The Last Tycoon, which is available to stream on Amazon Prime now, presents a heightened version of 1930s Hollywood, but it’s not exactly a fantasy.
Based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s unfinished final novel, the series stars Matt Bomer as Monroe Stahr, a brilliant young movie producer who has complicated relationships with his boss, studio head Pat Brady (Kelsey Grammer); the boss’ daughter Celia (Lily Collins), who wants to be a producer against her father’s wishes; and Kathleen Moore (Dominique McElligott), an Irish waitress who reminds him of his deceased movie star wife Minna Davis.
In a big picture way, it’s about the Golden Age of Hollywood, when the big studios and the larger-than-life men who ran them controlled show business, for good and for ill. The show captures the era’s glitz and glamour, but also the dark underbelly of what was going on politically and socially as the Great Depression raged and Hitler rose to power and exerted his influence in Hollywood before the start of World War II. Race and gender and class are all in play, as are the never-ending conflicts of labor vs. management and art vs. commerce.
The show’s creative team plays around with fact and fiction, but makes it a point to be grounded in the time period. The main characters are fictitious, but they’re inspired by real people — Stahr is based on producer Irving Thalberg, while Brady is sort of like Columbia Pictures founder Harry Cohn — and they interact with real historical figures like director Fritz Lang (played by Iddo Goldberg), whom Stahr hires to work on his flagship film. Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer and historian and Fitzgerald expert A. Scott Berg is a consulting producer on the show, and he helps make sure actual facts get inserted into the show.
“There were so many things that I learned about that seem outrageous but actually happened,” says Lily Collins.
For example, the show includes Georg Gyssling, who was Hitler’s man in Hollywood. He monitored studio activities and censored scripts for the Nazis with studio cooperation. It’s a dark chapter in Hollywood history, and The Last Tycoon doesn’t shy away from it.
But The Last Tycoon is also about the sensuous pleasures of beautiful lighting and luxurious interiors and gorgeous clothing. The costumes were designed by Emmy-winning costume designer Janie Bryant, who previously worked on Deadwood and Mad Men.
“I’m a fashion gal through and through,” says Collins, who says that getting to wear the costumes was a great perk of the job. “I’ve grown up loving design and seeing stylists and costume designers as true artists and Janie Bryant is a genius and this period is so beautiful for women, the shapes and colors and patterns. To get to immerse myself in that way every day was a gift and such a treat. All the fittings with Janie really helped create my character and that was part of the fun every day.”
Grammer, Collins and McElligott were all especially fond of the hats they got to wear. “Celia is a hat girl,” says Collins. “She wears a lot of hats, literally and figuratively.”
“We all wear quite a few hats, I think,” says McElligott. “I had a nice hat when I was a tour guide. I liked that hat. It was quite jaunty.”
“It’s a rich canvas, it looks really good,” says Grammer. He praises the work cinematographer Daniel Moder and production designer Patrizia von Brandenstein did in creating the world of the show. “Maybe it’s a fantasized world a little bit, but it sure looks good,” he says. “It’s sumptuous. It’s fun to go there and play.”
The Last Tycoon‘s entire first season is streaming now on Amazon Prime.
Category: News & Articles
Photoshoots > Photoshoots from 2017 > Session #021
In this exclusive first look at the July-August 2017 issue of Shape magazine, Lily Collins is once again getting candid about her past struggles with eating disorders.
“I never dreamed I’d be posing in a bikini on the cover of Shape. It’s a complete 180 for me. It’s a magazine about what it means to be healthy,” the actress reveals.
“I used to see healthy as this image of what I thought perfect looked like—the perfect muscle definition, etc. But healthy now is how strong I feel. It’s a beautiful change, because if you’re strong and confident, it doesn’t matter what muscles are showing. Today I love my shape. My body is the shape it is because it holds my heart.”
Continue reading Lily for Shape Magazine
Featured on an article for V Magazine, Lily explains why her new film To the Bone has a personal connection.
In To the Bone, Lily Collins plays Ellen, a 20-year-old illustrator whose battle with anorexia has brought her to the brink of death. Collins, petite even by Hollywood standards, had to lose serious weight in order to play Ellen. It’s the sort of role that someone who once suffered from an eating disorder, as Collins did, might shy away from. But she embraced the complicated challenge in a healthy way. “[The producers and director] were all female and they were very motherly,” she says. “We worked with a nutritionist, and [the weight loss] was done in a specific, calming, loving way.”
