Lily Collins’ dad didn’t get her acting gigs: ‘I always wanted to do it on my own’

Lily Collins

Lily Collins covers the June issue of Glamour magazine to promote her upcoming role in August’s The Mortal Instruments adaptation, a young-adult, fantasy-adventure film in which Lily plays the role of Clary Fray. Glamour is describing this as the “Next Big Thing” issue, so I guess that means Lily is supposed to make it super big now. The magazine even goes so far as to claim, “What The Hunger Games did for Jennifer Lawrence, this film franchise will do for Collins.” We shall see, won’t we?

Lily has been photographed by Ellen von Unwerth in the photographer’s signature colorful and quirky style, and it suits the young starlet who’s looking to make a breakthrough beyond just being “Phil Collins’ daughter.” (Now I’m going to have “Sussudio” in my head for the rest of the week.) Lily is wearing a Dior top and skirt on the cover, and she’s also shillying pink Charlotte Olympiawedges. The editorial features Lily wearing a black-and-white Burberry Prorsum top and skirt, a black-and-white Pucci cape, and a slightly gaudy blue strapless Valentino dress. She wears them all well even if the blue dress is mostly wearing her. Here are some interview excerpts:

Lily Collins

Her dad didn’t make her famous: “I always wanted to do it on my own. I never wanted anyone making phone calls. A name can open doors, but there’s a quote I like: ‘Personality can open doors, but only character can keep them open.'”

Who is her mentor? “My mom. It has nothing to do with acting. She guides me through my personal life, telling me to experiment. She lets me borrow her vintage. She has Chanel and eighties stuff from Yohji Yamamoto and Vivienne Westwood that she got when vintage wasn’t cool. She’d wear them to events with my dad, and everyone would ask what she had on; when she said ‘vintage,’ they’d go, ‘Oh, that’s nice,’ and, you know, turn the corner.”

On The Mortan Instruments: “I’m so excited! I had read and really loved the books. The fans [in Toronto, during filming] were amazing. They’d bring us cookies, mugs, tea, drawings, everything. I want to make sure I live up to their expectations as Clary.”

On JLaw: “She’s a friend; she’s awesome. The choices Jennifer has made have been really interesting. And I loved how she carried herself after her trip [going up onstage] at the Oscars. I was like, ‘You go, girl!'”

Does she dress for the paps? “Even in L.A., where everyone’s in yoga pants, I’ve never been the girl to run around in sweats. I love fashion and always have something put together, but I won’t wear anything specifically to be photographed in. I have become more cautious of making funny faces in public.””

[From Glamour]

I don’t know, man. Is Lily truly talented enough that she wouldn’t need Phil Collins’ name to get her foot in the door? I’ve only seen her work as Snow White in Mirror Mirror, and honestly, Julia Roberts was chewing so much scenery that I couldn’t concentrate on anything else (even the cheap-looking costuming) in the movie. Whatever the case, I’m always amused to hear today’s crop of celebrity progeny insist that nepotism doesn’t exist.

Lily Collins

Lily Collins

Photos courtesy of Glamour

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76 Responses to “Lily Collins’ dad didn’t get her acting gigs: ‘I always wanted to do it on my own’”

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  1. Lentil says:

    I’m sure that if she weren’t talented, she wouldn’t have a career. And it must be annoying to have people assume that your success is because of your family. But…it kind of reminds me of Goop – born on third and thinks she hit a triple. You need to have SOME awareness of how lucky you are.

    • Andrea says:

      Right. This girl was privileged from birth. It’s not that she’s not talented but lets not pretend you didn’t have a step ahead the whole time.

    • Tessa says:

      Also, the coolest thing about her mom, and what her mom has taught her is to wear vintage Chanel??? I’m sorry, I almost lost my breakfast. Seriously? Goop junior.

      • Lentil says:

        Seriously. That made me side-eye too. She knows that “my family has vintage Chanel” isn’t most people’s experience, right?

