Lily Collins was beaten to part in The Hobbit by Ant-Man star Evangeline Lilly

She auditioned for the part of Tauriel, a wood-elf of Mirkwood.

Actress Lily Collins was beaten to a major part in The Hobbit film series by Ant-Man And The Wasp star Evangeline Lilly.

The British actress – who plays author JRR Tolkien’s wife and muse in a new biopic – auditioned for the Peter Jackson feature but lost out to the Canadian a decade ago.

The 30-year-old joked that she must have been “one of hundreds” who tried for the part of Tauriel, a wood-elf of Mirkwood and the captain of the elf king Thranduil’s guard.

Collins said she had had the “last chuckle” after securing the role of the woman who inspired many of Tolkien’s female characters for her latest film.

She said: “(I auditioned) for (Jackson’s) movie. He was not there! But it was for the character that Evangeline Lilly ended up playing.

“I was one of hundreds probably, but an Elven character. And I was very much inspired by his movies and Tolkien’s books growing up, so to even be able to have auditioned was amazing.

“Then who knew years later it would ironic to get to play the woman who ended up inspiring those characters? So, it felt like coming full circle in a way.”

Tolkien UK premiere London
Lily Collins and co-star Nicholas Hoult at the premiere of Tolkien (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Collins plays wife Edith Bratt alongside 29-year-old Nicholas Hoult’s Tolkien, who is seen in his younger days, faced with romance, flowering friendship and the horrors of the First World War.

She said Bratt had been “a woman ahead of her time”.

She added: “She wanted so much more for herself. The photos that we can find of her, there’s a very child-like cheekiness behind her eyes.

“Kind of as though she’s in on something that we don’t know about and I really loved that quality in her and the imagination that she had.”

Tolkien will be released in cinemas on May 3.

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