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My Life in Movies: Lily James

Famous Londoners share their favourite hometown film spots

Written by
Olly Richards

What was the first movie you remember seeing at the cinema?
‘I always dispute with myself whether it was “Titanic” or “Billy Elliot”. I was way too young and I snuck in with my family. I chewed gum because I thought it would make me look older, but it turned out they didn’t care anyway.’

Which was your favourite cinema as a child?
‘There’s a cinema in Esher that was never full. I remember watching “Moulin Rouge!” there, and my friends and I got up on this platform between the stalls and the circle and danced in front of the projector. It’s such an amazing memory.’

Which is your favourite cinema now?
‘The Odeon on Holloway Road because it’s my local. Everyone eats their popcorn really loudly and talks too much, but I still love going there. When I lived in Peckham it was the Brixton Ritzy. I used to watch films back-to-back.’

What’s your cinema snack of choice?
‘Popcorn. I do it very quietly and always pre-open.’

What’s been your most memorable London location to film at?
‘There’s a scene on a bus at the beginning of “Guernsey” where they made part of Shoreditch look like the 1940s. I remember sitting on a bus watching ’40s London go by. Filming in the old Foyles bookshop was like going back in time too.’

Lily James in 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society'

Do you have a favourite London premiere experience?
‘I loved “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”, not because of the film but because my whole family was there.“Fast Girls” was my first premiere. My brother worked at Sky Sports and managed to wrangle a red carpet spot because it was about running. So he interviewed me. It was hilarious and surreal.’ 

Catch the interview here:

‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’ is in cinemas on Fri Apr 20.

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