Lily James is an English actress. She studied acting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and soon began her acting career in the British television series Just William (2010). Following a supporting role in the period drama series Downton Abbey (2012–2015), James had her film breakthrough by playing the eponymous role in the fantasy film Cinderella (2015).
James went on to play Natasha Rostova in the television series War & Peace (2016). In 2017, she starred in the action crime film Baby Driver and the war drama film Darkest Hour, both of which were critically and commercially successful. She starred as the younger version of Meryl Streep’s character Donna Sheridan in the musical film Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018).
Born Name Lily Chloe Ninette James, née Thomson
Years active 2010–present
Born: 5 April 1989, 29 years and 7 months, Esher, Surrey, England
Sun Sign Aries
Hair Color Light Brown
Eye Color Dark Brown
Height 5 ft 7 in or 170 cm
Measurements 34-24-35 in or 86-61-89 cm
Bra Size 32B
Lily James attended the Arts Educational School in Tring for her basic education.
In 2010, she completed her graduation from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where she studied acting.
Father – Jamie Thomson (Actor and Musician)
Mother – Ninette Thomson
Siblings – Charlie Thomson (Older Brother), and Sam Thomson (Younger Brother)
Others – Helen Horton (Grandmother) (American Actress)
James was born Lily Chloe Ninette Thomson in Esher, Surrey, the daughter of Ninette (née Mantle), an actress, and James “Jamie” Thomson, a musician. Her grandmother, Helen Horton, was an American actress. She attended Tring Park School for the Performing Arts and subsequently went on to study acting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, graduating in 2010.
Her television credits include Ethel Brown in the 2010 BBC production of Richmal Crompton’s Just William, Poppy in the fourth series of ITV’s Secret Diary of a Call Girl (2011), and the rebellious Lady Rose in the last episode of series three of Downton Abbey. Lady Rose later became a main character in the fourth and fifth series of the programme. James also appeared as Lady Rose in the series finale.
In 2011, James played Taylor at the Young Vic Theatre in Tanya Ronder’s stage adaptation of the novel Vernon God Little directed by Rufus Norris, Nina in Russell Bolam’s 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. She 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.”
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.” James played the role of Korrina in the Warner Brothers film Wrath of the Titans and starred in Fast Girls, written by Noel Clarke, centred around a group of young female athletes competing in the World Championships.
James played the titular character in the 2015 live-action Disney film Cinderella. James was photographed by Annie Leibovitz as Cinderella, in the blue gown her character wears to the ball, for the December 2014 issue of Vogue. James also made her singing debut in the film’s end credits, covering “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes” from the 1950 animated film.
In 2016, she returned to television in the 2016 BBC historical drama series War & Peace, playing the character of Natasha Rostova. She also starred in her second major film, playing the role of Elizabeth Bennet in the action-horror film Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a parody of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. It received mixed reviews and failed to break even at the box office. James played the role of Juliet in the Garrick Theatre’s production of Romeo and Juliet directed by Rob Ashford and actor-director Kenneth Branagh in 2016.
In 2017, she played Debora, the love interest of the main character, Baby, in the action film Baby Driver; starred as Elizabeth Layton, a secretary to PM Winston Churchill, in the film Darkest Hour; and headlined the World War II drama The Exception, playing a British agent posing as a servant to the exiled Kaiser Wilhelm II. James starred as the younger version of Meryl Streep’s character, Donna Sheridan, in the sequel to Mamma Mia!, titled Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. The film was released in July 2018.
James’ father died from cancer in 2008; she has said that filming father/daughter scenes in Cinderella were therefore very emotional for her. She changed her surname to her father’s given name “James” as a tribute to him.
Lily James is attached to United Talent Agency of Beverly Hills, USA.
Small waist size
Lily James has not appeared in any brand endorsement till 2015.
She first appeared in a short film Chemistry as Ines in 2012.
First TV Show
She made her maiden TV entry as Ethel Brown in four episodes of the Just William series in 2010.
Lily James has been in the news for her tiny waist size in Cinderella. She has a slim figure which she attributes to regular Yoga lessons and cycling. However, it is reported that she takes on a body toning challenge for each role that she portrays on the big screen.
For the British film Fast Girls, the actress had to undergo rigorous training. She trained under Olympics Athlete Jeanette Kwakye and Olympic runner Shani Anderson. Running, circuit training, weight training, working out on the tracks and going to the gym at least five times a week was essential for her athletic look in the movie.
She also adhered to a high-protein diet that included fish, chicken, and protein shakes. However, she quit this rigorous training after the movie shoot was over.
The most important aspect of her fitness is her diet. The actress has herself admitted being on a liquid diet before the shooting of the corseted gown sequence in Cinderella, to attain the perfect body line.The actress advises doing regular exercises in the morning and drinking lots of water to remain hydrated.
Lily James Favorite Things
Food – Chocolates
Love – Acting and Dancing
Disney Characters – Ariel and Belle
Childhood Memory – Going to Musicals on birthdays
Lily James Facts
She has been named as the next Keira Knightley.
Hayley Atwell, her on-screen mother in the movie Cinderella, shares the same birth date as Lily.
She has won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series for her role as Lady Rose MacClare in Downton Abbey.
She went to audition for Anastasia, the stepsister of Cinderella but got the lead role in Cinderella.
Lily James believes in women empowerment and feels good to see actresses who are healthy and curvy.