Lily Collins: ‘I love baking. I see it as very therapeutic’

W Magazine has their TV portfolio issue featuring Emmy nominated actors dressed as characters from their favorite show. Oya covered Jurnee Smollet’s interview, where she dressed as Walter White from Breaking Bad. Lily Collins, nominated for Emily in Paris, dressed up as Prue Leith from The Great British Baking Show! This was a genius move, because Prue is the best judge on that comfort watch show and her bright signature style is fun to homage. Lily talked to W about what it means to be nominated, how she got the role and how much she loves baking. She especially loves making vegan treats. I’m just going to excerpt the baking part, you can read more at the source.

When was the first time you saw The Great British Bake Off?
I saw the show’s first season. I feel so at home in the English countryside, having grown up there, and I love any show about baking and cooking. I love being surrounded by the British accent, especially if I’m not in England; there’s something very nostalgic about it. I just watch every season, even when they were changing hosts. I can’t stop watching. I binge it.

Can you bake?
I do love baking. I see it as very therapeutic. I like to think of it as a bit of a puzzle piece, as well, because I bake a lot of gluten-free, vegan things, which a lot of the time people think sounds not so fun or gross, but I get such a kick out of making something with vegan chocolate, or more ingredients, and seeing if it works. And when my little brother told me that my cookies were absolutely amazing and he loved them and ate five, I told him it wasn’t real chocolate, and his mind was blown.

[From W Magazine]

When Lily talked about her younger brother loving her cookies I remembered that her dad, Phil Collins, is having all that crazy drama with his ex, his third wife, Orianne Cevey. Lily is Phil’s daughter from his second marriage, to Jill Tavelman. Lily has two younger half brothers from her dad’s marriage to Orianne, Nicholas, 20, and Matthew, 16. (She also has an older half brother and sister from Phil’s first marriage.) Lily has been open about the fact that her dad wasn’t around during her childhood, and she says she forgives him. It sounds like they have a good relationship now.

I really covered this because I wanted to talk about baking though. Although I only got into it during lockdown, I love it for similar reasons to Lily. I’m not particularly inventive, I just follow recipes, but whenever I bake I know my son will eat everything and like it. When I cook a meal, even if it’s something he’s eaten and enjoyed before, I can never predict if he’ll feel like eating it. Bread, bagels and rolls will always get consumed though. Plus I really enjoy kneading the bread and the process of making it. Like Lily said it’s therapeutic. Maybe I should do some cookies next. That’s the advantage of having a teenager at home, you know you won’t be stuck eating them all.

Here is a link to my favorite bread recipe. If you’ve never made bread you’ll be surprised how easy it is!

Lily is a striking model. I haven’t seen Emily in Paris yet but I’ve heard it’s a fun, mindless watch.

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36 Responses to “Lily Collins: ‘I love baking. I see it as very therapeutic’”

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    Hold up- she’s nominated for Emily in Paris? Wow. Great binge material and it has its funny moments but I don’t think the acting really stood out. It will be interesting to see what she wears on the red carpet. The fashion is zany on EIP in a way I appreciate, but I’ve never really been sold on her personal taste on red carpets. That said, it’s never boring!

    • questions says:

      I don’t think any of it (i.e writing) is good. (The chef character is a terrible person!) But the scenes of Paris make it nice escapist fare during a pandemic. I kept watching simply because of the scenery. In a pre-pandemic world, I don’t think this show would be quite as successful.

    • Cookie says:

      Yeah, I quite enjoyed binging it, but never pretended like it was quality television.

    • Normades says:

      It’s totally fun but crappy mindless tv. I think lily knows that as well and is just as surprised as anyone else to be nominated. She’s actually grown on me and I like her a lot.

  2. Becks1 says:

    I am not a good baker, but I have definitely started to enjoy it more over the past 18 months. So far just different kinds of bread (and pizza dough lol), I have always been able to make cookies but nothing beyond that (my homemade cakes are not pretty, lol.) I feel like in a lot of ways bread is easier because if its not perfect, you can still use it for croutons or breadcrumbs or my boys will eat it slathered in nutella, ha.

    I did try my first sourdough last week (from Paul Hollywood’s book) and it…..was not a success. I’m going to try a different recipe for my starter and see if I can get it going more. My starter was pretty active, maybe too active based on googling, but the bread still did not rise, but Paul’s recipe calls for letting it rise for 5 hours and then proofing for 4-8 hours. I don’t have 13 hours to bake bread, lol.

    But anyway there is definitely something kind of fun and therapeutic in kneading bread or even just measuring the ingredients and watching what happens. I never think the ingredients are going to come together and then bam! they do.