      • Amelia says:

        I love ‘Goop Junior’. That’s how she shall forever be known as in head.
        Also; “Personality can open doors, but only character can keep them open.”
        That’s a bit of a strange quote. I assume she means a bold personality will make people pay attention, but having a strong moral character (?) will keep their attention?
        Boycotting Mortal Instruments after the plagiarism fiasco.

      • k says:

        Me too! I’m not sure we’ve got a terribly deep thinker on our hands.

      • Andrea says:

        She had a spread in In Style this month talking about her mom’s jewels. It really turned me off.

      • Kate says:

        Really. Your mom is your “mentor” because she gives you cool clothes to wear? Shallow much?

      • Atticus says:

        I would venture a guess that the quotes about her mom were made in context of being interviewed by a FASHION magazine. Same with In Style.

        By the way, I thought she was great in the Blind Side. Had no idea the first time watching it she was Phil Collins’ daughter…or that she was British! She hid the accent well.

      • Amelia says:

        That’s because she doesn’t have a British accent. She may or may not be a British national, and having a British father entitles her to dual nationality, but I saw an interview with her on TV the other day – that’s no British accent.

    • StormsMama says:

      Precisely this Lentil.
      You are born on 3rd babe.
      The doors were HELD OPEN for you. And by the way— the doors are to an office on the top floor in a fancy bldg with tight security. So uh— sorry girl! Your dad’s fame DID get you a good ways to where are now. Yes you can claim credit -once you KEPT getting parts- for a lot of your “talent” but even that I would caution. Humility and gratitude are far more appealing at this stage in your career.

  2. Pastyousayyouneverknew says:

    She’s such a pretty girl and I like her but she is just so average as an actress, nothing overly impressive about her as an actress or a person at all.

    • FLORC says:

      She is so pretty! This photo spread though.. She’s hit with so much light it really takes away from her beauty. She’s not made of porcelain and she’s not covered in wrinkles and imperfections. Why blast her skin with the high beams?

    • Erinn says:

      I think she’s pretty. I don’t think she’s beautiful though.

      And I got suckered into seeing that Snow White movie she was in – it was painful.

      There’s no way she’d have the career she has without having the privilege of a famous family – there are so many other beautiful, talented girls in the business.

  3. Liv says:

    Is it a trend now to name-drop Jennifer Lawrence and pretend to be friends with her?

    • Bijlee says:

      I KNOW! Everyone does it. It’s to better their own image. The only one I can forgive is Channing because he at least had a thoughtful inspired interview to go along with it.

    • stellalovejoydiver says:

      Seriously, every untalented c/b list actress is like “I am friends with Jlaw” when they prob talked to her for a couple of minutes at an industry party and now mention her to look good through association. So transaparant.

    • Barhey says:

      I think she’s being coached by an amateur PR team. First, the blantent name dropping of J-Law (check). Then the tired reference to loving vintage fashion (check). Then I saw her on E! last night giving an interview. She was like, “I was never the popular kid in school (check). Everyone made fun of me and my eyebrows. But then my mom taught me to embrace my ‘flaws!’ (check).

  4. Andrea says:

    She is a beautiful girl with talent but there are thousands of pretty girls with talent trying to make it.

    Not being aware of your own privilege grates.

    • FLORC says:


      Your 2nd line is right on the money for a lot of people. It’s not like she took the Emilio Estevez route where you make sure your last name is not the same as the famous family member and refuse acting lessons paid for by your family’s money. She kept her name and she had the best private singing and acting lessons her father could buy. This is all fine, but not when you go on saying how you made it all on your own without your father’s help. If nothing else she got a huge head start by being his daughter.

      I saw her in Mirror, Mirror, Priest, and a few other movies randomly. She’s an Ok actress. Some of her movie scripts were just maybe terrible. Pretty early in her career though she’s already worked with Julia and Sandra.
      Somebody above said she is acting like the next Goop. Sounds right.

