English-American actress Lily Collins has had an impressive career to date, with a breakthrough performance in the 2009 film The Blind Side which she starred in alongside Academy Award-winner Sandra Bullock. Since then, she has played a variety of roles; from period dramas to fantasy, and action films. Her latest film Tolkien sees her take on the role of Edith Bratt, the future wife and muse of the beloved writer J. R. R. Tolkien who is also said to be the inspiration for his fictional characters Lúthien Tinúviel and Arwen Evenstar.
To celebrate the release of Tolkien in UK cinemas this Friday and another stand-out performance by Collins, we’re taking a look at her career to date.
The Blind Side (2009)
Collins first ever on-screen appearance was in the critically-acclaimed biographical sports drama The Blind Side where she played the daughter of Leigh Anne Tuhoy (Sandra Bullock). Not only was this Collins first ever film role, she also had the challenge of portraying the life of a real person, something she would continue to do so later on in her career.
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)
Collins took on the role of the main protagonist in The Mortal Instruments in the adaptation of the popular young adult book series by Cassandra Clare. Collins played Clary Fray, a young woman who quickly discovers that she descends from a line of supernatural warriors of Shadowhunters, locked in an ancient battle to protect the world from demons.
Love, Rosie (2014)
Based on the 2004 novel by Cecelia Ahern, Collins took on the role of the protagonist Rosie opposite Sam Claflin as Alex in Love, Rosie. The role allowed Collins to showcase her more comedic and light-hearted personality on screen as Rosie. The film tells the story of two people who seem perfect for each other but never manage to get the timing right other the course of many years.
Rules Don’t Apply (2016)
In Rules Don’t Apply Collins acted opposite screen legend Warren Beatty who wrote, produced, directed and starred in the romantic comedy-drama. Set in 1950’s Hollywood, Collins played aspiring actress Marla Mabrey who forms a deep connection with driver Frank Forbes (Alden Ehrenreich) whilst also trying to impress movie mogul and real-life figure Howard Hughes (Beatty). Her performance cemented Collins as the most sought-after young actress and even earned her a Golden Globe nomination.
To the Bone (2017)
To the Bone is a powerful drama that details the struggle of a young woman who is battling with anorexia. Collins plays Ellen a young woman who undergoes inpatient treatment for anorexia, meeting other young people with eating disorders along the way. This is a deeply moving and personal performance by Collins who delivers some painful truths about the complexity of anorexia in a sensitive and skilful way.
Les Misérables (2018)
Collins returned to the small screen for the BBC miniseries adaptation of Les Misérables. She played the tragic Fantine Thibault who is abandoned by her rich lover when she falls pregnant by him. It is an impressive performance by Collins as she portrays Fantine’s heart-breaking journey from a naïve and idealist young woman to a struggling mother who will do anything to care for her child.
In her latest film Tolkien Collins portrays the role of Edith Bratt, the real-life future wife and muse of the beloved writer J. R. R. Tolkien who was the pioneer of fantasy in a charming tale of love and life. The film explores the formative years of the renowned author’s life as he finds friendship, courage and inspiration among a fellow group of writers and artists at school. Their brotherhood strengthens as they grow up and weather love and loss together, including Tolkien’s tumultuous courtship of his beloved Edith Bratt, until the outbreak of the First World War which threatens to tear their fellowship apart. All of these experiences would later inspire Tolkien to write his famous Middle-earth novels.
Directed by Dome Karukoski and also starring Nicholas Hoult, Colm Meaney, Anthony Boyle, Patrick Gibson, Tom Glynn-Carney, Craig Roberts, Laura Donnelly, Genevieve O’Reilly, Pam Ferris and Derek Jacobi.