Lily Collins: ‘I suffered with eating disorders when I was a teenager’

Lily Collins, 27, is promoting her new film at Sundance, To The Bone. It’s described as a dark comedy about a young woman struggling with anorexia (I can’t find a trailer for it) and this issue is actually personal for Lily. In a new interview with IMDB Live, Lily said that she suffered from anorexia as a teen. You can see the video interview on IMDB’s site and below, she’s on a panel along with Carrie Preston, Keanu Reeves and To The Bone director, Marti Noxon, and they’re talking to Kevin Smith. She kind of blurts it out and I do believe this is the first time she’s talked about it. I did some searching and couldn’t find an interview or another mention of Lily being anorexic other than the stories about her playing this role. Here’s what she said:

“This was definitely a more dramatic role for me. I suffered with eating disorders when I was a teenager as well. I wrote a book last year and I wrote my chapter on my experiences a week before I got Marti’s script and it was like the universe kind of putting these things in my sphere to help me face, kind of dead on, a fear that I used to have and a way to explain it as someone who’s gone through it and to open up a topic that is considered quite taboo with young people nowadays, male, female, and to really start a conversation.

“It caused me to have to emotionally go there, but in a way that was the most safe, healthy way possible with a nutritionist, and really to physically go there but also emotionally and it did require a different set of emotional skills, to kind of go back in time for me, with you know, my experiences.

“So definitely a different type of film for me to do, very, very personal.”

[IMDB video via E! Online]

Lily is not my favorite person and I’m still baffled that she was nominated for a Golden Globe, but this took nerve. I checked to see if she has a book out and she does have an autobiography coming out in March called Unfiltered, No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me. So she wrote about going through an eating disorder and right after that she was offered a role playing a teen with anorexia, which she knows about firsthand. She also had to lose weight for that job, which must have been difficult. She deserves props for admitting this. Too often anorexia is derided and misunderstood because people consider it vanity when it’s really a devastating emotional disorder. It’s not an easy thing to own up to.


photos credit: Getty and WENN

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

30 Responses to “Lily Collins: ‘I suffered with eating disorders when I was a teenager’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Lucy says:

    I’ve seen some people here commenting on how skinny she looked a couple years ago. Anyways, good for Lily. I know there’s the alleged nepotism issue, but she seems kind and hard-working.

  2. ChocoChipDstryr says:


    Also, is she famous enough to have an autobiography?

  3. Suzie says:

    I’m not surprised she had an eating disorder. I would say that a lot more celebs suffer from one than we know. But it’s good that more and more open up about their struggles.

    • ell says:

      i also think many more celeb suffer from it, what’s baffling though is people attacking them as if having an eating disorder was not a mental illness people have little control over. accusing someone of being anorexic is used an insult.

      i’m happy she’s talking about it.

      • bitchy says:

        I fail to pity filthy rich and filthy well-connected Lily Collins who could probably afford a private psychotherapist whereas us “normal” people have to fight with our health insurance over such ‘trivial’ things as therapy when being suicidical.

        Thing is that apparently many celebs try to curry favour by pointing out how hard they had to fight and how many obstacles they had to overcome. And as I wrote above: filthy rich and filthy well-connected Lily Collins.

      • ell says:

        you clearly do not understand mental illness, if you think money fixes it. sure, if you’re rich you have more chances to get better, but a person with a full on mental illness will struggle no matter what.

    • tegteg says:

      I’m not surprised either… in fact, I feel like I read somewhere months ago that she had one when she was in her teens. For the life of me, I can’t remember where I read that… but I remember people commenting on how she was quite thin for a while (back ribs protruding) and then put on a little weight. She has been looking very thin again, so I hope she this film didn’t trigger a relapse.

      • detritus says:

        I was actually thinking this film is pretty dangerous for her to take on.
        It puts focus back on her weight, and she’s reliving some hard times.
        I hope her therapist is helping her through this, and she’s able to use it as a tool for healing.

  4. JulP says:

    She has been looking very thin lately (obviously as a result of losing weight for this role). As someone who also suffered from an eating disorder, I can’t imagine taking on a role like this and losing weight for the role, even if it was with the help of a nutritionist. I’ve been unintentionally losing weight due to a medical problem and, after weighing myself this weekend, I caught myself thinking that, if I restrict my food intake, I can lose another 7 pounds and be back to what I weighed in college. It’s just so easy to slide back into those behaviors, so I hope she is able to stay healthy.

  5. I Choose Me says:

    I like her and I’m pretty sure I commented how thin she looked the last time I saw pics of her. I’m a bit skeptical that her weight loss was due to this particular role but I do feel for her. It cannot be easy struggling with this disorder esp., in Hollywood where you actively encouraged/pressured to lose weight.

  6. prince says:

    poor girl, ur life must be so hard.
    u choose not to eat even tgo u live in a country were food is surplus. There are kids and women in africa who are looking for a slice of bread to sustain them so they don’t die from hunger. people with so called eating disorders are spoilt. move to africa and see what is happening then u will value food more.

    • Mel says:

      Wow, that is such a rude and unnecessary comment.
      I am also appalled that in 2017 someone is saying this about ED.
      They do not discriminate based on gender, skin color or social category.
      They are mental illnesses and are beyond control or any rational thinking.
      I sincerely hope that if you ever had to face a hardship you would be met with more compassion that what you’ve just shown.
      I don’t even know what to say to you except, keep on trolling, troll.
      P.S: please stop saying “Africa” like it’s a country. It’s a large continent and not everyone there is starving. If you want to have an impact, get your facts straights, that means not the alternative ones!

