Actor Lily James floats into the pages of Harper’s Bazaar UK’s March 2019 cover story. Miranda Almond styles James in modern feminine froth lensed by Alexi Lubomirski./ Hair by Earl Simms; makeup by Mary Greenwell
James is currently playing in the London West End play ‘All About Eve’ For HBUK, she meets up with Lydia Slater for a talk about her efforts to step out of Cindarella’s shoes. Her desire to move on extends to the gowns she wears in the photo shoot. They must be edgy.
No More Cinderella Roles
James takes the title role of conniving, manipulative Eve Harrington, a would-be actress who flatters her way into the life of the ageing star Margo Channing in order to take her place both personally and professionally. It seems a brilliant subversion of James’ own likeability, though she says she hesitated before accepting, because for much of the play Eve successfully presents herself as an innocent ingénue. ‘I thought, I just want to play the evil bit,’ she admits. ‘But she’s definitely a pathological liar, and there’s a lot of nastiness in her – I can’t wait. It will be good if I can really surprise the audience.’
James plays against her co-star Gillian Anderson, who worked with her in ‘War & Peace’.
On Dictating Terms of Future Contracts + Diversity
Indeed: James has so many major roles under her belt that it’s hard to believe she’s not yet turned 30. She will pass this milestone during the run of All About Eve, and the prospect is causing her to reassess her life somewhat. ‘It is a real turning point,’ she says. ‘My twenties have been so chaotic, and I’ve always looked forward to 30 as being an anchor point. You stop caring so much about what other people think, and become more secure in your own life.’ Previously, she says, she has been hesitant about voicing her professional opinions, holding back from, for instance, an inclusion rider in her contract demanding a certain level of diversity in casting and production staff, because she fears she doesn’t have sufficient clout or worries about being seen as difficult. ‘But I guess everyone needs to be doing it. Screw agreeability, screw feeling like you’re not worthy of demanding what is right.’