Lily James on Dominic West: ‘I’ve known him a really long time’

Lily James attends the2019 Into Film Awards

While Lily James cancelled almost all of her TV appearances around the promotion of Netflix’s Rebecca, she still had completed several magazine and newspaper interviews weeks (and sometimes months) before her affair with Dominic West became public, and before the rumors of her on-set affair with her Rebecca costar Armie Hammer became public too. And don’t forget her summer fling with Chris Evans!! So, she had three different dudes she was trying to keep quiet, so it’s kind of remarkable that she barely spilled any tea in those interviews conducted weeks/months ago. Still, her interview in the Guardian was pretty… interesting. It was done as she was finishing up filming on The Pursuit of Love, the film where she likely began her affair with Dominic West.

On filming Rebecca: “Towards the end of making it, I started getting this thing where my heart was beating so loudly that you could hear it. It’s really scary. All of a sudden, you become very, very aware of your heartbeat and you can feel it going really fast… And when you look at the psychological aspect of the book, and the darkness and the twistedness in it, it suddenly made sense.”

On her love life: She won’t be drawn on her love life, but it does seem that her long-term relationship with the actor Matt Smith (the Doctor, and Prince Philip in The Crown) came to an end somewhere around this period. There are rumours that she had a fling with the actor Chris Evans (Captain America) but she’s far too sensible to tell me, and claims to have spent the summer on her own, at home in London, reading poetry aloud and watching films. What, all of it, entirely alone? Really? She laughs, a somewhat suggestive smile passing over her lips. “No comment,” she says. Then she mutters, “I couldn’t confess to breaking laws, you know.”

An interesting aside about Dominic West: …She and Dominic West go back a decade to her first play, Othello, in which she played Desdemona to his Iago. “So I’ve known him a really long time. He’s a brilliant Uncle Matthew, another mad sort of character. I have a great line in it where I say, ‘Matthew is frightening and I disapprove of him, but I feel he sets the bar for English manhood.’” She smiles with some relish. “What a great line.” A few weeks after we meet, the tabloids go to town over photographs of James and West sharing a scooter and embracing in Rome. They go to town again when West flies home to appear in front of photographers with his wife and a handwritten note, insisting “our marriage is strong”. James declined to comment.

She makes a lot of friends on set: Usually, a film or TV production is a place of rapid friendships for James, “with the sort of humour and banter that develops on set. I love that camaraderie.” They have that now (she is clearly loving this experience a lot more than Rebecca) “but it takes a lot longer to get to know people when everyone is wearing masks. And I’m really paranoid now because we’re nearing the end of it, and I just don’t want it to fall apart.”

On QAnon: We talk about the state of the world now, in particular the QAnon conspiracy theory, which has people believing that Hillary Clinton and Oprah and Obama “are all part of the thing where they drink babies’ blood. All on Epstein’s jet. I mean, if I read it for long enough – and also I’m horribly gullible and horribly easy to convince, so if someone talked to me passionately about it – I’d probably go, OK, yeah, absolutely.”

[From The Guardian]

First off, I find her gullibility more interesting than her love life! I’m quite gullible too, weirdly, or at least I was when I was younger. I would take people at face value and I would believe people even when they lied to my face. I could see Lily being the same way, and I also think that probably explains some of why she’s now being connected to two married (at the time) men. Are married dudes just telling her “my marriage is as good as over, you make me feel alive, I’ll leave my wife for you”? Or is something else happening here?



Photos courtesy of Netflix, Avalon Red and Backgrid.

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46 Responses to “Lily James on Dominic West: ‘I’ve known him a really long time’”

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  1. betsyh says:

    That is one ugly dress. Moo

    • SomeChick says:

      The lack of pattern matching on it gives me headaches!

      The best line in the Guardian piece is the end: “She says she’s gullible, and perhaps she is. But I think Lily James knows exactly what she’s doing.”

    • Kitten says:

      Caption: Thin, sneezing white woman wears runaway cow.

  2. NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

    Is it just me or does Lilly’s interview throw off a vibe that she’s is in a really dark place in her personal life? I get the feeling she’s trying to put on a happy face but is struggling in some capacity. On one hand, I hope she’s okay on the other….she brought this all on herself.

    • MissMarierose says:

      It’s not just you. Her answers in this interview make me think she’s not in a good place emotionally.

    • Jjjj says:

      100% this!

    • Kiera says:

      Agree! I kinda think this might be whats driving these stupid flings. I think she and Matt Smith had a bad breakup/he cheated on her with Claire Foy. And she’s done a very typical thing of flirting with every guy she meets to make herself feel better. I’ve had friends who find safety in flirting with guys with gfs/wives because and I quote “It’s not like anything can ever happen so I’m safe from real rejection”. Yeah that friend is in therapy now. weird.

