Lily Collins


  1. Taylor Momen, Gossip Girl, TV, 2007-2012.   In the mix for Jenny Humphrey of the privileged prep school teens on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Each chapter title was a movie pun. Bad News Blair, The Blair Bitch Project, Gone With The Will, It’s a Wonderful Lie, The Serena Also Rises, The Wild Brunch.  

  2. Kirstin Stewart, Twilight, 2008. “Yeah, one of my first auditions… really funny now thinking about it,” she recalled.  “I was new on the scene, new at auditioning and it was always kinda ‘What’s going to happen?’ Every young actor or actress in Hollywood starts to read some of the same material but I’m a firm believer in that everything happens for a reason and everyone who gets the roles they get were meant to.”  Such as her start in TVs 90210 in 2009 and playing Snow White in Mirror Mirror. 2011. 

  3. Emma StoneThe Amazing Spider-Man,  2010.
  4. Freida Pinto, Immortals, 2010. Director Tarsem Singh Dhandwar (using his full name for the first time) kept Collins for his next film, Mirror, Mirror, preferring a fellow Indian as Phaedra.  He called the film: “Caravaggio meets Fight Club.” Chicago critic Roger Ebert called it: “Without doubt the best-looking awful movie you will ever see.”
  5. Kristen Stewart, Snow White and the Huntsman, 2011.     Lily was determined to be Snow White. She auditioned for the two films suddenly rebooting the old fairy tale and won Mirror, Mirror (opposite Julia Roberts as the wicked queen)… after coming thisclose to winning this version with Charlize Theron as the queen. “I’ve been so excited for Kristen,” said Collins. “She’s perfect for her version.” Lily’s was first into cinemas.
  6. Samantha Banks, Les Miserables, 2011.     After losing Eponine in the musical Miz of Victor Hugo’s masterpiuece, Collins won Fantine in the splendidf BBC version in 2018, opposite Dominic West and David Oyelowo as Valjean and Javert.
  7. Emma Stone, The Gangster Squad,  2011.    The City  v Public Enemy #1, circa ’49. Apart from Sean Penn’s uproarious make-up as Mickey Cohen (befitting his worst rôle), we’d seen it all before. Only better. Stone won (and wasted) his moll from Collins, Camilla Belle, Maggie Grace
  8. Eleanor Tomlinson, Jack The Giant Killer, 2012.   Rocker Phil Collins’ daughter (Eleanor from Alice in Wonderland) lost the kidnapped Princess Isabelle rescued by Nicholas Hoult’s Jack. Idem for Adelaide Kane and Juno Temple.
  9. Elizabeth Olsen, Oldboy, 2012.   During the chequered history of re-making Chan-Woo Park’s 2003 South Korean international breakthrough, Oldeuboi – as directors switched from the Fast and Furious ace Justin Lee to Steven Spielberg and, finally, Spike Lee – Collins passed on being the young social worker concerned with James Brolin’s titular kidnap victim. Rooney Mara and Mia Wasikowska also declined Marie
  10. Jane Levy, The Evil Dead, 2012.  First of the ED saga not directed by Sam Rami. He was, however, enthusiastic about the reboot plan. His star, Bruce Campell, was not – until assured that his iconic Ash, was not in it.   (Although Ashton Kutcher and Marlon Wayans had been suggested substitutes). As for scream-queen Mia, Gillian Jacobs auditioned, Lily Collins won and quit and Levy managed, somehow, to fit a three month New Zealand shoot into her SuburgatoryTV schedule.

  11. Hailee Steinfeld, Romeo and Juliet, Italy-Switzerland-UK-US, 2013.    Forty-six years after the Franco Zeffirelli version another Italian’s take – from TV  director Carlo Carlei. He chose Lily but  her schedule wires got ctossed and Hailee became a Juliet even younger than Olivia Hussey in the 1967 version… when Lily’s   father, rock singer-drummer Phil Collins had been in thee Romeo mix (alongside Paul McCartney!). “So what fresh meat does this 2013 rehash bring to the table?” asked Austin Chronicle critic Kimberley Jones “Startlingly little, unless you favour the flavour of staggering insipidness,” was her reply. Where, she asked, were the full-bodied ‘violent delights’ of Shakespeare’s play?  For their next gig, Lily beat Hailee to Rosaline.