Collins read the script for the film—based on director Marti Noxon’s own struggle with the disorder—in the midst of writing Unfiltered, a book of personal essays. She had just finished a chapter on her eating disorder. “It was like the universe throwing it at me, saying, ‘I think this is something important for you to go through.’” Having overcome her issues, Collins is able to bring a sense of hope to the role. “I had all of the stages there to give to Ellen,” she says. “She doesn’t know how to reach them yet.”
From the very beginning of the film, there’s a steely strength to Ellen. The same can’t be said for other characters at the group home where Ellen is admitted. That’s the reality of addiction: many addicts never recover, but the hope is that movies like this can help. “I would have loved to have seen something like [To the Bone] when I first started having my problems,” says Collins. In the end, Collins lived with the character for the month it took to complete the film. “It was a really long month,” she says. “But how awesome to face a fear head-on like that?”
To the Bone will be released worldwide on Netflix July 14.
Lily Collins is still able to enjoy relative peace and quiet as she sips mint tea in a West Hollywood hotel café. This over-40 business lunch crowd is preoccupied with deals and salads, but if the place were more populated by young social-media savants, she’d be discreetly (or not) snapped and tagged to no end. To her 5.6-million-and-counting Instagram followers, she’s a glamorous but still candid ingénue, supplying a steady stream of coy selfies highlighting her distinctive ink-black eyebrows.
This March Collins’s fans will get an even more intimate look at her life when she publishes Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me, a collection of personal essays inspired by the confessional stories her Instagram community has shared with her. Encouraged by their bravery, Collins, 27, says she showed a “side of myself that was completely raw” in Unfiltered, hence the title. “I can feel a bit freer because I’m not holding as much in.”
In the film world, where she’s been making great strides since débuting as Sandra Bullock’s daughter in The Blind Side seven years ago, Collins is still on the rise. Growing up adjacent to the spotlight as the daughter of ’80s pop icon Phil Collins, she understands that she’s one of many starlets in a race to the top. She’s inching ever closer: Her turn as a ’50s pageant queen in Warren Beatty’s Rules Don’t Apply snagged her a Golden Globe nomination. Emma Stone (La La Land) took home the award, but Collins won the Instagram battle: The red-carpet video of her spinning in a pink Zuhair Murad gown garnered more than a million views in 24 hours.
Despite Collins’s very-now brand of social-media fame, her appearance is utterly throwback. Her petite frame swimming in a cozy black sweater, Collins conjures images of Audrey Hepburn, whose boyish femininity and sharp wit “changed a lot of people’s perspectives about what it was to be a woman at that time,” she says. Collins isn’t surprised she’s been tapped for homages to Old Hollywood, including the upcoming Amazon series The Last Tycoon, based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1941 novel.
“I’ve always been fascinated with old movie stars and the history of the place that I live in,” Collins says, sweetening her tea with her own bottle of Stevia. “I really love the romanticism and the mystery surrounding the period.”
Continue reading Lily on Being Brave Enough to Share Her Story
They may be fresh on the scene, but the latest batch of Hollywood up-and-comers has a retro edge clearly on display in this time-traveling style portfolio.
HOMETOWN: Guildford, England.
OVERUSED EMOJI: The “vintage” smiley face 🙂
BIG BREAK: The Blind Side.
STYLE ICON: Audrey Hepburn.
PRIZED POSSESSION: One of Audrey Hepburn’s Givenchy hats.
KARAOKE NUMBER: The Spice Girls’ “Wannabe.”
GUILTY PLEASURE: Real Housewives.
NIGHTSTAND READING: The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho.
IRRATIONAL FEAR: Sharks—“even in a swimming pool.”
OVERUSED EMOJI: The “vintage” smiley face 🙂
MORNING PERSON OR NIGHT OWL: Night owl.
WORDS TO LIVE BY:“The quirky things that make you different are what make you beautiful.” ROLE MODEL: “My mom.”
UP NEXT: Warren Beatty’s Rules Don’t Apply.
Photograph by Tom Munro. Styled by Jessica Diehl.