Are you fearless like your character?
I would like to think that I am feisty and fearless. My mom and I travelled to many countries when I was growing up, and I have jumped off a cliff in Paraguay, and jumped off a cliff to go swimming, and I swam with sharks. So, I would like to think that I have done some things. I think I like to take risks, not be unsafe, but like take as many risks as I can.
Are you good in unexpected dangerous situations?
I’ve done enough martial arts training now and I think I would be kind of good in a situation but I try not to put myself in dangerous situations. I think having been able to play some of the characters that are strong females who get thrown into these positions and have to act quickly and I think I have learned kind of a lot from those characters. And also my best friends and the women that surround me in general, are all really strong females in their own way, and witty as well as physically strong. So I think it’s also about how you handle ￼￼￼￼￼them intellectually and mentally, and if you go through something traumatic, how do you pick yourself up afterwards? That takes a lot of strength as well.
You mentioned training. What did you do?
I trained with a personal trainer for three months prior to filming, and I’ve always been a physical person. I love fitness and stuff, so that wasn’t the hardest part. We did stability and strength training and endurance training, and then with the stunt department, it was the same stunt department who had done Mirror, Mirror. So I really felt close to them, I knew them really well. We did sword fighting, acrobatics, aerial work, mortal combat, martial arts, every day, leading up to filming as well as getting up at maybe 4:30, 5 in the morning before filming to go in the gym and we all went through it together, so we would just get up early and just look at each other and be like, I can’t believe this.
How would you describe your style?
I like to be comfortable, but I have always liked fashion since I was little, so I have always played around with different types of looks.
What have you learned from your dad, who’s been in the entertainment business for so long?
People are always going to have something to say about the work that you have done. And it’s not always going to be positive. In fact, it may be mostly negative. But it’s important not to engage in that, or not to focus on that, because if you have done something that has made you happy, and that you have been proud of, then that’s all the experience that you need to get out of it. I mean, if it doesn’t do well, if people don’t respond to it, that’s not the important part. The important part is that you have done it for you and you chose to do it for you.
You did a small movie, Stuck in Love. How was that experience?
I grew up during the shoot, and to me, it’s one of my favorite things that I have ever done. I am so proud of it, but my point is, that I loved doing it so much, and the experience that I gained from it far surpasses hoping that a big box office comes from it. And people are always going to have something to say about if a project doesn’t do well, people don’t like it, and you can’t take it to heart. As long as you have experienced something from it and you enjoyed it, that’s the most important part.
How do you deal with rejection?
I was told no so many times and I kept every script that I ever went in on before Blindside, and there are stacks and stacks and stacks. You get told no so many times, but I have always taken that as a no, not right now, no, this isn’t for you. So you have to just learn something from each room, they are not going to be the greatest experiences all the time.
Sometimes they are horrible and embarrassing and you pick yourself up after it, but I am a firm believer in everything happens for a reason. So those TV shows that I didn’t get, probably a good thing because I would have been signed on for six years and not gotten to do the films that I did. But at the time, it’s total devastation, and then a week goes by and you are like all right, what’s next?
Did you always know that you wanted to be an actress?
I always loved telling stories. I was in a show when I was two years old in England and I have always played dress up and I have always read books with accents, and I have always wanted to be a part of storytelling. Acting was always a dream of mine. I really wanted to go through school first and then come out of school and then professionally pursue it. Like, I did stage theater and musicals and plays when I was little, but professionally, I wanted to wait until I was ready. But it’s always been something that I knew I wanted to do.
And is there any pressure being the daughter of…
Well he’s mainly known for the music. I mean, he started out acting, but he’s mainly known for music so I waited until I was ready to do it on my own, and not have anyone make phone calls for me. I didn’t want to ever give anyone a reason to say, ‘You are only doing this because of.’ So maybe I lost out on a couple of opportunities or meetings, but at the end of the day who cares?
So at this point now, that pressure is completely gone because I have been able to do multiple films since the beginning of my career, which has really been like short. So far, it’s only been like four years in film.
Why did you wait?
I wasn’t interested. I grew up knowing the pros and cons of having your life be public because of my family, with my dad and stuff. I really wanted to just hang out with my friends and go to the movies and do normal teenage stuff and that’s just all I was interested in. I knew that one day I wanted to do it professionally, but I knew that if I wasn’t ready and confident as Lily, I would be throwing myself into a situation where too many people have spiralled. (laughs) And I never wanted that to happen. I had a really strong family base behind me and I just wanted to be a kid.
Will you sing one day?
Well I sang in Mirror, Mirror, so that was the first time. I mean, I had done musical theater before, but I did sing in Mirror, Mirror, and I would love to do a musical movie. That would be really fun.
So what does it feel like becoming more famous than your father?
I don’t think that’s true. (laughs)I’ve never really seen it as a competing thing in the family, competing fame, but I think he gets more a kick out of it than I do. Like he was listening to the radio and the DJ said, that was Phil Collins, for all of you that don’t know, that’s Lily’s dad. (laughs) And he told me that, but he was like, I am so proud of you. And he was smiling and laughing about it. It was more like a novelty as opposed to, I can’t believe it. So for me, I just find it kind of funny and very bizarre. But to him, he’s super proud. That’s Lily’s dad. That was like, so weird.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I have a lot of friends who are actors and I have got a really core group of girlfriends, but my closest friends are from school. From high school or from college, and some of them live all around different cities, like one works in The White House, one owns a gallery in New York, one works at Teen Vogue, so we are all in four different cities, but I have always felt like that connection has never gone away. We are just a core group of friends. And for the friends that I have here in LA, I go to the movies, I go to flea markets, just go out and experience new kind of restaurants, and new foods. I bake, I cook, I love to go out and at this point, that’s not tainted yet, and I refuse to not go out because I don’t want to go out because there are people that are going to recognize me. I think that’s so sad to lock yourself away, there’s no point to that. So I still get to be very normal.
A lot of girls your age seem to be on YouTube promoting videos or Twitter and Facebook, you seem to be the opposite of that. Is it conscious?
Yeah. I don’t feel the need to tweet about a great salad that I had, (laughs) and I look up to people like Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Meryl Streep, I mean, obviously Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn were of an era where the mystery kept kind of their allure alive, and their personal lives were personal, and they were very endearing and very relatable. And I love that old kind of Hollywood glamour feel to them. And not necessarily glamour like physicality, but just that glamour of it was Hollywood and they didn’t need to necessarily share everything.
And then someone like Meryl Streep, she doesn’t need to stay relevant by informing everyone of everything that she does, but she’s extremely relatable. It’s not like fans feel like they are talking to her on Twitter and that’s why she’s relatable. She’s just an amazing woman that she walks in a room and she’s just herself. And there’s no cold filter that you have to go through. So if I can be relatable to people and be accessible by meeting people or just by being myself. I would much rather that than uploading a video of myself getting ready for something. I feel like sometimes with people who do that, it’s either that, or nothing. Whereas for me, I would like it to be, being in a room with someone and being personable or seeing someone and actually having one on one time and making them feel like that’s a special situation, and then it’s the film world. It’s not necessarily this ominous Twitter, Facebook and then you see them on screen. More personal.
Finding that inner beauty is perhaps more fulfilling than outer beauty. Is that a lesson that you’ve learned through life?
Yeah, I think it’s something that especially my mom instilled in me through a young age. We were always off traveling and experiencing new cultures and meeting new people, and I was never taught the idea that you judge someone based on what they look like or their height or whatever, a person is a person is a person. And I think when you appreciate that in other people, that’s what you look for first, then that kind of reflects on you and you start to appreciate those things more about yourself than on the outside.