It’s hard to believe that anyone would gush over Lily Collins’ emaciated-looking frame in the upcoming Netflix feature To the Bone.
But as the actress tells the film’s writer/director Marti Noxon (whose TV writing credits also include the Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce) that’s exactly what an acquaintance did.
“I was leaving my apartment one day and someone I’ve known for a long time, my mom’s age, said to me, ‘Oh, wow, look at you!'” Collins shared in an interview for The EDIT. “I tried to explain (I had lost weight for a role) and she goes, ‘No! I want to know what you’re doing, you look great!’ I got into the car with my mom and said, ‘That is why the problem exists.'”
Collins has first-hand knowledge of eating disorders, a fact that she has talked openly about. During a Q&A at Sundance, where the film had its world premiere in January, the 28-year-old called portraying the role “something I needed to do for myself.
“To have the opportunity to step back into something that, 10 years later, I’ve moved on from is terrifying,” she explained, “but at the same time, the hugest honor.”
The Mirror Mirror star said she received the script for the film a week after composing a chapter about her own struggle for her memoir, Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me.
“I got to go to an anonymous group with you and share my story and get told the facts for the first time,” Collins said, recalling a bonding experience with Noxon, who also battled anorexia. “When I went through my eating disorder, I never sought medical assistance. I created myths in my head about how I should get through things, so the idea that I could surround myself with truth and feel comfortable enough to speak mine allowed me to breathe.”
She explained that early on she possessed an urge to project a flawless appearance.
“From a young age, I’ve had a desire to put forward this perfect image, whatever perfect was,” she shared. “So even though there was all this un-prettiness going on inside of me, I wanted to make sure that my appearance and composure were a certain way. I imagined that people knew I had these secrets and they’d be judging.”
Collins says she felt the judging eye of news outlets after wrapping To the Bone and a “very alienating” time in South Korea for Okja, (now available now for streaming on Netflix) left her “not looking well.”
“I was about to embark on press for Rules Don’t Apply and I was told that a lot of media didn’t want me in their magazines,” said the star who dons colorful pieces by Missoni, Gucci and Prada for the spread.
“Not just on the cover,” she elaborated, “they wouldn’t put me inside looking the way I did, even though it was for a movie. No one knew my connection to the disorder, and at the time I was super upset because I thought, this is a huge moment for me and I can’t maximize on it. But it hit me – ‘Oh, this is going to majorly (expletive) with your career now, not just your health.'”
Content Originally Published By: Erin Jensen @ USA Today
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