but she found her own way into an acting career, performing in stage productions as a kid before working as a teenage Hollywood reporter and scoring small roles in movies like The Blind Side. This week she steps into the limelight as the star of Mirror Mirror, director Tarsem's visually energetic remix of the Snow White fairytale -- the first, and likely funniest, of this year's adaptations of the classic story. As the fairest of them all, Collins dazzles in the late, great Eiko Ishioka's exquisite costumes, while getting to put Julia Roberts' evil queen in her place and sharing her first kiss with Prince Winkelvoss, er, Charming, played with a degree of good sportsmanship by Armie Hammer.
We sat down with the English-born Collins recently in her adopted home of Los Angeles, where she talked about the movie, working with Tarsem and her thoughts on Kristen Stewart's not-really-a-rival take on Snow. First up, she talked us through her five favorite films.
(Richard Curtis, 2003; 63% Tomatometer)
These are so raw -- this is who I am, these movies. [Laughs] They're very girly. In no particular order... Love Actually. Most of these movies have British accents in them, because, being from England, there's something about films that I watch that have a British accent that I just feel so at home with. That film I can watch any day and it makes me smile; and I love Christmas, so it kind of matches perfectly.
Pride and Prejudice. I love sweeping British drama period pieces and I hope that one day I can do one just like that, because, to me, I love old English literature. And I'm a big Keira Knightley fan. It's just so beautiful aesthetically and in terms of story.
(Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Newell, David Yates; 2001-11; 78-96% Tomatometers)
Harry Potter. All of them. [Laughs]
That's cheating. Do you have a particular favorite?
Is it cheating? [Laughs] It's hard to pick. I wouldn't necessarily know which. I mean, I love the Goblet of Fire. I don't know. Maybe the Goblet of Fire. I read those books so quickly when I was a kid, because that whole world was so, like... it took me out of my reality. And I just love magic and I loved that whole world, the creatures, and just how you felt so friendly with all the characters. The way they translated that into movies, I thought was genius. You know when they take a book, and they make it a movie, and you hope that it's gonna be everything that you hope for and more? To me they just succeeded. I don't know, I just love them so much. Every time I'm sick I'll watch a marathon of them and I can repeat all the words.
Hopefully you're sick for a while... I mean, so you can watch them all.
[Laughs] I know, they're so long. I just had laryngitis, so...
Breakfast Club. I was actually having trouble because I would say Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles and Breakfast Club, but that would be three. Of all three, Breakfast Club is my favorite. But those John Hughes films, with Molly Ringwald and the Brat Pack, those are my favorite grouped films. They're just so... they're timeless. I feel like, even when you're watching them now, they're so modern, and the characters are so real. They're just so appealing to me. I watched them with my mom when I was really young. I always would watch things with my mom that maybe other moms wouldn't allow their kids to watch. I associated with them right away. I just really, really love John Hughes.
Who's your favorite character in the movie?
I love Molly Ringwald. But I also love the basket case, Ally Sheedy -- you know, with the pixie sticks and the crunching of the sandwich. She's so fantastic.
(Billy Wilder, 1954; 91% Tomatometer)
Next, Collins on playing Snow White in Mirror Mirror, what she thinks of Kristen Stewart's take, and her favorite song by her dad.
Sabrina, with Audrey Hepburn. I actually spent my New Year's this year watching Sabrina, and as it turned midnight I paused it and it was just her face on screen, smiling. I was like, "What a cool way to start the New Year." She is just someone I've always admired. She says so much without saying anything at all. And back then they didn't do such fast cuts in films; they stayed on a character's face long enough for them to go from one emotion to another, and for the audience to really feel the emotion with each character -- and she in that movie just goes from so many endearing moments to moments of sadness and laughter. It's just such a classic, and I love black and white. So, that's my list!