      • don't kill me i'm french says:

        did you see SEVEN,TWO LOVERS,IRON MAN 3 or EMMA? Paltrow has some talent

        Collins has great eyebrows and she lost weight

      • FLORC says:

        Don’t Kill Me I’m French

        I have seen those films. I don’t think I ever compared these 2 with acting talent. If you read the “Goop Junior” comment I was referencing you would see that. I agreed with that comparison because Lily seems too unaware of how privileged she is and believes her own hype. The way she talks about her mother’s clothes being trendy before they were cool and so cutting edge. They was she seems to over value material items… Goop.
        Gwyneth had talent. Huge talent! She also was the daughter of a famous director and famous actress. She famously called Spielberg “Uncle Steve” and when you grow up with those connections and a passion of course you’ll do very well. Without those things to give you that bump up you might have just been average.

      • springingforward says:

        @ don’t kill me I’m french

        I note that you don’t list “Shakespeare in Love”, the one that Gwyneth WON AN OSCAR FOR in your list of her movies that showcase her talent……

        Her acting talent is highly overrated.

      • FLORC says:


        I forgot where I heard it, but it was said that actors sometime don’t win an Oscar for their best work even though nominated because the Academy wanted to give it to someone else and there can only be 1 winner per gender category per year. So the actor waits. Puts out an ok film and wins the Oscar. Then we’re all scratching our heads, but sometimes that’s why. Maybe. Souded right to me.

  5. Go Crazy says:

    Typo in the first line… “Lily Allen covers the June issue of Glamour magazine” – thought this was about Lily COLLINS…

  6. Lucy2 says:

    She looks so much older all of a sudden.
    I haven’t seen her act in anything but she must at least be ok if they hired her for a new potential franchise. Hopefully. She definitely had a foot in the door though.

    I wish she had said something more substantial about why her mom is her mentor.

  7. Joanna says:

    pretty girl. wish my nose looked like that. broke my nose when i was 16 in fight so it’s crooked. plastic surgeon tried to fix it. was lot better for a couple years, then went back 🙁

  8. anneesezz says:

    I’m already annoyed with her. Yet another one of Hollywood’s semi-talented brats who was born on third base and thinks she hit a triple.

    Why can’t they just admit they had an advantage because of their famous parents? UGH.

  9. CC says:

    Oh come on, who is she kidding? If she didn’t have that daddy she wouldn’t be an actress.

  10. MisJes says:

    I call BS, Lily. You aren’t the second coming of Meryl Streep by a long shot, so let’s not pretend that Phil Collins did not make any phone calls on your behalf.

    I had to roll my eyes at the JLaw friend-check: the interviewer simply stated that the anticipation of the fans, etc of this new franchise reminded them of where JLaw was before The Hunger Games came out. Gag, Lily.

  11. marie says:

    why would he get her acting gigs considering he’s a musician? her name made her recognizable though.

    • don't kill me i'm french says:


    • Cel says:

      Marie, Phil Collins was an actor before a musician. He was in Oliver in the West End as a child. He hasn’t worked as much as an adult, but he could certainly help guide Lily.

      • marie says:

        Sorry, I really didn’t know that-too young, I remember him from Genesis on, can’t recall any acting at all.

    • FLORC says:

      He’s a musician that has an Oscar, worked on films with many big names, and is well established in that scene. To say he can’t get her acting gigs because he’s a musician only holds water if you think networking, connections, and favors never happen in hollywood. To think Phil Collins worked on music for a movie and never made at least a business friendship with a producer or director is hard to believe.

      • A says:

        He also was in the Steven Spielberg movie (and my favorite of his) ‘Hook’ and what a coinkydink Gwynnie was in that movie too! She was apparently 24 at the time and played Wendy at various different ages but she looked about 30+ the whole time.

      • FLORC says:


        So was Glenn Close! And she literally begged for any role in that film. She played the male pirate that got tossed in the chest. But I bet you already knew that. It’s such a cute movie!

    • MisJes says:

      +1, FLORC. Music and acting are just two branches of the very broad entertainment industry tree. The two intertwine, and musicians aren’t restricted to only interacting with other musicians or only making music industry contacts.

  12. Fleurthefrenchy says:

    of couuurrrssse her daddy didn’t get her acting gigs! of couuurrrssse she did it on her own!

    • Nina W says:

      I’m glad you see that because some people seem to think she’s riding Poppa’s gravy train.

