I had the chance to interview Lily Collins a few months ago for a feature in this month’s exciting (newly redesigned!) issue of Today’s Parent Magazine. She’s starring as Snow White in Mirror Mirror, which hits theatres next month. We chatted for quite long time, so here are some of the snippets that didn’t make into the magazine. She’s a really sweet girl, and had fun things to say about Julia Roberts and her kids. ENJOY!
What aspects of yourself do you see in this Snow White character?
Through the whole filming of the movie I felt like I had experiences in parallel with Snow herself. When I got to Montreal, I was very much unaware of how everything was going to go, and I was nervous, like Snow is at the beginning of her story. And then once she starts to become more and more confident and open to more experiences and adventures, that’s when things start to happen for her. I felt like I, too, became more open to new adventures with filming and new adventures in Montreal, accepting these new things that were coming along, and really growing into myself.
What did you think of Montreal?
I loved Montreal. I literally fell in love with the city. I thought it was so beautiful. It felt so European. The people were so nice, and the food, which everyone said was amazing before I got there, was just so fantastic.
Who were some of your role models growing up?
Definitely my mom. 100%. She’s probably the most independent, passionate, dedicated person I know. She’s my best friend and I learned a lot from her. She’s always really encouraging of answering questions even if it’s awkward, or just really making me feel like I can go to her with anything.
Also my dad. He does what he does because he’s extremely passionate about it. And he is able to translate his emotions into things that become public, songs that bring back memories. For so long he’s been extremely dedicated to what he does, and I think that’s really commendable. I’m in it for the passion as well, so I hope that, long term, I can still be doing it as I get older.
Professionally, people like Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet, Natalie Portman. Their choices have been so diverse, and they’re such beautiful women inside and out, and so inspirational because of the work that they do outside of film, as well. Like Audrey Hepburn, for all the charity work that she did. I admire how well-rounded as human beings they are, and how inspirational to young women.
Is there more writing in your future [Lily used to write for magazines]?
I definitely love it. I write every day. I write a journal. And I feel like the way that I go about researching for roles, or character traits in general, is influenced by journalism. I love meeting new people and I love asking questions, and in a way that’s journalism, too. The route of journalism is being open to new people and experiences, and being curious. I use that every day with my acting anyway. But I definitely hope to get back into writing, and it’s something that I’ll always love.
What advice do you have for aspiring young writers or actresses?
Never take “no” as a “no, this isn’t for you.” Take “no” as “no, not right now.” At the beginning when I was auditioning, I got told “no” so many times, but it just made me more determined to be told “yes.” And I just kept working at it. As long as you’re in it for the passion, you’re in it for the right reason. And your passion will always translate. As long as you keep trying, eventually you will be told yes, and it will be made that much more special.
What was it like working with Julia Roberts?
Oh my gosh, it was an absolute honour and pleasure. She is everything you would hope she’d be and more. It’s genius how she played the wicked Queen [in Mirror Mirror] because she isn’t everything that people know about her, like her smile and her laugh, and her personable nature, and she uses it in this new creepy, eerie, disturbing way. She plays it in a way that people aren’t going to expect. She’s just so knowledgeable about the entire business and her surroundings. She’s got this magnetic energy that’s so nice to be around every day.
Did she bring her kids?
She did! They were there on set, like, almost every day with her. They were so sweet to have around. She’d practise dancing with them, and they’d be hiding under her costumes. There was very much a family kind of vibe around set.
Very sweet, huh? Interviewing Lily definitely gave me hope for the new generation of actresses! Be sure to check out my piece in this month’s exciting issue of Today’s Parent Magazine!