Lily Jane Collins was born on March 18th 1989, In Sussex England, to parents Phil Collins and his seond wife Jill Taverman. Phil already had one son, Simon Collins, from his first marriage, and he also adopted the daughter of his first wife. After divorcing Jill, Phil later married Orianne Cevey, whom he had another two sons with. “My siblings range in age from six to 39. I have three half-brothers and a half-sister, and it’s really fun getting together. The two little ones are running around playing games and laughing and we all watch movies together. Two of them are living in Canada, I’m in LA and my two little brothers are in Switzerland.”
Eventhough she’s the daughter of a rock legend, Lily’s grew up with similar weekly allowance as other teenagers. “I believe in working for what you get. Then when you get it you feel like you’ve earned it. My parents didn’t buy me loads of stuff as a child and I’ve been taught not to take things for granted and be smart about how I spend my money. I still have the same car I’ve had since I was a teenager. It is a grey Land Rover Freelander that my parents got me — they wanted something sturdy. Money isn’t important to me. My mum and dad have kept me down to earth and very focused.”
In the first five years of her life, Lily was often on tours with her father. “He was at the height of his fame when I was little, so I got so used to people chanting and screaming. I think I first realised he was someone other than just ‘Dad’ when we were at the supermarket and people would stop him. I’d think, ‘They recognise dad? That’s weird. He was always just Dad to me.”
Despite the fact that Phil often was away on tours, and wasn’t around much when Lily grew up, she has repeatedly stated that they’re still very close.” He’s so funny and so supportive. We always talk on the phone; we watch movies; we have inside jokes. I love hanging out with him in New York. We both love the theatre, so we’ll often go to a show. And he knows all the cool places that I’d never know about like some secret restaurant hidden beneath a terrace. He’s dubbed ‘the shy guy’, but to me he’s not shy. He wrote a song for me called ‘You’ll Be In My Heart’, for Tarzan the musical. That song is very, very close to me.” She’s also stated that her parents still remain close after the divorced.
Lily moved to Los Angeles with her mother at the age of 5 when her parents split up. “I do still feel very British here in Los Angeles. I’m much more European than other people here. I do feel my roots and I miss England a lot. I try to spend two months every summer at our house in the country. I miss English food I was brought up on sausage and beans, and beans on toast! I even miss the accent. I have very vivid memories from when I was five and younger, when Mom and Dad were still together Last summer, I went back to my old school in Sussex – the local village school – and took a photo in front of it as an 18-year-old.” In various interviews, Lily has stated that there was her idea to move to Los Angeles. Eventhough she still often miss England, she’s happy about the desicion they made, saying that: “If we’d stayed I never would have travelled as much. Mom and I have been around the world together. India, Egypt, Japan, everywhere. If I’d stayed in England, I’d probably be riding horses and playing polo right now.”
Lily began acting at the young age of two in the BBC series Growing Pains. At the age of 5, she began performing theatre at the Youth Academy for Dramatic Arts. At the age of 15, Collins discovered her passion for journalism when she began working for the popular fashion magazine Ellegirl UK, where she created and wrote a page informing readers on Hollywood trends and Los Angeles hot spots, called LA Confidential.”What I really love is journalism. I started writing a column for Elle Girl in the UK when I was 15. It was called LA Confidential, partly a diary of my life, and partly things to do in LA. All these little girls would write to me, and I realised I could connect to people. I’ve developed this into broadcast journalism with ‘Slime Across America’. I love meeting people and asking questions.” She also studies Communication at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication. As the first college representative to sit on the board of The Maple Counseling Center, Collins created Talk More Create Connections, a program that promotes open conversations between parents and teens.
Lily early knew that she wanted to persue acting, but she wanted to succeed on her own, and not just because of her last name. “There were so many times I could have played on my name but I always steered away from it. Now I’ve realised that the name Collins can open doors, and that’s okay. But it’s up to me to keep them open. It’s more fulfilling knowing I earned my place in Young Hollywood, through my acting and modelling, and that I’m not just there by association. I think, because of Dad, I’ve grown up knowing what to be careful of and what to look out for not to get too caught up in superficial things or to be with people who want to befriend me for the wrong reasons.”
Lily appeared in two episodes of the series 90210 in 2009, before moving onto the big screen, playing the daughter of Sandra Bullock’s character in The Blind Side later the same year. She’s also filmed a role opposite Paul Bettany in the thriller Priest in 2011, and opposite Taylor Lautner known from the Twilight saga in Abduction. In between her acting jobs, Lily has also done a lot of modeling. “Modelling is not my passion or my number one goal. It’s just something I’m doing on the side now for fun and for some extra money. My parents are okay with it because they know I’m not giving myself over to the industry.”
In 2008, Collins received the Best International Model Award at the 2008 Spanish Glamour Awards in Madrid. She was also presented with the One to Watch Award at the 2008 Young Hollywood Awards.
Up next for Lily is “Mirror, Mirror“, which will hit the cinemas in 2012. In this film by Tarsem Singh, Lily playes Snow White, opposite Julia Roberts as the Evil Queen. Lily beat out stiff competition for the coveted role, with Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, and Anne Hathaway all rumoured contenders. “It’s so weird. … I read for and met with Tarsem the day before, it happened within a 24-hour span. ‘I got off the plane in San Francisco and found out. So I woke up this morning completely still like, “Is that real? Am I really Snow White?”‘ It’s a dream come true. To work with Julia Roberts and Armie Hammer and Tarsem is a complete dream.” The film is going up against another Snow White film, starring Kristen Stewart.
With her indefatigable work ethic and soft features, luminous eyes and a dazzling smile it’s safe to say that we’ve only seen the beginning of Miss Collins career…
This biography was written by the staff at Adoring Lily Collins, and will be updated regulary to always stay up-to-date on Lily and her career. Please do not re-publish it anywhere without our permission. Last update was November 27, 2011.