  12. Chloe Grace Moretz, Carrie, 2012.    Passed, again quite correctly  on the  second unnecessary re-hash in a decade. Idem for  Haley Bennett, Emily Browning, Dakota Fanning, Bella Heathcote, Shailene Woodley.

  13. Emma Stone, The Gangster Squad,  2012.    The City v Public Enemy #1, circa ’49. Apart from Sean Penn’s uproarious make-up as Mickey Cohen (befitting his worst rôle), we’d seen it all before. Only better. Stone won (and wasted) his moll from Collins, Camilla Belle, Maggie Grace, Ashley Greene, Aly Michalka, Teresa Palmer, Emmy Rossum, Amanda Seyfried. 
  14. Addison Timlin, Odd Thomas, 2012.      Collins was set for Stormy Lewellyn, feisty lover of the titular Anton Yelchin (his parents forgot to add T for Todd), when  she  split for Snow White in Mirror Mirror opposite Julia Roberts’ evil  queen.  That was going from Odd’s frying pan into the fire.  Before Timlin, a stage Annie, was signed, the replacement search included Kat Dennings, Portia Doubleday, and Julia’s niece Emma Roberts.
  15. Jessica Brown Findlay, Winter’s Tale, 2013.    Martin Scorsese called Mark Helprin’s maelstrom of a novel unfilmable. Steven Spielberg gave up in 1983. JBF (and Colin Farrell) tried but could not rescue scenarist Akiva Goldsman’s poor directing debut. Sarah Gadon, Bella Heathcote, Elizabeth Olsen and Gabriella Wilde also auditioned – and lost Beverly to, well, how can one beat Downton Abbey’s Lady Sybil Branson?
  16. Lily James, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, 2014. One British Lily for another – but hey! Natalie Portman was set for the revisionist Elizabeth Bennet until delays clashed with her schedule. Portman remained on board as one of seven producers while Collins, Anne Hathaway, Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis, Blake Lively, Rooney Mara, Emma Stone and Mia Wasikowska were rung up Jane Austen flagpoles. But the winner was Downtonian  –  Lady Rose and, indeed,  the screen’s latest Cinderella!
  17. Sophie Turner, X-Men: Apocalypse, 2015.  “A big monster of a movie,” declared producer-director Bryan Singer. “A kinda conclusion of six X-Men films, yet a potential rebirth of younger, newer characters.” To succeed Famke Janssen’s Jean Grey, a mutant scared of her super-abilities, Singer mused over Lily Collins,Elle Fanning, Chloë Grace Mortez, Sasha Pieterse, Saoirse Ronan, Hallee Steinfeld and Hollywood’s hottest newcomers: Star Wars find Daisy Ridley and The Wolf of Wall Street’s Margot Robbie. He voted Turner, because of how she handled the dark side of her Game of Thrones character, Sansa Star… and despite Sophie having blue eyes and Janssen, dark brown.  
  18. Margot Robbie, Suicide Squad, 2015.   Warners first offered DC’s Harley Quinn to  Emma Roberts – more keen on heading TV’s Scream Queens. Big mistake. Also up for  three hours a day in make-up for Quinn: Collins, Alison Brie, Emily Browning, Zooey Deschanel, Rooney Mara, Sara Paxton, Imogen Poots, Amanda Seyfried, Olivia Thirlby, Emma Watson, Olivia Wilde, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Evan Rachel Wood.“There’s always two characters: Harleen Quinzel and Harley Quinn,” explained Robbie.  “Where Harleen takes over, she can be rational; then Harley takes over, and that’s the more erratic.She loves causing mayhem and destruction. She’s incredibly devoted to the Joker. They have a dysfunctional relationship, but she loves him anyway. She used to be a gymnast – that’s her skill set when fighting.”
  19. Emma Watson, Beauty and the Beast, 2016.     Collins, Emma Roberts, Emmy Rossum, Amanda Seyfried, Kristen Stewart were on Disney’s live-action list.  But only Watson had been Harry Potter’s Hermione!  And collected $18m without passing Go or going to jail




 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  19