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After breaking our hearts as the tragic, ever hopeful Fantine in Les Misérables, get to know the actress who brought the character to life. Check out our list of surprising and fun facts about Lily Collins, and learn all about the actress’ family (hint: you may have heard of them), the career path she almost took instead of acting, and what projects she’s working on next.
You may have heard of her father…
She’s the daughter of famous rock star Phil Collins, lead singer and drummer of Genesis. Her mother, Jill Tavelman, and the award-winning musician were married until 1994. While her famous father (and last name) may have, admittedly, helped open doors for her, she worked hard to make her own way. “I never wanted to give anyone the opportunity to say: ‘Well, she only got X or Y because of that,’” she told The Guardian in a recent interview. “I knew it would take longer to do it on my own, but it would be so much more worth it.”
She’s dominating the big screen this year.
She’s starring in multiple other big roles this year, including the new Netflix film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile alongside Zac Efron (The Greatest Showman, High School Musical), chronicling the crimes of notorious serial killer Ted Bundy from the perspective of his longtime girlfriend, played by Collins. She’s also starring as Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien’s wife and muse Edith Bratt in Tolkien, alongside Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies, About a Boy).
…and television screens!
On top of just breaking our hearts in the MASTERPIECE series Les Misérables, Collins just recently announced her newest starring role in a new series called Emily In Paris from legendary creator Darren Star (Sex And The City, Younger, Beverly Hills 90210). Not only will Collins star in the upcoming series, but for the first time ever, she’ll be producing, as well. According to Collins’ announcement on Instagram, the show is set to begin production in Paris this summer, and slated to premiere next year on Paramount Network.
She's not just an actress.View this post on Instagram
Today, #WorldBookDay intersects with #NEDA week. Both are so important to me. Learning to love yourself isn’t always easy, but it’s crucial that we take the steps to treat our bodies and minds with respect. I shared my history with eating disorders in my book #Unfiltered in hopes that anyone struggling would know they’re not alone… We need to support and encourage each other, so we can take back the power that our insecurities stole from us. Admit your truths, keep on fighting… and remember you’re worth it. Love always and forever…
Her talents extend far beyond the screen. In 2017, at the age of 27, Collins published her first book, a collection of personal essays titled Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me. The Golden Globe nominated actress tackled everything from her struggles with eating disorders, boyfriend problems, and the once strained relationship with her father in the international bestseller.
She originally studied to be a journalist.
Before she landed her first major film role in 2009’s The Blind Side as Sandra Bullock’s daughter, Collins attended the University of Southern California (USC) and studied broadcast journalism, with a dream of becoming “the youngest-ever talk show host.” She began writing for Teen Vogue and Elle Girl, and covered the 2008 presidential election and Obama’s first inauguration for Nickelodeon. All the while, however, she’d been auditioning, and once she was cast in The Blind Side alongside Sandra Bullock, she dropped out of USC. From there on, she scored starring roles in more films Mirror, Mirror and Love, Rosie. (The rest, as they say, was history.)
Watch all of Les Misérables on PBS Passport, an added member benefit.