Lily Collins: I have felt frustration at not being taken seriously
Lily Collins has spoken about how much she has struggled to be taken seriously as an actress on her own merits, and not just be seen as the child of a famous father.
The daughter of singer Phil Collins said she felt incredibly frustrated as a teenager because people were dismissive of her ambitions.
The Mirror Mirror star will next be seen in Amazon drama The Last Tycoon, based on the last unfinished novel by F Scott Fitzgerald, which features Collins as Celia, the daughter of a Hollywood studio boss who is desperate to forge her own path.
She told the Press Association: “To play a young woman who is coming out from her dad’s shadow and really at the forefront of this somewhat feminist movement within the film industry was a really cool interesting experience for me because as a teenager I really, really wanted to create my own talk show.
“I wanted to produce, I wanted to write, I wanted to do all the things Celia did and I would go into rooms and pitch ideas at 16, and so I could relate to Celia and that frustration of people not taking you seriously or thinking you’re too young.”
Collins, 28, added she did not immediately see the similarities between her own experiences with a famous father and those of her character.
She said: “It’s funny, it didn’t resonate with me really until after I shot the pilot, I didn’t quite realise.
“It wasn’t something that I saw right away. It seems ridiculous, but it wasn’t as obvious to me at the beginning.
“I was so focused on Celia just going after what she loved and being passionate and proving people wrong, which is what I always did when I was younger and pitching ideas.
“It wasn’t the ‘dad element’ that I really responded to the most at first, but then afterwards I thought ‘oh isn’t that ironic?’
“It was like an after-thought and then obviously when we shot the series it was very obvious in my brain.
“Of course she respects and admires him and really loves that her father is doing what he wants to do and is successful, but she also has major issues with some of the things her dad does.
“She wants to separate off from that and have her own opinions about things and she wants to be able to start from the ground up and have people take her seriously and not just be the ‘daughter of…’, so there were a lot of similarities, but at the same time it is slightly a different business.”
Her on-screen father is played by Frasier star Kelsey Grammer, and Collins said starring opposite him was a surreal experience.
She said: “I grew up loving Kelsey in all of the things that he’s done and of course Frasier being one of them, and Cheers, and the first time I met him he called me ‘kiddo’ right away and he’s just so lovely and funny.
“He brings such a great energy to set and he obviously everyone respects him so much so to have him play my dad is something I never would have thought.”
The Last Tycoon is available on Amazon Prime Video now.