War & Peace

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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.

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