Interview of Lily Collins – Mirror Mirror

At the beginning of this month I was given the opportunity to attend a press junket for the upcoming movie, Mirror Mirror which hits theaters on March 30, 2012.

Besides screening the movie I was able to join other bloggers at a round table to interview Lily Collins.  Lily Collins plays Snow White in the modern day film, Mirror Mirror, along side Actor Armie Hammer as Prince Alcott and Actress Julia Roberts as her evil step-mother, the queen.

How was the experience to find out you were going to play Snow White?

It’s funny you ask —  It comes out March 30th, which, technically a year ago, I found out that I got the movie—I found out on April 1, 2011. It’s weird to think that all this happened in a year, very bizarre.

When I found out that I got the role, I thought it was an April Fools joke.  I was in a hotel in San Francisco, I had auditioned the day before, met Tarsem {Director} that same night, flew to San Francisco to do WonderCon, and I had just got off the plane when I got the phone call.  I thought to myself, “this is too fast, too weird.  It’s April Fools.”

When I found out it wasn’t a joke, I screamed and I started crying and laughing at the same time.  They were horrific tears, laughter, and screaming combined.  I couldn’t believe it.  It’s definitely bizarre seeing your face on a bus or billboard.

One of the reasons they said that you were such a great fit for the role of Snow White was your genuineness and your innocence.  How do you feel about that?

That’s a huge compliment.  I think to be called genuine is a very, very touching thing.  I’ll be 23 this month, but I do look a lot younger, depending on hair and makeup and the way that I’m dressed.

So, I think it’s fun for this film, because she does go from this young, wide-eyed, innocent girl who is unaware of what’s going on around her, as well as, being put in this fairytale princess dress. Then as the story goes on, Snow grows up and becomes more mature and more of a young woman.  To be able to physically show that in hair and makeup changes, of where I do go from more of the young looking princess to a more mature young woman, I think that kind of helps, especially when it comes from me then acting how I look. Sometimes when you change your look, it makes you act completely different.

So, for anyone to say that I make an ideal Snow White is an honor.

You’ve been compared to Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor.   Who do you feel is your style icon, somebody that you aspire your career to be like?

That’s a complete honor because my style icon truly is Audrey.  She really influenced the way that Tarsem [Director Tarsem Singh] and I went about creating her look at the end of the movie. It definitely influenced us.

I did a photo shoot for an English magazine last year where they put fake bangs on me.  I’d never experimented with my hair with bangs before.

It got me thinking.  I thought, “Wow, I really like this look,” because it made me feel so different.  And I felt like I could mature from a girl to a young woman with a small hair change.  Tarsem had seen the same shoot.  And he and I talked about the physical look of her at the end of the movie, and we really liked going there {with bangs} because it was more of that classic vibe.

I studied Audrey and the way that she used her body, her posture and her hands.  She was very much a princess in her own way.  Obviously in Roman Holiday and watching all those, she is just someone that carries a grace, an elegance and classiness to her; she’s timeless.I wanted to look to her for inspiration for the role.  For people to say that they saw that is huge for me, because that was definitely an inspiration.

How was it working with Julia Roberts?  She’s an amazing actor. Did you learn anything from her, did it affect your confidence while you were shooting at all?

Yes, definitely.  Our scenes together were interesting.  The first scene I shot with Julia was where I’m knelling at her throne and she pulls my hair.  And the shot that they used, she really did pull my hair. When I leaned in and she pulled, it actually pulled some of my hair out.

But, I was like, “It’s okay.  It’s okay.”  In my head I’m going, “My first hair pull.  It’s okay.  It’s Julia Roberts.” “I’m going to maintain composure.  I’m not going to laugh because they’re not going to be able to cut.”  They used that take.

Afterwards the moment they yelled cut, Julia was apologizing and asking, “Are you okay?“  She’d be mean to me on camera, in character, and the moment they yelled cut, she’s back to being this mom who is so lovely and able to switch in and out.

Her kids were on set almost all the time with her.  First and foremost on set, she was a mother.  She didn’t want her kids seeing her being mean to me, because she didn’t want that to taint their vision of her.  Whatever it was, the most important thing is that she’s a mom.  And I really respected that about her, even in a work environment.

Also, her last day of shooting, she came in to do my close ups.  She wasn’t even on camera for most of it.  The day that they did my side of the conversation, she came in, put the cape on, and was there for my close ups.

I said to her, “Thank you.“  She said, “Why are you thanking me?  This is my job. I am here because this is what I’m supposed to do.“  I said, “Yes, but you’re Julia. You could have someone else do it,“. It showed her dedication but also her desire to make me feel as comfortable as I could, because she wanted me to get the best performance I could knowing that it was her opposite me. I had something to play off of that was true and real.  She was there when she didn’t even have to be.  But, according to her, she did.  It’s her job, which I really respected.

Did you do all your stunts in the film?

I had a stunt double.  Her name’s Naomi.  She’s 16.  She’s the daughter of the fight coordinator.  She’s an angel and so very sweet.

Naomi taught me everything, all of the sword fighting you see, the fencing, it was all because of her.  We spent about four months training, Armie and I, with all the stunt people, in pre-production and during the film.  I was so happy when I saw it that they really shot the scenes and it showed that it was us {Armie & I}, because the last thing we wanted was for us to train all that time (four months) and the Director goes, “If you get tired, Naomo can do a take.”  I said, “I am not going not going to give up four months of intensive training to be tired when filming and have someone else do it.

Being able to do the stunts was a really huge part for me, it was a great challenge. It was important for me to fully BE Snow.  I really felt so connected to this film that I didn’t care how much I had to be pushed to learn something.  I really wanted it to be all me.

_MG_2772Don’t miss Mirror Mirror at a theater near you this Friday, March 30th.

Join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #MirrorMirror and tweeting along with @AskMirrorMirror to stay up to date with current release news and giveaways.  On Facebook?  Head over and like Mirror Mirror and MommaDJane’s Blog.

Full Disclosure: Courtesy of Relativity Media.

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