      • Kath says:

        Why do people keep saying Matt cheated on her with Claire Foy? I’ve never seen anything about him cheating…

      • Mia says:

        Where is the evidence that Matt cheated with Claire? All I saw during the press stuff were two good/supportive friends. Who said any cheating was involved in the break up at all? Maybe they just grew apart.

        Comments like this seem like an attempt to make Lily out to be a victim somehow/to spin things for the coddling narrative.

      • Jennifer LaPorte says:

        I heard from a psychologist (Dr Kirk Honda who goes over relationship and attachment issues by watching 90 Day Fiancee and heard means watched on YouTube) that often people try to replicate the dynamics of past failed relationships by taking the other role.

        So I think in this case, someone is cheated on and they become the other woman/man in another relationship.

    • Snark says:

      I said from the start she was in a hot mess because she’s trying to get over the Matt Smith breakup. She seems to be very teen-girl emotionally speaking, not to put down teenage girls but she seems vulnerable and not yet fully certain of herself as an adult human being. Good luck to her, but going with married men, if Armie happened too, is a no-no-no. (Note how Elizabeth Chambers is going overboard on her IG showing how happy she is and what a devoted mother to the kids she is.)

    • Ann says:

      LOL, the part where Lily is supposedly “far too sensible” to discuss the Chris Evans rumors with the interviewer? That didn’t age well. The girl is clearly not sensible or discreet about her love life, at least not right now.

  3. Rega says:

    She is…shockingly dumb ? And she’s what, 31 ? In this interview she seems like a naive 20 year old. Strange.

    • Thaisajs says:

      That was my first thought, too. Especially with the Qanon business.

      • Ann says:

        What the heck was THAT? Is she suggesting she is gullible enough to believe Qanon conspiracy theories? Yikes.

    • Kristen says:

      I thought the same thing. She spent all summer reading poetry? Yeah ok sure.

    • Molly says:

      The more I read about her, the less I can stand her.
      She seems rather dumb and dull, but tries to appear intelligent and coy.

      • Ann says:

        I’m liking her less and less too, but I don’t think she’s that naive. She keeps saying things like “I’m gullible” and “I’m still a child”, which strike me as excuses for her behavior. She’s 31 years old and has been in the industry for more than a decade. She seems to be be in a bad place emotionally, and that can lead to making poor decisions. That’s understandable, but it doesn’t make it OK to pursue or tryst with married guys, particularly when there are young children involved.

        I’ve read in a couple of places that she is known to sleep with a lot of men, and at least one other was married. I have no way to verify that, and I don’t give a damn how many people she beds, that’s her business and she doesn’t deserve judgment for it. But when the guys are married? It starts to seem like she is thoughtless, she wants what she wants and/or likes to prove how desirable she is, and doesn’t care who gets hurt.

    • Sarah says:

      I completely agree, she sounds very young and very clueless here.

    • Kitten says:

      She plays stupid quite well. She also does naive well. She has a talent for this. She should go into acting. Oh, wait…

  4. MerlinsMom1018 says:

    She’s known Dominic West “a really long time”
    Pray tell, would that be in the biblical sense or no????

  5. Redder says:

    Wait why are we believing Lily and Armie has an affair? That article was just saying they had steamy glances and Arnie’s ex wife was ‘suspicious’. It was clearly a bs article trying to build up on her crappy rep now. I’m still very skeptical about her and Dominica relationship, and how maybe he lied to her about his wife.

  6. McFly says:

    She might be 31, but in this interview she sounds like she’s 15. Spent all summer reading poetry? OK Lol

  7. Izzy says:

    Gullibility is not an excuse. She still knows they are married, and she makes a choice to sleep with them. While the men are the ones breaking their vows, and are absolute douchecanoes for it, she is saying something about her morality when she repeats this behavior over and over.

    • LaraK says:


      I’m so sick of people defending this kind of behavior by accusing people of slut shaming. Yes, the men are responsible for their marriages. But if a woman makes it a habit of sleeping with married men, then is is also her fault, and she should be shamed.

      Same if the genders are reversed.

  8. Lila says:

    I don’t know if there are any Gilmore Girls fans around here, but it totally reminds me of the moments after Rory sleeps with a married Dean, and is baffled and defensive when her mother starts asking all these realistic questions like “Has he filed for divorce? Has he moved out?” Rory genuinely was 19 or 20, and it felt like the kind of naive mistake someone her age could make. Lily is a lot closer to the mother’s age but doesn’t seem to have acquired any of the wisdom to go with it.

  9. Boo says:

    She seems like a bit of a twit.

  10. robin says:

    i’m tired of her, she’s shameless and the men she fu##s are idiots

  11. A says:

    Don’t know if it’s just me, but somehow, I don’t actually believe she slept with Dominic West? I think they flirted, and I think they like that they flirted with each other, and I don’t know wtf is going on with Dominic West and his marriage. But she seems to me like a very buttoned up prude somehow. I know that’s weird to say, without evidence, but she doesn’t strike me as the type to have physical affairs…she seems very neurotic in a way that wouldn’t allow for that? I dunno. Maybe she did and she’s in hiding because she’s going through a guilt spiral.

