Lily Collins' upcoming Netflix dramedy To The Bone is about a young woman with anorexia. The role was highly personal for Collins, who herself battled the eating disorder as a teenager. And in the first trailer for the film, written and directed by UnReal co-creator Marti Noxon (who has also fought anorexia), it's chillingly clear how well both women have channeled their own experiences into the movie.
In To The Bone, hitting Netflix July 14, Collins plays Ellen, a 20-year-old artist whose family sends her to an nontraditional recovery program in a group home for young people. While she expects the experience to mimic every other failed rehab attempt she had throughout her teenage years, the trailer makes it clear that Ellen is challenged and inspired by her fellow patients battling their demon, as well as the eccentric doctor treating them (Keanu Reeves).
Collins, 28, lost a significant amount of weight for the part (under medical supervision). That method acting, combined with the honest script and her connection with Noxon, made To The Bone both a physically and emotionally intense project for the actress. But, as the in-recovery star explained in a candid interview with Refinery29, it was also incredibly rewarding.
"When I got the script, it wasn’t something that I was talking about yet. It was this fear being placed right in front of me, and doing the film meant that I would have to face it head-on," she said. "At first it was definitely a scary process. It was something that I thought is risky, because there’s a fine line between facing something head-on and succeeding, or falling back into it. But I knew that, this time, I would be held accountable for it. I would be [losing weight] under the supervision of a nutritionist and surrounded by all these amazing women on set. So, I knew that I would be in a safe environment to explore this."
She added, "I had just written the chapter in my book [Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me] about my history with eating disorders the week before I received the script for this movie. So it was like the universe literally throwing it in my face saying, this is something you need to address either for yourself or for other young people going through it out there."
If you are struggling with an eating disorder and are in need of support, please call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. For a 24-hour crisis line, text “NEDA” to 741741.