Lily Collins and Lily James's parallels are uncanny

Who’s the most gilded Lily? From their hit Netflix dramas to their overlapping love lives and musician fathers, the parallels between Lily Collins and Lily James are uncanny

Suddenly, they are the actresses of the moment.

But when it comes to Lily James and Lily Collins, their fragrant names aren’t all they have in common.

Born just 17 days apart, the 31-year-olds spent their early years in Surrey and can both thank fairy-tale princesses for catapulting them to superstardom. 

And this month, each stars in their own Netflix blockbuster; Collins in Emily In Paris and James in Rebecca.

From their fortunes to overlapping love lives and shared connections with actor Dominic West, CLAUDIA CONNELL compares the very colourful lives of two Lilys whose careers are very much in full bloom…

RED CARPET POWER PLAYERS

Lily James made her mark on the world of high fashion while promoting Cinderella. She wore 20 custom-made gowns totalling £300,000, including designs from Oscar de la Renta, Dior, Gucci and Elie Saab (above) — all cut to show off her tiny 22 inch waist

Lily Collins, who has five tattoos including an English rose on her foot, favours an edgy, slightly gothic look created for her by J-Lo’s styling duo Rob Zangardi and Mariel Haenn. She made a huge impact at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards when she wore a stunning Zuhair Murad pink lace gown (above)

Both women have had dramatic makeovers since becoming stars — making them two of the most sought-after actresses for designers to dress on the red carpet.

Lily C, who has five tattoos including an English rose on her foot, favours an edgy, slightly gothic look created for her by J-Lo’s styling duo Rob Zangardi and Mariel Haenn.

She made a huge impact at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards when she wore a stunning Zuhair Murad pink lace gown, and this month opted for skintight Yves Saint Laurent PVC trousers and a blue chiffon blouse to plug Emily in Paris.

Lily J made her mark on the world of high fashion while promoting Cinderella. She wore 20 custom-made gowns totalling £300,000, including designs from Oscar de la Renta, Dior, Gucci and Elie Saab — all cut to show off her tiny 22 inch waist.

She is styled by Rebecca Corbin-Murray, who also works with Emma Watson.

NETFLIX KNOCKOUTS 

Emily In Paris, starring Lily C, came out this month and instantly became a huge hit — although not with the French who railed at its cliched portrayal of them.

The ten-part, £4 million-an-episode series is the creation of Darren Star, the man behind Sex And The City.

Lily plays an American who moves to Paris for work. Many designer outfits she’s worn on screen became instant sell-outs. Online searches for bucket hats increased by 342 per cent after she wore a pink one.


Emily In Paris, starring Lily C (left), came out this month and instantly became a huge hit — although not with the French who railed at its cliched portrayal of them. Meanwhile, Netflix’s version of Rebecca, based on the Daphne du Maurier classic, starts streaming on Wednesday with Lily James playing the newlywed Mrs de Winter (right) who finds herself in the shadow of her husband’s first wife

On October 14, hers was the most trending celebrity name on the internet. 

Meanwhile, Netflix’s version of Rebecca, based on the Daphne du Maurier classic, starts streaming on Wednesday with Lily James playing the newlywed Mrs de Winter who finds herself in the shadow of her husband’s first wife.

Shot at several locations in the south of France and England, the production cost in the region of £15 million.

As with Emily In Paris, Lily J’s stylish wardrobe is expected to be the film’s talking point. It was created by costume designer Julian Day, who used the late Wallis Simpson as his inspiration.

SURREY BEGINNINGS 

Both actresses spent their early years in leafy Surrey. Lily C’s first home was Old Croft, an eight- bedroom home in Shalford where she lived with her dad, rock star Phil Collins and her mum, U.S. businesswoman Jill Tavelman.

The family then moved to Lakers Lodge, a Grade II-listed farmhouse in Loxwood, West Sussex. 

Lily C’s first home was Old Croft, an eight- bedroom home in Shalford where she lived with her dad, rock star Phil Collins and her mum, U.S. businesswoman Jill Tavelman

Her parents split when she was five and she moved to LA with her mum, attending £32k-a-year Harvard-Westlake School, a popular choice for celeb offspring.

Lily J, born Lily Thomson, grew up in nearby Esher, Surrey, in a £2.5million home on a gated estate with brothers Sam and Charlie, travel agent mum Ninette and dad James, a musician, who died when she was 19. 

She took his name for her professional surname in tribute.

Lily J, born Lily Thomson, grew up in nearby Esher, Surrey, in a £2.5million home on a gated estate with brothers Sam and Charlie, travel agent mum Ninette and dad James, a musician, who died when she was 19

BIG AT THE BBC

A lavish BBC costume drama is something most performers would kill to have on their CV. It’s a box both actresses have ticked and, scoring extra kudos, their respective dramas were both created by celebrated screenwriter Andrew Davies.

In 2016, fresh from her success as the rebellious Lady Rose in Downtown Abbey, Lily J was cast as heroine Natasha Rostova (right) in the BBC’s £12 million adaptation of War And Peace.

Told over six parts, the series drew an average of 6.7 million viewers. 


In 2016, fresh from her success as the rebellious Lady Rose in Downtown Abbey, Lily J was cast as heroine Natasha Rostova (left) in the BBC’s £12 million adaptation of War And Peace. Three years later, Lily C played the impoverished seamstress Fantine (right) in the BBC’s £10 million production of Hugo Victor classic Les Misérables

Three years later, Lily C played the impoverished seamstress Fantine (left) in the BBC’s £10 million production of Hugo Victor classic Les Misérables.