      • bitchy says:

        Oh come on. Money and connections are what defines Lily Collins. Not acting ability or the ability to overcome obstacles by herself.

    • Lucy says:

      Wow…seriously? No, really, seriously? Also Africa is a continent, not a country, just fwi.

    • tegteg says:

      Having an eating disorder has nothing to do with being spoiled and not appreciating the food available to you…. It is a MENTAL disorder. You wouldn’t tell someone with depression that they’re spoiled and there are people much worse off who don’t act all sad. Seriously, grow up and show some compassion.

      • bitchy says:

        It would appear fair to acknowledge both the priviledges and the hardships that Collins has experienced.

        Perhaps acknowledging that Lily Collins was hardly in a situation as bad as normal Joe or normal Jane would face is more realistic?
        Normal Jane who struggles with an eating disorder will have trouble getting a job or a career and she will have some difficulties getting a treatment. Likely such a disorder will at least delay your career (if not destroy it completely).

        Collins has the money and the connections to make it (anywhere) despite obstacles like mental disorders or lack of acting abilities.

      • detritus says:

        bitchy, would it be fair?

        It seems like you want a perfect victim before you feel empathy for someone.
        Lily doesn’t need to point out every privilege she has ever received to be worthy of empathy for an illness.

        It sounds like your comments are coming from somewhere painful, personal experience or a friend, I’m not sure and maybe I’m wrong. This can sometimes cause good thoughts to come out a little wrong. While there are a ton of people who are worse off than Lily, who don’t have her resources to cope with this disorder, but that doesn’t make her unworthy.

        She doesn’t need to be the worst off to be suffering.

      • Suzie says:

        @bitchy. Money and connections don’t protect you from suffering or struggling. At the end of the day we don’t know her life, what she may have gone through or been exposed to. Money doesn’t protect from mental disease. And Hollywood is hardly a wholesome environment.

    • Lucy says:

      Dude… you are the literal worst. People with eating disorders are spoilt? Well, people like you are callous, ignorant and frankly a waste of space.

    • MellyMel says:

      You’re disgusting!

      • prince says:

        I just can’t stand it when rich privileged celebs look for sympathy from us regular folks.

        I have limited sympathy to give out. I don’t waste my sympathy. I have sympathy for people who are victims of circumstance. women who want to get an education but can’t cause their country forbids it. gay people who are born in islamic countries etc. not some actress (I use that term actress very loosely cause this chic cant act to save her life. how she got a golden globe nomination is beyond me) who is starving herself daily cause she wants to fit into versace and gucci dresses that cost more than so many people’s houses.

      • Mel says:

        So because she’s rich and famous, she is immune to eating disorders?
        If I’m reading you correctly, you would have sympathy for a poor woman suffering from an eating disorder?
        Again, I’ll state it, an eating disorder is not linked to social status.
        You seem to have a very manichean view of the world.
        You are correct about one thing: you do have very limited sympathy. I sincerely hope that it’s not because you were deprived of it.
        Maybe you were, I’m sorry if that’s the case, but no one ever knows everything going on in people’s lives, no matter how perfect they seem on the outside.
        The grass isn’t always greener and all that.
        All the money in the world cannot buy peace of mind when said mind is taken over by a mental illness, eating disorder or other. Let me tell you one more thing, as someone struggling with it myself: if anything, you feel even more guilty, because, rationally you think, you have no reason to destroy yourself like this. There, that’s all I have to say. I’m educated, I have a good job, a great family and I’ve seen plenty of beautiful places in the world as I’ve been fortunate enough to travel. Do I get to be sick or should I get over it?

      • ol cranky says:

        @Prince – I must have missed the part where she asked for sympathy or played a victim card of any sort. She doesn’t have a history of speaking about this and her mentioning this period of her life and her eating disorder was appropriate in context of discussing the role.

    • detritus says:

      @ Prince, from what you have posted, you do not understand eating disorders.

      ED can be caused by hormonal differences and chemical changes in the brain and gut. It can be caused by sexual abuse and trauma. It can be caused by a great many things, none of which have been identified as ‘spoiled upbringing’ and the treatment is definitely not seeing starving people in other countries.

  7. Steph says:

    Ive never have an eating disorder but 2 years ago I started losing so much weight because of depression (I have a slim figure naturally) and honestly it feels like sh!t. But Im glad lily is healthy now. So many Hollywood actresses have this kind of mental health problems…

  8. Lisa says:

    Okay, we’re a year apart. Does she really need an autobiography? Her life is probably more interesting than mine, but I wish celebrities would wait until they’ve lived and built a career worth talking about before writing about it.

  9. Greenieweenie says:

    She’s looked so thin lately, glad to hear it was for a role.

  10. Colleen says:

    She’s rather verbose, isn’t she?

    Good for her for speaking out, and hopefully down the line, her experiences can be of help to someone else suffering.

    I’m kind of on the fence about Lily. I guess I just haven’t seen or heard enough from/about her to know anything about her. She is a pretty young woman, though.

  11. Nocturnal Queen says:

    I’m always scared when this kind of movie comes out because it is such a trigger. Many anorexic people watch them for inspiration or out of self-hatred. It is also likely to trigger former anorexics. I won’t be watching it because I was once so sick that it was pure luck that I survived. I don’t want to go through that again.