Lily Collins Made A Teen Mom Rom-Com (& It Works)

Photo: REX USA/AGF s.r.l./Rex.
You know Lily Collins. She's the girl with the strong brows and rocker dad. Her career choices are bold, too. She's not afraid to take on roles in big-screen adaptations of beloved books with devoted fanbases. Collins did it as Clary Fray in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, a fantasy adventure series with angels and demons — a movie where everyone seemed to have an opinion about her casting and how the film turned out.

For her next project, Collins wanted to take on a more realistic subject, but she still wasn't going to shy away from books with devoted followings. Love, Rosie, her new romantic comedy with the affable Sam Claflin (better known as Finnick Odair) is an adaptation of Cecelia Ahern's Love, Rosie. It's the tale of two best friends who are clearly destined to be together, but unlike its classic predecessor When Harry Met Sally, reality impedes with an even crueler twist of fate to keep them apart. 

We spoke to Collins about why she felt this story was so important to bring to the big screen, her favorite romantic comedies, and our mutual favorite Oscar nominee. Hint: His name rhymes with Teddy Leadmain. 

What first attracted you to the role of Rosie?
"I was on another movie set with a producer who happened to be producing this movie, and he said to me, ‘What other kind of things do you want to do in film?’ I said, ‘I'd love to do a romantic comedy. I'd weirdly love to play pregnant, and I'd love to dabble in a British accent.' The next day, he said, 'Well here, read this script and tell me what you think.' It was Love, Rosie, and it had all three of those things. I cried. I laughed, and I was reading it alone, so I thought, if I'm doing this already — if I'm reacting this way — it's because it's something special. I just saw so many relatable qualities in Rosie that I wanted to portray myself, but at the same time, I saw challenges in these awkward moments that she's in that would push me onscreen, and I was excited for that."

Why did you want to play pregnant?
"It was more about being able to portray a young mom and a teen pregnancy in a positive way. I feel like there's so much negative press surrounding teen pregnancy in reality TV nowadays. This gave a really inspiring, positive spin on what is talked about quite negatively now. The idea that she becomes who she becomes because of — not in spite of — her becoming pregnant was something that really inspired me."

How did you and Sam build your chemistry to be able to play lifelong friends?
"The director got us together in London and basically had us sit in a room two inches from each other's faces, making comments and observations about each other's physicality [and] emotional state. It was really bizarre and awkward, but from that moment forward, it was amazing that we had this awkward history that Rosie and Alex would've had. We had this commonality that almost created a backstory with Lily and Sam. We started running into each other more, and we created all these memories that we could then use. It was very organic."

Photo: Courtesy of Constantin Film.
Do you think stories like this actually happen in real life, where a pair of lifelong friends realize that they’re perfect for each other?
"Yeah, I do. They're kind of rare. Even just last night, I met someone and we were talking, and he said, 'I met my girlfriend 20 years ago, but then I didn't see her for 20 years, and I just re-met her again last year.' These stories make you go wow, because they're rare. I think what makes Rosie and Alex's story so sweet and endearing and fun is because it's not the norm. I have guys that are friends, and I know that Sam has girls that are friends. I think it's possible to be friends with the opposite sex and not be romantically involved. I also do think that when you are with someone, ultimately, when you get married it's nice to be able to say that you married your best friend. It's the qualities of a best friend that you want to find in someone."

What are some of your favorite romantic comedies?
"Anything Richard Curtis has done, or Hugh Grant, so Love Actually, The Holiday, Notting Hill, of course, When Harry Met Sally as well. Any of the British romantic comedies I find are my favorites. I can watch them over and over again and laugh and cry. They feel so relatable. I think it's through the awkward moments and the realness that we're able to find the humor, and that to me is funnier than having a joke be said onscreen."

Is Eddie Redmayne going to win an Oscar?
"I've been friends with Eddie for so many years, and I could not be more excited that he was nominated. When he won [the Golden Globe], I was ecstatic...I'm crossing everything, and I'm sending out all my positive vibes."

A photo posted by Lily Collins (@lilyjcollins) on

We have to ask: How do you get your brows so perfect?
"I maintain them myself. Less is more. I used to worry so much about them, and now I just kind of don't worry. I think there's such a freedom when you don't worry, because there's less to go wrong. You're not, like, futzing with them. So, just a little bit of brow gel, and we're good to go."

Who would win in a brow-off, you or Cara Delevingne?
"If you look close enough, they're different types of big brows. We haven't talked about it, but I've met her numerous times, and she's super cool. I always find it funny when people are like, 'There's beef between Cara and Lily because of their brows.' I'm like, 'Guys, we've never even talked about it.' Not a real thing!"

Love, Rosie arrives in theaters on February 6.

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