Belfast Telegraph

Lily James found comfort in drama

Lily James has revealed she has found comfort in having an on-screen father in new film Cinderella.

The Downton Abbey actress is starring as the princess in Walt Disney's reimagining of the fairytale directed by Kenneth Branagh. The 24-year-old star was very close to her father, actor and musician James Thomson, until his death from cancer five-and-a-half years ago.

Lily told Tatler studying at the Guildhall of Music and Drama when her father died, "was a lifeline for me, it saved me. I found drama school very nurturing - I just clung on".

When she was cast in Cinderella, one of the first things she asked Branagh was who would play her father.

She said: "It's weird, the idea of someone else playing my dad, but weirdly nice. And I was really excited when I found out it was going to be Ben Chaplin."

The blonde beauty admitted it's a dream come true to play a fairytale princess.

She said: "You know that scene in Runaway Bride when Julia Roberts puts on the amazing wedding dress and looks at herself in the mirror and goes 'swish, swish'? I loved that moment so much when I was a little girl.

"And that's how it was for me at the Cinderella screen test. I was in full costume, and when I saw myself I just couldn't help holding the skirts of my ballgown and saying, 'Swish, swish'."

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