    Anyway, unrelated, but I still think Armie Hammer is great casting for Maxim de Winter. He has the sly aristocratic asshole character that I think the role really needs. The sort who keeps a ton of secrets but is, deep down inside, a big scared baby who can’t face the consequences of what he did. And the second Mrs. de Winter isn’t as dumb as she initially comes off in the book. I kind of thought that was the whole point? Maybe I read it wrong.

    • Snark says:

      Puh-lease, DW was smug as eff during his “press conference” outside his home. He WANTED everyone to know he “scored” that young lovely AND has an attractive wife who is okay with his extracurricular activities, because, you know, he’s a regular Don Juan and the ladies melt under his hands because he’s irresistible. Smug as anything. And apparently that red-pink plastic bag Lily was carrying during their scooter ride is from a sex shop.

      • Molly says:

        Yeah, they def f**ked. James kinda admitted it by letting a “source” (aka her team) tell the media that she thought West and his wife had an arrangement.

    • Ann says:

      Supposedly they shared a hotel room for the weekend, according to someone who worked at the hotel I think. So yeah, I imagine they did the deed.

  12. Case says:

    This commentary from the writer bugged me: “ [She] claims to have spent the summer on her own, at home in London, reading poetry aloud and watching films. What, all of it, entirely alone? Really?”

    Is that really so unbelievable during a pandemic? I’ve been alone in my house for 8 months. Only my parents have stopped by occasionally. I can see letting a significant other in of course, but like…there are those of us who live alone and have legitimately been following health guidelines.

    • tealily says:

      I read that more as trying to tease out more relationship info. Yes, it’s entirely plausible… but she’s also been spotted with all these dudes lately, it also doesn’t seem that likely.

  13. Ashley says:

    No mention of her now being spotted at a restaurant with Dominic Cooper? The Mail had photos last night. Home girl cannot stay away from married men. Maybe it’s her kick like that country singer… something with an M.

    I felt sorry for her at first because I thought she was making bad decisions after Matt Smith clearly screwed her over (those are the decisions of a woman going through heartache flinging herself at anything that will give her attention), but now another one? Jesus. I know London is in lockdown and pickings are slim, but Stay away from married men!

    And I could totally see Dominic Cooper being a cheater. Ever since his relationship with Amanda Seyfried, I’ve seen him as a cad. What’s with men named Dominic?

    • A says:

      Do I have the right Dominic Cooper (Preacher, former roommate of James Corden), because last I checked, he’s not married? He was dating Ruth Negga, but he broke up with her. Last I checked he was just dating Gemma Chan, but I’m not sure of the status of that relationship.

      They could very well just be friends. It doesn’t seem like they were doing anything questionable, like she was with Dominic West. It seems like they were with a third person at the restaurant, and other people who were also there said they just seemed to be hanging out. This has a whole Armie Hammer whiff to it, where people are jumping to conclusions that might not exist. It’s not a sin to hang out with another man in public, but that’s the level that it’s getting to here.

      Leanne Rimes *actually* admitted to cheating. She went on TV and said she had no regrets about how her relationship happened. She publicly had a feud with her husband’s first wife for years. And most importantly, Brandi Glanville openly spoke about how her husband cheated on her with Leanne Rimes. Dominic West’s wife hasn’t done that. There’s a lot of outrage on her behalf as a wronged wife and a belief that the marriage itself is ruined when, frankly, we really don’t know any of that. Why are we so quick to tar Lily James with a brush when we know none of the facts?

    • Snark says:

      Dominic Cooper has been dating Gemma Chan at least until a few weeks ago. They’re all friends in a group with Richard Madden, Billy Piper (who was in those park pics with Gemma as well), and other Brit actors. They take holidays together. Well, I hope Lily isn’t dating Dominic because that truly breaks the girl code – dating a friend’s current bf or ex bf.

  14. Gutterflower says:

    Is she capable of making an expression that doesn’t scream “derp”

  15. SJ Knows says:

    So, she has known him a long time, huh?
    Then I would think she also knew he is Married!

    Btw, that Knock, Knock movie starring Keanu, now on Netflix is very, very bad, stinkaroo level bad movie. But, I pretty much watch anything with Keanu in it.
    Got the DVD as a Xmas gift, felt bad my friend spent $20 on it. That’s how bad it was.

    Proof that America needs anything to entertain itself during 2020, a movie that bad hits #2 on the watch list. Well, it’s better than waiting on the official Election decision.

  16. Natasha says:

    She’s kinda reminding me of sienna miller when sienna was young and started having affairs and sabotaged her own career.
    Honestly I have no idea who this girl is outside of the suspected affair, but I didn’t find her likable in this interview.

  17. The Recluse says:

    She is so dull and uncharismatic. The only thing she has going for her is that she is typical English rose type – to some degree.