  13. Devlin says:

    @Liv: Exactly what I was thinking!….everyone these days is name-dropping Jennifer Lawrence or claiming to be besties with Lawrence.

  14. Devlin says:

    Lil’ Goop.

  15. immerse says:

    What does it mean “chewing scenery”? I enjoy reading this website daily and my vocabulary improved visibly throughout the last couple of years or so, which I thank you for, but what does this expression mean actually? 🙂

    • Amelia says:

      I was wondering the same thing. According to google, chewing scenery is ‘to act melodramatically; overact.’

    • StormsMama says:

      It can also refer to an actor dominating the screen to the point that you really only notice them
      Alec Baldwin come to mind for TV and some movies.
      Another example I think of is Vincent D’nofrio in ANYTHING and Vince Vaughn in most performances. They tend to take over the screen. And in VDs case it’s not an insult and in VVs case it’s debatable.
      Some actors are so talented— PSH or Robert Duvall or Meryl Streep come to mind— and they can dwarf another actors performance—> basically revealing a lesser actors deficiencies. They just chew the scenery and devour the scene. As in: they OWN it.
      So my point is it is NOT always an insult. It sometimes can be a testing to an actors talent and star power or screen presence.

      • Spooks says:

        Steve Buscemi also does that, and I mean it in the est way posible. I love him.

    • Nina W says:

      We also use the term “ham” or say “hamming it up” to indicate the same type of over-done acting.

  16. Devlin says:

    @Immerse: When an actor is “chewing the scenery” it means that they are overacting….a lot.

  17. TG says:

    I am a huge fairy tale fan and I have hey to see this Mirror Mirror movie. I mean I even watched the awful Res Riding Hood but can’t make myself see the other one. If Loly’s quoits is true then how does that explain the douche-in-training Jayden Smith getting all these movies?

  18. Mar says:

    Her dad is so talented. Genesis is one of my favorite bands ever!!!

  19. moon says:

    She reminds me a lot of Camilla Belle. They look alike, and they’re both blandly pretty

    • jess says:

      Thank you! I was totally confusing the two, and until your comment, couldn’t figure out who I was confusing her with haha

    • A says:

      I prefer Camilla Belle, who actually carries off the big dark eyebrows.
      Lily’s just looks strange and doesn’t suit her face i’m afraid.

  20. RobN says:

    She’s only minor league annoying right now, but I’ve got a feeling that she’s headed for bigger things.

  21. Samarama says:

    Phil Collins’ other daughter, Joely Collins, was/is also an actress. Also not a notable one.

  22. pantalones de fuego says:

    People like Goopy and Lily Collins would get a bit more respect if they would just admit that their famous parents helped them get a foot in the door.

    • poppy says:

      but i’ll go further:
      showed them the door, opened the door, walked them through the door, introduced them to the right people.
      she had more help than she feels comfortable admitting, obviously.
      if making it without any connection to her name or her father was ever a high priority for her, why not just go with lily jane?

      at least goop pretended to go to college and work as a waitress to help back her ridiculous claims to doing it all on her own. plus her initial stint at theater, playing opposite judge rheinhold and her famous mother that “changed her dad’s mind” -because there was no help for her, ever, at all, obviously. wink wink uncle morty.

      so much eyeroll for them both.

  23. amilu says:

    Nepotism at work or not, I think she’s beautiful/adorable. I’ve never even seen her in anything, but I’m certainly not opposed to seeing her in anything.

  24. Samtha says:

    When did she get so skinny? She barely looks like the same girl who was in Mirror Mirror. If not for the eyebrows, I’d barely recognize her.

  25. Bodhi says:

    She has lost too much weight. I thought she was adorable before, but she looks like a bobble head now, & not a cute one

  26. Annelise says:

    She is the boringest boring to ever boring.

  27. Tig says:

    Surprised no one is talking about MI movie in connection with this article. I wonder if it’ll go the Beautiful Creatures route? But since the second installment has been put in motion, assume it must be testing well.

