Fast five: Lily James
Lily Chloe Ninette Thomson
April 5, 1989, Esher, United Kingdom
Wrath Of The Titans (2012), Downton Abbey (TV series, 2012-2014), Cinderella (2015)
1 DREAM COME TRUE
Getting the opportunity to put on Cinderella's glass slipper on the big screen has been the highlight of the British actress' career.
The 25-year-old, who adopted her stage name in honour of her late father, British actor-musician James Thomson, dreamed of a role like Cinderella since she was a child playing in her homemade princess dress.
During the audition, James read for Anastasia, one of Cinderella's stepsisters, but ended up getting the plum lead role in Kenneth Branagh's live action adaptation opening here tomorrow.
2 MODERN PRINCESS
James, who broke out playing Lady Rose MacClare on popular TV series Downton Abbey, said her Cinderella is no damsel in distress, despite being severely bullied by stepmother Lady Tremaine (Cate Blanchett).
"This Cinderella is a really powerful, strong character; I wanted to bring a strength of spirit to the role," James told The Hollywood Reporter.
"She also doesn't need a man to save her. That's totally irrelevant - she'd be fine without the prince, she'd get on with it."
While her Cinderella does get one, James is glad her Prince Charming (Richard Madden) "has a sense of humour and the ability to make fun of himself".
3 CORSET CRAZINESS
The English rose recently disputed criticism that Cinderella's tiny waist in the movie was a product of CGI, telling Los Angeles Times that her 56cm waist is "naturally really small".
"The skirt's big and the corset pulls me in, and that's the point. That's the shape (costume designer) Sandy Powell created," she said, adding that it took 45 minutes to dislodge herself from the monstrosity and latch it back on just to go to the bathroom.
James isn't new to corsets, having worn them in Downton Abbey, which she said were "even tighter".
4 LIQUID DIET
The downside of a corset, James told E! News, was she had to follow a liquid diet.
"If I ate food and it didn't really digest properly, I'd be burping all afternoon... and it was just really sort of unpleasant," said James.
"I'd have soup so that I could still eat but it wouldn't get stuck."
5 ROLE MODEL
James, who recently surprised a group of little girls dressed up as Cinderella during a screening of the movie in Disneyland, seeks to promote a healthy body image among young fans.
She told E! News: "For girls growing up, sometimes I think they get the wrong idea of what women should look like.
"It's so important to be healthy, confident and natural, and not put too much stress on trying to be thin. I don't get the thin, thin thing at all."
Royalty comes alive
PHOTOS: WALT DISNEY PICTURES, STARHUB, WOMEN'S WEAR DAILY, WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES, SINGAPORE, REUTERS
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