She appeared in three of the six episodes, which drew an average of 4.7 million viewers —and hundreds of complaints from viewers disappointed not to hear songs from the musical version.

SCANDALS AND SETBACKS

As weeks go, it’s probably one Lily James would rather forget after paparazzi pictures of her looking cosy in Rome with married actor Dominic West went viral. In some shots West, 51, who plays her dad in upcoming TV mini-series The Pursuit Of Love, was patting her bottom and, in others, they were canoodling over lunch.

The father-of-five later posed with his wife Catherine to insist his marriage was just fine — while Lily has refused to comment.

It’s not the only time she’s been linked to an older co-star cast as her father. While filming Cinderella, rumour was rife that she had started a relationship with Ben Chaplin, also 51.

Lily C was just five when her name was linked to a scandal after her father was said to have told her mother by fax he wanted a divorce. The Genesis star insisted the story wasn’t true, although he admitted he had been cheating and was ‘a bit of a b*****d’.

In her book, Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me, Lily wrote a letter of forgiveness to the dad she considered had triggered the eating disorders that blighted her teens. ‘I forgive you for not always being there… I forgive the mistakes you made.’

THE DOM FACTOR

Both actresses have appeared alongside star Dominic West. Lily J plays the main character — the wild, highly-strung Linda Radlett — in upcoming TV production The Pursuit Of Love, while West (also pictured) plays her eccentric and bullying father

West also played opposite Lily C  in Les Misérables. As Jean Valjean to her Fantine, this time he was a caring father figure to the impoverished single mother

Both actresses have appeared alongside star Dominic West. Lily J plays the main character — the wild, highly-strung Linda Radlett — in upcoming TV production The Pursuit Of Love, while West (right with James) plays her eccentric and bullying father.

He also played opposite Lily C (both left) in Les Misérables. As Jean Valjean to her Fantine, this time he was a caring father figure to the impoverished single mother.

They shared several scenes together and West was effusive about his co-star’s performance. ‘She brought it, on day one, and that set the bar for everyone.’

IN DEMAND WITH DESIGNERS

Both actresses have netted themselves big brand beauty and fashion deals which have boosted their fortunes.

For the past seven years, Lily C, who is worth £6.2 million, has had a contract with cosmetic brand Lancome in a deal worth around £1 million, appearing in adverts for its perfumes and make-up.

For the past four years, Lily J, worth £3 million, has been the face of perfume and beauty for British brand Burberry in a deal worth around £750,000

For the past seven years, Lily C, who is worth £6.2 million, has had a contract with cosmetic brand Lancome in a deal worth around £1 million, appearing in adverts for its perfumes and make-up

She’s a muse for Chanel and has modelled for the fashion house. The brand provided many of the clothes and accessories she wore in Emily In Paris.

For the past four years, Lily J, worth £3 million, has been the face of perfume and beauty for British brand Burberry in a deal worth around £750,000. 

She’s starred in a series of campaigns (left), including one shot by Mario Testino.

FAIRY-TALE PRINCESSES

With their peaches and cream complexions and wholesome (until this week) images, the pair seem born to play fairy-tale princesses.

Lily C got her big break playing Snow White in 2012 film Mirror Mirror, with critics comparing her gamine charm to that of Audrey Hepburn. 

Although the movie took £141 million at the box office, it was still considered a commercial flop. 

Lily C got her big break playing Snow White in 2012 film Mirror Mirror, with critics comparing her gamine charm to that of Audrey Hepburn. Although the movie took £141 million at the box office, it was still considered a commercial flop

By contrast, the 2015 Disney production of Cinderella, starring Lily J, was a smash. Costing £74 million, it raked in £420 million, giving director Kenneth Branagh the biggest hit of his career.

Lily held her own against Oscar- winner Cate Blanchett as the wicked stepmother, with one critic describing her as a ‘fizzy flower of a thing — bright, piquant and self-possessed’.

By contrast, the 2015 Disney production of Cinderella, starring Lily J, was a smash. Costing £74 million, it raked in £420 million, giving director Kenneth Branagh the biggest hit of his career

STARRY LOVE LIVES 

Both women have been linked to Captain America actor Chris Evans. 

Lily C and Evans, 39, went on a series of dates after meeting at the Vanity Fair Oscars party in 2015, although things quickly petered out.

Last month, she got engaged to director boyfriend Charlie McDowell, 37. She has declared her £65,000 three-carat rose-cut diamond engagement ring her ‘new favourite accessory’.

Both women have been linked to Captain America actor Chris Evans. Lily C and Evans, 39, went on a series of dates after meeting at the Vanity Fair Oscars party in 2015, although things quickly petered out

This summer, Evans spent time in London, enjoying days and nights out with Lily J. 

The pair were seen looking cosy eating ice creams in the park and, on another occasion, took a taxi together to the five-star Corinthia Hotel.

Evans entered through the front door while Lily sneaked in via the rear entrance. It’s not known if he and Lily are a couple.

She split from Dr Who star Matt Smith last year — though the pair were rumoured to have tried to rekindle their romance over lockdown, without success.

Before meeting Matt in 2015, Lily spent a year dating Jack Fox, son of actor James Fox.

This summer, Evans spent time in London, enjoying days and nights out with Lily J. The pair were seen looking cosy eating ice creams in the park and, on another occasion, took a taxi together to the five-star Corinthia Hotel

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