  28. Norman says:

    Already people are ragging on Lily and comparing her to Goop. I don’t think she is self obsessed as people would like to believe. If you ask me I think she’s hot. Give her a chance to prove herself. Go Lily.

  29. GeeMoney says:

    She was terrible in Abduction. And she really needs to trim those eyebrows.

  30. gg says:

    THIS CHICK needs to be doing the damn Liz Taylor biopic.

  31. PoliteTeaSipper says:

    I want to hold her down and thin out those eyebrows.

  32. Leslie says:

    I saw some of Abduction, and at the time didn’t know who she was, but thought she was terrible at acting. Then I saw her on Leno and found out she was Phil Collins’ daughter. She was showing pictures of when she was young and her dad had her meeting Princess Diana. And she went on and on and on about how she wanted to make it on her own, but kept talking about her famous dad.

    I later read an interview in which she said she didn’t want to user her name (her dad’s name) to get parts. And she’s said that in every interview she’s done the past two years. She wants people to know she’s Phil Collins’ daughter. Nothing wrong with that, but she needs to stop contradicting herself.

    I’ve also seen clips of her in movies and wondered how the hell she got the part. I’m guessing her daddy is friends with a lot of producers.

  33. ctkat1 says:

    Nepotism has always been a factor in Hollywood, and it certainly gets you in the door, gets you an agent, gets you meetings…but I do believe there has to be talent to back it up. Rumer Willis and Emma Roberts are two other actresses with big Hollywood connections (one could argue bigger movie connections than Lily Collins) who don’t have huge careers.

    I’m less concerned about Lily Collins vis-a-vis nepotism than I am about Jaden Smith, who literally has not done a SINGLE project that his father did not produce/write/costar. That to me is a level of Hollywood nepotism that deserves our skepticism.

    • Nina W says:

      Nepotism is a way of life in Hollywood. There are legions of marginally talented family members of famous people earning a good living. It’s just how it is, it would be nice it if were a meritocracy but it’s not.

    • Amber says:

      it’s not just about nepotism though. it’s about trying to pass off that the fame/career they have is not a result of neoptism. i haven’t seen or read any interview about Jaden Smith so I don’t know if he’s ever said he wanted to make it on his own without help from his father. and obviously if he did, that would be ridiculous considering as you said all his projects have involved his father. Lily here most likely did benefit and got through the door by her father’s name. Whether she has a decent, long-lasting career will hopefully rely on more than just that.

  34. Dana says:

    Oh, let her be.. I think she;s adorable, very very graceful. Why when JL is stomping like an elephant and making stupid faces people say she’s unaffected? One can be natural AND graceful and in this case is LC

    • FLORC says:

      That’s a cute scene in a bad movie. She’s sweet and pretty. There’s some talent there. I think what people take issue with and irks them the most is that she claims she’s just so talented she made it on her own. How she talks about clothes and jewelry like it’s so important doesn’t help. She needs to admit on any level that she is privileged and doors opened to her because of her father. To claim she did it on her own with her dull body of work doesn’t help. Blind side was good though.

  35. GOBIG says:

    She’s completely full of shit.

  36. lettylynton says:

    She looks like a young Elizabeth Taylor in the first shot.

  37. Devlin says:

    Okay…so, Collins is natural and graceful. However, she is also a very bland actress who more than likely got to where she is because her father is Phil Collins. Jennifer Lawrence has been critically acclaimed since her first film at age 17. Long before Winter’s Bone, The Hunger Games or Silver Linings Playbook…and without the help of famous parents. All on her own, and is still unaffected after all this hard earned success.

  38. MademoiselleRose says:

    Saw her in the Blind Side and thought she was so beautiful. She looks overdone in the photo shoot above. Don’t like those pictures at all. I hope she doesn’t touch her eyebrows, they suit her.

    She should own it though that her name got her through the door in the first place. Her father is an actor and a musician of high standing. To say he didn’t open doors for her is just plain ridiculous. He may not have made phone calls but he wouldn’t need to. His name alone would be enough to get her through the door. And it’s not like she looks like a troll. She’s marketable with the name and the face. It remains to be seen if she can actually act and take advantage of this good start.