Lily James

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Lily James
BornLily Chloe Ninette Thomson
(1989-04-05) 5 April 1989 (age 25)
Esher, Surrey, England
OccupationActress
Years active2010–present
 
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Lily James
BornLily Chloe Ninette Thomson
(1989-04-05) 5 April 1989 (age 25)
Esher, Surrey, England
OccupationActress
Years active2010–present

Lily Chloe Ninette Thomson (born 5 April 1989), better known by her stage name Lily James, is an English actress. She is best known for her role as Lady Rose MacClare in the period drama Downton Abbey.[1]

James began her professional acting career as Ethel Brown in the 2010 BBC production of Just William. In 2011 and 2012, she earned warm reviews in several London theatre productions. She began to appear in Hollywood films in 2012, with roles in Wrath of the Titans and Fast Girls, and was seen in further television roles. She has been cast to star in the title role of the 2015 Disney film Cinderella.

Early life[edit]

James was born in Esher, Surrey. Her father was actor and musician James Thomson. [2] She began her education at Arts Educational School in Tring and subsequently went on to study acting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, graduating in 2010.[3]

Career[edit]

In 2011, James played Taylor in Vernon God Little at the Young Vic Theatre in Tanya Ronder's stage adaptation of the novel Vernon God Little directed by Rufus Norris,[4] Nina in a modern adaptation of The Seagull at Southwark Playhouse, and Desdemona in Daniel Evans production of Othello at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, alongside Dominic West and Clarke Peters. Quentin Letts wrote in The Daily Mail: "We may have a new star actress on our hands. ... [S]he left drama school only last year, yet she practically sweeps all before her as Desdemona in this Othello. Poise, diction, allure – she has them all. ... Her character’s love affair with a much older husband is completely believable".[5] In 2012, James played the role of Katrina in Play House and Marijka in Definitely the Bahamas in a double bill written and directed by Martin Crimp at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, London as part of the theatre's fortieth anniversary. Charles Spencer of The Telegraph wrote that "it is performed with a persuasive mixture of mischief and deeper feeling by Obi Abili and Lily James, the latter combining a mixture of neuroticism and glowing sexual allure that proves extraordinarily potent."[6]

Also in 2012, James played the role of Korrina in Warner Brothers' the Wrath of the Titans and starred in Fast Girls, directed by Noel Clarke, centered around a group of young female athletes competing in the World Championships. Her television credits include Ethel Brown in the 2010 BBC production of Richmal Crompton's Just William, Poppy in the fourth season of ITV's Secret Diary of a Call Girl (2011), and the rebellious Lady Rose in the last episode of series three, and in the fourth and fifth seasons of popular British series Downton Abbey.[7]

James has been cast as the title character in a live-action Disney film version of Cinderella.[8] The film is expected to be released on 13 March 2015. The movie poster features James as Cinderella, photographed by Annie Leibovitz, in the blue gown that she wears to the ball, and James's photograph in costume appears in the December issue of Vogue.[9][10]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
2012ChemistryInesShort film
2012Wrath of the TitansKorrina
2012BrokenOlder Skunk
2012Fast GirlsLisa Temple
2015CinderellaCinderellaPost-production
2015Untitled John Wells projectFilming
2015Pride and Prejudice and ZombiesFilming

Television[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
2010Just WilliamEthel Brown4 episodes
2011Secret Diary of a Call GirlPoppy8 episodes
2012–presentDownton AbbeyLady Rose McClare20 episodes

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]