Before heading out to Santa Monica to catch an advanced screening of Mirror Mirror and to participate in a round table discussion with Lily Collins and other mom bloggers, I did a bit of reading up on her and you know what? All signs pointed to an authentic, genuine, sweet and charming young lady.
And those signs were 100% correct.
She blew me away with how personable, how down-to-earth and sincere she was. After having the privilege of posing for a photo with her, she wrapped her arm around my shoulder and told me it was nice to meet me.
Lily Collins said that it WAS NICE TO MEET ME, FOLKS!!!
I had practiced my question a million times prior to our round table but when I found myself actually sitting there, literally a few feet away from her smiling face, as much as I tried, I wasn’t able to get my words out. I kept trying, but with 9 other bloggers who were much more experienced than I was at interviewing, I just didn’t act quick enough. Our session was over before I could squeak out my question.
Want to know what I was going to ask her?
After appearing in Priest, the Blind Side, Abduction and Mirror Mirror, you’ve already covered a few different genres of movies. What is your ideal genre to act in?
Boo, I didn’t get to ask her. Maybe next time…
I also wanted to ask her if Sandra Bullock or Julia Roberts gave her any acting advice – I mean, they are legends of the silver screen, especially for my generation!
While I didn’t have a chance to ask my question, there were some fantastic questions asked that day. I’d love to share some of my favorite ones with you!
Q. Did you feel any intimidation about playing such a iconic role as Snow White, because those are kinda big shoes to fill?
Ms. Lily Collins: I think the script already kind of gave way to a new vision of Snow White, that she already was a modernized version of the classic fairy tale character we knew. It wasn’t as much intimidation of trying to stay true to the original, it was just making sure I was someone that young girls could relate to.
I didn’t want to be this caricature of a fairytale princess that was already in cartoon form. I wanted to be someone that young girls could look at and say, “She’s a friend of mine,” you know? So, it was more trying to make sure I did relate to young girls as opposed to being fearful that I wasn’t going to live up to everyone’s expectations of what Snow White should be.
Q. One of the reasons they said that you were such a great fit for the role was your genuineness and your innocence. How do you feel about that?
Ms. Lily Collins: That’s a huge compliment. I think to be called genuine is a very, very touching thing. 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. It’s very poufy and classic of what you would see as a younger fairytale princess. And 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, because 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.
Q. You’ve been compared to Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor and all those sort of big people. Who do you feel is your style icon, somebody that you aspire your career to be like?
Ms. Lily Collins: 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.
Q. So, speaking from your background as a journalist, you’ve interviewed a lot of people. What’s the one question you would love somebody to have asked you?
Ms. Lily Collins: Actually, that’s exactly (when I was doing on-air work) what I wanted to do — ask people questions that they never get asked, because everyone wants to know about the gossip, because I hated the gossip.
Q. Is there something that people would be surprised to learn about you, like that you play the drums or that you–?
Ms. Lily Collins: I’m a good water skier. I’ve been water skiing since I was four and a half. I love it. Lake Geneva, I would go with my dad. We’d go on a boat, and he taught me how to water ski. And so, since then, I love water. I’m a Pisces so its natural that I love swimming and everything about water. I haven’t water skied in quite a long time, and that is definitely something I never really talk about in interviews.
Q. I love the modern take on this classic fairy tale. When you read the script, what did you think about it? What elements do you feel really resonated with you or worked really well, because you talk about identifying with Snow White’s character.
Ms. Lily Collins: When you first hear her talking to a bird in an early scene, it’s very much that of a fairytale princess. But as you go on, Snow ends up evolving as she becomes this fighter, emotionally and physically, into a young woman who is someone that I hoped young girls would say, “That’s a friend of mine.”
The filmmakers wanted to modernize this classic story and make it very much about female empowerment, but not overwhelmingly so, it’s just the fact that she found it within herself, that she had the potential to do what the prince could do.
And that sense of female empowerment and confidence and self-esteem is something that I have always been a big advocate of promoting in young girls, and teen confidence among girls and boys but especially with young girls, and body image.
Snow is never aware of her own beauty. She isn’t looking in a mirror and saying, “I can make this happen because I’m pretty.” She learns from the dwarves about self-confidence. And once you accept yourself and accept spontaneity in the world, you can then pursue things because you’re more aware of your surroundings and more confident within yourself.
So, I think the fact that she is so unaware of how she looks, but she finds it within herself to love herself regardless, that’s the core of self-esteem and confidence building for young girls. So, I saw that the script had potential. I thought, “I would love to be a part of something that gives a message like that to young girls.”
Q. So, Snow White goes on this journey and she finds her place in the world. Have you found your place in the world? And who or what has helped you do that?
Ms. Lily Collins: I feel that before we even really sat down, saying that it became this life experience for me. This is the biggest film that I’ve done to date. It was the most I’d worked and trained and the most into a project I have immersed myself.
And I truly felt that when I left there, I left this new young woman who felt like she had just accomplished something that singing a Bollywood number, sword fighting in these costumes, I never thought I’d be doing that. And the fact that people believed in me enough, like the dwarves believed in Snow, just push yourself, you have nothing to lose. They say no, they say no.
And that kind of really taught me a lot along the way. When I finished it and now I’m seeing the movie back. And people are seeing it and they’re telling me what they thought, it’s the weirdest thing, because I left there feeling like her and I were almost one and that I had learned so much about myself.
But, if I was to name a person that has helped me become who I am today, my mom. My mom and I are best friends. And there’s never been a topic that’s too awkward or too weird to talk about. She’s always made me feel really, really comfortable. And we share clothes. We go shopping together. I send her my scripts. We just communicate on pretty much everything.
And without her there telling me that it’s okay to fail, it’s okay to try new things or you have the potential to do things above and beyond yourself that you don’t even know, that has truly propelled me kind of forward.
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Isn’t Lily Collins a total doll? When I was actually in the room with her, hearing her talking about her mom being her best friend and encouraging her to become who she is today, I had to fight back the tears welling up in my eyes. Her mom must be so proud!
Mirror Mirror will hit theaters on March 30, 2012 and it will totally knock your socks off. It’s a wonderful movie, so make sure that you don’t miss it!
Make sure to ‘Like’ Mirror Mirror on Facebook and visit the official website to watch the trailer & grab free downloads! And for all of my Pinterest-addicts out there, follow Mirror Mirror on Pinterest for behind the scenes photos and more!
I want to say a special thank you to Relativity Media for inviting me to attend the press screening of Mirror Mirror and the wonderful meeting with Lily Collins!