Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Lily the Literary Heroine Is Longing to Ditch Those Corsets ... for a Tracksuit and No Bra

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Lily the Literary Heroine Is Longing to Ditch Those Corsets ... for a Tracksuit and No Bra

Article excerpt

Byline: Alistair Foster Showbusiness Correspondent

LILY JAMES has made her name in period dramas -- but now she cannot wait to ditch the corsets for a role which requires "a tracksuit and no bra".

The actress, 26, rose to prominence as Lady Rose in Downton Abbey, before taking the lead role in hit film Cinderella. She is currently on television as Natasha Rostova in War And Peace and will shortly be on the big screen in comedy horror Pride And Prejudice And Zombies.

Many of those roles have required her to squeeze into a corset, with James recently claiming that her dress for Cinderella was so tight that she had to stick to a soup diet.

James, from Esher, graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2010 and is still adjusting to fame. She said: "I feel a lot of pressure. I feel it is a blessing and potentially a curse that I have played all these incredible literary heroines that are so loved and such wonderful characters. But I also feel a great responsibility and pressure, which can be very intimidating."

Her next role, as a waitress in Edgar Wright's forthcoming movie Baby Driver, is a departure. She said: "I'm really looking forward to it. I'm playing a young American waitress who is not from a novel, who is not massively intense and complicated and I don't have Jane Austen or Tolstoy to refer to!

"I have just my own imagination which is actually a bit of a relief. I didn't necessarily think I wanted to do another period drama and then War And Peace came along so I think it depends on what projects come along.

"But I've learned so much at this stage in my career playing these parts. But I do want a bit of a break from ... I want to just have my own voice and wear jeans, maybe a tracksuit and no bra!" James was preparing for the role of Natasha while still filming the final scenes of Downton, and sneaked her copy of War And Peace on to the set. …

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