War & Peace
Season 1 BBC First (*119) 20:00
Six-episode drama War & Peace (2016) is set in 1805’s St Petersburg and revolves around the glittering elite of Russian society. Like free-spirited hopeless romantic Natasha Rostova, played by Lily James – better known as Lady Rose MacClare in another period drama show: Downton Abbey (2010-2015). Says Lily, “I’ve always wanted to do them [period dramas]. It has always been a genre of cinema and television that I’ve liked, but it’s also stuff that I’ve been offered.”
The 27-year-old Brit was born Lily 1
Chloe Ninette Thomson but legally changed her name to Lily James in 2010. Why? To honour her late actor father James Thomson (Jobbie in crime movie The Debt Collector, 1999) who died in 2008 after battling cancer.
She didn’t take up acting purely 2
because of her dad – her granny Helen Horton inspired Lily to get into the industry. Helen, who passed away in 2009 at age 85, played Miss Henderson in 1983 sci-fi movie Superman III alongside the late Christopher Reeve.
Lily is actually a natural brunette. 3
She dyed her hair blonde for her role in Downton Abbey in 2012, two years after she graduated from the London Guildhall School Of Music And Drama and appeared in stage plays.
And her locks won her another 4
role, playing the title character in 2015’s fairytale film adaptation of Cinderella. “I went to audition for the ugly stepsister Anastasia but the casting director sent me to audition for Ella because of my hair,” beams Lily.
Just like Cinderella, the actress has 5
found her own prince charming in British actor Matt Smith, aka The Doctor from 2010 to 2013 in iconic sci-fi series Doctor Who (2005-current). NB! See more on p29.