I had the opportunity of attending the Mirror, Mirror Press Day, which I wrote about here. Aside from the fairy tale, and how a girl gets the boy, and the kingdom, the concept of beauty is intertwined throughout the movie. Beauty is simply something that can conjure up any number of confusing ideas. Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, and even then, can be distorted. You really can’t talk about the Snow White story without discussing beauty.
In Mirror, Mirror the evil queen is obsessed with physical beauty. For her, that equates power, and entitlement. Her beauty is manufactured, maintained, and misleading. Yet, it is this same beauty she desperately holds onto that is fragile, fleeting, and temporary.
One of my favorite scenes from the Mirror, Mirror movie revolves around the evil queen having her spa treatments. The reactions of the kids in the movie screening made them even funnier.
Snow White’s beauty, on the other hand, is internal, as well as external. She is kind, strong, thoughtful, and gentle. These internal qualities highlight the external qualities. I think we all want to believe that true physical beauty begins from the heart, no matter how many creams, colors, and false lashes we can acquire.
Lily Collins, who plays Snow White, is a young lady that exudes that internal confidence and beauty that so much of young Hollywood seems to be missing. Collins has a quiet, calm aura. Aside from the obvious physical resemblance to the style of Audrey Hepburn, one of my all-time favorite actresses, Collins has a presence that epitomizes the true meaning of a lady.
It was a pleasure to attend the Mirror, Mirror interview with Lily Collins, along with the other lovely bloggers during the Mirror, Mirror Press Day. It can be hard to squeeze in a question, but I was pleased to be able to ask Collins a couple in that short meeting. Below are a few questions, and answers from the interview touching on beauty, confidence, finding your place in the world, and if there’s more singing in her future.
Blogger: You were interested in broadcasting originally, right?
Lily Collins: Yes. I started out acting when I was two. And when it was around 15 or 16, I started pursuing acting professionally. I got told ‘no’ so many times. People told me I was too green or wasn’t as seasoned yet, so as I was pursing acting, I also wanted to get more practice, whether it was journalism, on-air time, producing, learning about editing, anything — because I really love the whole big picture of this business. All of the behind-the-scenes work as well as the on-camera is fascinating.
So I started writing, and I wanted to take it on-air. Broadcast seemed to be the perfect step from writing. I started doing journalism for Nickelodeon, Extra, E, various networks. It was fun and interesting because I was interviewing the very actors I wanted to work with. And then, I was interviewing people that I had worked with. And it was like, “Whoa.” Where does there become a point where it kind of starts to be these two worlds colliding in a way that is a little bizarre?
It was around that time that I made the conscious decision to really focus on acting. Also, you should know the conscious decision came when I was finally told yes!
Porter: So, Snow White goes on this journey and she finds her place in the world. Have you found your place in the world? Who or what has helped you do that?
Collins: This is the biggest film that I’ve done to date. It was the most I’d worked and trained. I walked into it wide-eyed, not sure what was going to happen, nervous, excited, just very kind of unaware. And that’s how [Snow White] is at the beginning of the story. And throughout the process, I was sword fight training and fencing. And I was there on my own in an apartment, kind of making my way around and finding my place in Montreal, and…really learning how I cope in situations, and fighting to make the scenes the best that they could be, and proving myself to everybody and to myself.
At the end [of the movie], we did the big dance number. I completely had found peace within myself as to my confidence and me as Snow but me as Lily as well. And I was able to just let loose and sing this song in front of 300, 400 extras, and going crazy and loving life. And it was all about believing in yourself.
And I truly felt that when I left there, I left this new young woman who felt like she had just accomplished something that singing a Bollywood number, sword fighting in these costumes, I never thought I’d be doing that. And the fact that people believed in me enough, like the dwarves believed in Snow, just push yourself, you have nothing to lose.
But, if I was to name a person that has helped me become who I am today, my mom. My mom and I are best friends. And there’s never been a topic that’s too awkward or too weird to talk about. She’s always made me feel really, really comfortable. And we share clothes. We go shopping together. I send her my scripts. We just communicateon pretty much everything.
And without her there telling me that it’s okay to fail, it’s okay to try new things or you have the potential to do things above and beyond yourself that you don’t even know, that has truly propelled me kind of forward.
Porter: With the Bollywood number, I loved it. Will you be doing any other singing?
Collins: I had never sung Bollywood before. I love writing songs and I do love humming melodies. I just recently had laryngitis over this past week. One of the hardest things for me was being in the car and not being able to sing along. For me, I didn’t realize how much I actually do sing along to songs. I know music is a huge part of who I am, but the ability to not sing was really hard for me.
This worked for me because it was part of the character and it was in a film. My passion is not to create an album and come out with a musical or a tour or anything like that. But, if the character sings and it works with what I’m doing. I loved it and I had the best experience. And being in that studio was the weirdest but coolest thing, because after I finished, it’s like “I just did it.” I put myself out there and I did it, and it was really fun. So, yes, if it’s involved in films. I never say never, but that’s not my goal, to have an album out.
Blogger: What advice would you give to young girls about embracing both inward and outward beauty, and just that inner confidence?
Collins: Well, I think physically speaking, and they’ve become such a topic of conversation, my eyebrows. It’s so funny. When I was younger, when I moved from England to LA, it was this beach-y look and everyone had thin eyebrows. And it was blond and very different than where I’d come from in the countryside in England. I felt pretty self-conscious, because kids would comment about my eyebrows. I tried plucking them myself, which was really bad. But, then I started to be think, “You know what? Actually, they’re kind of quirky and they’re different.” And I idolized Audrey Hepburn and all these old movie stars who had that look, a very different look, but it was their own and no one was telling them to change it. I mean, they were classic. I thought, “Well, there’s really no point. That’s me.”
Blogger: You don’t want to look like everybody else.
Collins: I don’t want to look like everyone else.
Collins: Yes, I like this and I’m going to work with it. And I started to embrace kind of the quirky things that make you different are what make you beautiful.
All my best friends always had quirky kind of aspects to them, or they had a mole that they didn’t like but I thought, “No, that’s your thing,”. Or, their hair quirked in a weird way, but I thought, “No, no, people pay money to do that.” People with curly hair say, “I want straight hair.” Or, straight hair, “I want curly hair.” I used to straighten my hair every day. And I thought, “Why am I doing this, waking up so much earlier for school?” There’s no point, because in the end when you accept yourself for who you are and you work with what you’ve got, you couldn’t be more beautiful because you’re confident and everyone notices.
Even if you feel like you look what you’re supposed to look like but you don’t feel it inside, you’re going to have the slumped shoulders and you’re going to be sitting there not smiling. But, when you truly feel like, “Hey, this is the best I can be because this is me,” you smile and you attract people because of the energy you’re giving off. It’s all about believing in yourself.
That’s why the dance number was so big for me, because it was just, “I don’t care what anyone thinks. I’m just going to sing and dance.” As an experience, that was such a beautiful thing for me, because it is all about feeling good inside. And no one can tell you how you feel.
At the end of our meetings with Collins, and the pictures had been taken, somehow my iPhone case got the pleasure of posing with her too.
Thank you to Lily Collins for taking the time to meet with us. It was a pleasure. Mirror, Mirror opens in theaters on March 30th. In the meantime check out Mirror, Mirroronline:
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