    • Teebee says:

      I’ve been making sourdough since January, we haven’t had anything from the store for 8 months. But yes, it is an investment in effort and you have to learn time management to get it right. I follow a recipe that starts in the evening, the bread proofs overnight on the counter, then cold ferments another day in the fridge and then is baked on day 3. Some people would say it’s crazy to make bread over 3 days, but it’s so worth it. I do have a sandwich loaf that takes about 20 hours, easiest bread I make (still sourdough), but I can see how some people would still think that’s too long. However, if you get into a rhythm and flow that you work into your schedule, sourdough is such a great reward!

      • Becks1 says:

        See, I think I could do that, with proofing overnight, etc. It was the 4-8 hours for proofing that threw me. So I made it at 8 am, it rose until 1 pm, and then I baked it around 6 but I really think it could have proofed for a few more hours, but I was tired and I knew if I waited until 9 I would prob lose track and burn it lol. I was considering letting it proof overnight but then I was paranoid about overproofing.

        I’m going to play around with a few more recipes and timing. I really want to get it right lol.

      • Teebee says:

        I use this recipe

        Of course we all tweak a bit as we get more familiar with the base process, definitely to fit it into our lifestyle, our climate, the season, etc. But I have found that starting late in the day, leaving it overnight, getting it back in the fridge for a day and just forgetting about it and then the ease of baking it the next day at my leisure works so well, for most home bakers.

        I’m glad you’re going to keep at it, and when you do, you’ll get better, develop your own process and with time your bread gets better and better. I make bread for all my neighbours, my parents and relatives. It brings me pleasure to make people happy with simple flour, water and salt.

      • Anne Call says:

        I’ve been making sourdough rounds since last year. I use the tartine recipe from The NY Times. I make leaven the night before using my refrigerated starter and then start bread around 9 or 10am and it’s ready to eat by 6pm. I also add walnuts and olives to the dough and bake in a Dutch oven/Le Creuset with lid. Also make brioche buns, everything bagels and choc chip cookies on a regular basis. My very fit husband eats about 75% of it and I enjoy the other 25%. Baking has definitely been the silver lining in this pandemic.

        Also I discovered the Great British Menu on Amazon Prime this spring featuring Prue and other judges. I think it’s how she became very well known in Britain. Great show with many seasons!

  3. Amy T says:

    I’ve been baking bread since my teens and it’s one of the most soothing things a person can do. Also, to paraphrase the 11-year-old who walked in while I had a loaf in the oven, it makes your house “smell like funnel cake.”

  4. Darla says:

    You believe she eats this stuff though?

    • Jillibillijean says:

      Yoooo she might eat it all and then more. I ate so much when I was young and I was so skinny. People were always telling me to eat a burger, eat rice, eat whatever. I ate everything. I could not gain weight, and I tried. After 35, it all started catching up with me lol. But that’s some hurtful stuff to say to anyone, you don’t know them, or how their body works.

    • Cookie says:

      Why wouldn’t I?

      • Maria says:

        She may very well.

        But it’s not like the entertainment/modeling/etc industry doesn’t have a track record of women who starve themselves (and indeed are often required to) pretending they consume a lot of food.

        Not saying anyone with a thin frame automatically does, but to adopt a skeptical tone therefore sort of implying this is not a phenomenon in her industry makes no sense.

    • questions says:

      No (though I wouldn’t fault her if she doesn’t. If you want to look a certain way — well, cookies aren’t likely the way to go.)

      She had an eating disorder, which she made a movie about.

      She also has very fit abs. I’m sure eating cookies would not give you that kind of abdominal definition, so…

      She probably gives her treats away. I wouldn’t assume this about someone else as I’ve seen pastry chefs who are trim (though I don’t really see them eating everything they bake either). But in her case I would assume she doesn’t eat her own stuff, especially since they’re carb-based. Sure, I could picture her eating salmon everyday. But not cookies. (She does seem to be a runner though. Maybe she runs them off, which seems possible).

    • questions says:

      There are some people who eat a lot of stuff and are skinny. But I don’t think she’s one of them.

  5. Aang says:

    I find cooking in general to be very relaxing. Baking especially so. I’m enjoying the heck out of cooking Tik Tok right now and make new recipes a few times a week. Sometimes they flop but it’s still fun to try. Last night we made brown sugar gelatin and today we will use it to make black diamond milk tea. I’ve tried new cake decorating techniques (usually a disaster but it still tastes good), my Korean cooking has become +++, and my kids have finally learned to cook. I have dozens of videos saved that I plan to try.

  6. NCWoman says:

    I don’t understand the “mind blown” over vegan chocolate? Vegan chocolate is dark chocolate or any “milk” chocolate without animal milk. It’s still all cacao-based. It’s not like it’s made from chickpeas lol.

    • likethedirection says:

      THANK YOU I came here just to say this, what is she talking about?!

      Emily in Paris is one of the worst shows I’ve ever seen and yes I will watch season 2 in one day when it comes out!!

      • Rice says:

        LOL! I’ve never seen Emily in Paris but I feel the same way about that Mortal Instruments movie. It’s terrible but I watch it every time it’s on.

