Lily Collins may be relatively new in the industry but she is currently on a high, thanks to The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Daughter of Genesis frontman Phil, her acting dream began when she was two and appeared in the British sitcom Growing Pains. Since then, her ascent in Hollywood has been smooth and speedy. Just four years ago she debuted as Sandra Bullock’s daughter in the Oscar-nominated Blind Side and followed it with a hefty action thriller, Abduction, with Twilight heartthrob Taylor Lautner and then The English Teacher, an indie comedy in which she plays alongside Julianne Moore. Meanwhile she sang I Believe for the movie Mirror Mirror and since then has been working on an album. She says she enjoys writing songs and experimenting. As for all the attention, courtesy her father, she says, ‘‘I’m told more things than I actually remember, and now I’m running into these certain people who’ve seen me on billboards, and they come up to me and go: ‘Gosh, it’s so funny — I remember when you were on tour with your dad and I held you.’ ’’Like who? ‘‘Like Elton and people from that era.’’ A major fan of the Harry Potter series, Collins loves black and white photography, baking and antique shopping. She talks about experimenting with genres, getting into the skin of her character and more:
How did you bag the role in The Mortal Instruments?
I had played just two small film roles when I was cast as Clary Fray, the Brooklyn teen who comes into her own as a supernatural warrior in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Cassandra Clare, the author, was just delighted, because I looked exactly like Clary did in her head. Robert Kulzer, one of the producers, also thought I would be a potentially great Clary. He believed I have a talent that is rare to find in an actress just starting her career.
Tell us about your upcoming projects?
I am shooting a movie in May in Dublin, called Love, Rosie. This British romantic comedy is based in England.
What should we know about your character in City of Bones?
Clary Fray is a typical teenager with a normal life, which is just about to change. She has been living quietly in Brooklyn for as long as she can remember, when she suddenly begins to see startling and seemingly impossible things. Just as suddenly, her single mom disappears after a violent struggle.Surrounded by demons, warlocks, vampires, werewolves and other supernatural denizens of the Shadow World, Clary joins forces with young Shadowhunters Jace, Isabelle and Alec to locate and protect an ancient Cup that holds the key to her mother’s future.
How style conscious is Clary Fray?
She wears leather outfits, short dresses and heels once she turns shadow hunter! She is all about dressing edgy, sexy yet sophisticated.
How has life changed after Mirror Mirror and what is your biggest lesson?
Mirror Mirror has been a life-changing experience.
It taught me that I really have a long way to go and evolve as an actor.
What was your biggest challenge in the movie?
Playing a role that everyone so admired. I have been reading the Mortal Instruments series and am a huge fan. Sometimes we would shoot at three in the morning and at that time everything would be funny. However my favourite scene in the movie is the one at the greenhouse. It’s the
climax of the romance.
A genre you hope to do one day?
I haven’t tried horror. I wonder what that would be like.
Who do you look to for inspiration?
My mom keeps me grounded. She makes me feel special and reminds me that I am unique, which is very important in a place like Hollywood.