      • Becks1 says:

        The Mortal Instruments movie is so bad, its so much worse than the book (I loved the books, shut up dont judge me), but the whole thing with Valentine in all the leather etc….oh that was bad.

        I still bought it though and watch it a few times a year, LOL.

  7. Ann says:

    I did a ton of baking in the first five months or so of the Pandemic, when we were on full lock down. I bought a set of decorative icing pipes and my daughter and I did a bunch of cakes, which was fun but fattening.

    Lily looks so cute there, but like someone said I doubt she eats what she makes. Good thing she has younger brothers.

  8. Scrambled Eggs says:

    I don’t have any opinion on her, not having ever seen her act in anything, but she’s looking great in her Prue Cosplay. I want those glasses!

    I also have had such a soft spot for Phil Collins after listening to the This American Life episode where Starlee Klein talks to him about breakup songs.

    • Gail Hirst says:

      She was in The Blind Side in 2009 as the daughter of Leanne Tuohy (sp?), and was okay.

      In 2017 she was in a movie “To The Bone” where she played an anorexic artist. It was really hard to watch. Her portrayal of her character was utterly mesmerizing. It’s still on Netflix (Canada) and well worth the watch. I haven’t seen her in anything else, but To The Bone showed me she can be an amazing actor.

      • Kath says:

        I thought she was good also in “Love, Rosie” with Sam Claflin, which is an enjoyable little rom com.

  9. Still_Sarah says:

    I don’t bake much but I did when I was growing up and I agree it’s therapeutic. My best bread recipe is : 3 cups Mrs. Brody’s self-raising flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, and beer (a 10-12 oz. can will do). Blend it all together and put in a greased loaf pan – mix it quickly as the beer makes it rise and go fizzy. Bake for 60 minutes. No kneading, no letting it rise. If you want to be fancy, add spices and/or cheese as you mix. Everyone will think your Martha Stewart.

  10. likethedirection says:

    Also, for fellow hate-watchers of this tremendously bad show, might I recommend the delightfully incredulous Twitter commentary of Arthur Asseraf, a French historian??

  11. Krystina says:

    My 12 year old loves to bake. He finds it really therapeutic, especially after a bad or stressful day.

    Also, I’m totally stealing that bread recipe, lol

  12. faithmobile says:

    I learned to love baking once I started weighing my ingredients in grams, after that no recipe failed. Also I have stand mixer, which is a must if you are serious about baking because you will never get the same results by hand or with a hand mixer. When I hear people say they can’t bake, what hear is that they refuse to follow a recipe. I recently gave myself permission to rewatch all of GBBO for the 5th time but now i’m might check out Emily in Paris.

    • Cookie says:

      I know, isn’t it strange that we’re still using cups in the U.S.? After moving to Scandinavia my baking has become so much better!

    • Becks1 says:

      A lot of US recipes aren’t in grams (like only my bread cookbooks are in grams, all my cookbooks that have cake recipes etc are in cups tsps etc), and even with weighing the ingredients and following the recipe there is still room for human error. I actually hate when people say that baking is just “following a recipe.” When I hear people say that, I wonder if they’ve ever actually seen a baking recipe. There are lots of things like “mix ingredients at medium speed until combined but not smooth, do not overmix” – what is medium speed? At what point have I overmixed? Have I undermixed? “Let dough rest for 30 minutes to an hour” and that doesn’t get into the actual baking and differences with oven temps, even within the same oven, etc.

      If baking was as simple as “following a recipe” then some people wouldn’t be famous for being great bakers and the Great British Baking Show wouldn’t be a thing.

      • Agreatreckoning says:

        You’re so right about the questions that pop up with baking. The ‘at what point have I overmixed’ comes up often. One of my favorite recipes from Smitten Kitchen, Bittersweet Chocolate & Pear Cake, has the overmixing challenge in it and I still don’t have an exact answer, just a guessing eyeball. I don’t have a stand mixer and trying to do two things at once complicates things too. The Smitten Kitchen Purple Plum Torte is good too. Also referred to as pflaumenkuchen by a German friend.

        The bread recipe I make is another 4 ingredient recipe from Alexandra Cooks/kitchen-My Mother’s no knead peasant bread. She has instructions to use the same recipe for a foccacia. Think I’ll try Sally’s baking one and the sharing of the sourdough info is giving me courage to try my hands at that.

        But, yea, baking and cooking can feel therapeutic. Lily looks a lot like her dad in the picture where she’s wearing the black dress and standing in the triangle-ish opening.

  13. Kate says:

    A friendly reminder that it is possible to:
    1- bake sweets and not eat all of them
    2- not gain long-term weight from eating a few cookies
    3- see a skinny person and not accuse them of starving themselves

    • Maria says:

      An equally friendly reminder that it is possible to:
      1- let people bake whatever they want and consume it how they wish
      2- not demonize weight in the first place
      3- not make the topic of baking weight-related at all

      I watch my weight as a personal choice and that’s all.

    • questions says: