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Editor's Choice

How Lily Collins went on to become Netflix's sweetheart

Lily Collins has become a sensation on Netflix. The two-time Golden Globe nominee, philanthropist, author and producer is lauded for her versatility and prolific acting skills that have helped her shine in various genres. Collins was seen in various films, including Mank, Les Miserables, Okja, Rules Don’t Apply, Mirror Mirror, The Blind Side, To the Bone etc.

Collins became a massive phenomenon on Netflix following her role as the ditzy and clumsy titular protagonist in Darren Star’s Netflix show, Emily in Paris. She was next seen in the Netflix Original film Windfall alongside Jesse Plemons and Jason Segel in a totally new role, cementing her position as one of the best actresses on Netflix.

Emily in Paris has been renewed for two more seasons after the 2021 release of the second season. The show became a major talking point among viewers when it presented the naive and clueless Emily sauntering into the Seine-adorned city of Paris. Totally oblivious to the French culture, the protagonist is shown trying to balance her career and life while navigating through often-disastrous and hilarious situations induced by her lack of language skills and philandering ways in love.

While many were critical of Star for reinforcing several stereotypes about the French culture, Collins played her part perfectly well. With an impeccable fashion sense and a penchant for social media selfies, Collins was brilliant as Emily, revelling in devastating wordplays, fumbles, glamorous strolls along the river, vineyard visits and various steamy romps and debauchery.

While Collins has become synonymous with Emily, she was soon seen in her husband, Charlie McDowell’s 2022 film, Windfall — a great tribute to the Hitchcockian genre of thrillers. While McDowell presented a one-and-a-half-hour-long psychoanalysis session where home invasion quickly turned into couples therapy pretty well using neutral palettes and brilliant camera angles, Collins stole the show.

As the unnamed wife of an arrogant and egotistical billionaire CEO, Collins’ tight-lipped smile and palpable discomfort helped convey the state of their claustrophobic marriage. Her frustrations emerge from her husband constantly belittling her and calling her a “freeloader”. She is vulnerable, glum and trapped in the marriage.

Held hostage, she is finally able to revaluate the relationship. Her gradual transformation from the demure yet distressed wife to the gun-yielding powerful woman, who finally takes control of her agency and finds her voice, is cathartic. While we feel woeful misery and sympathy for her at the beginning, we cannot help but marvel at her maniacal courage when she commits double murder in cold blood. While the film ends on a bleak note with an uncertain future looming large over Collins’ head, her freedom from the shackles of emotional abuse is pretty compelling; only Collins could have pulled off such a brilliant role, going from being a taciturn individual to someone whose desire to escape causes an explosion at the end of this ambitious, slow-burn thriller.

Currently, Collins is one of the most highly sought-after actresses on Netflix. She has created a brand for herself and refuses to stick to happy-go-lucky roles in rom-com, constantly challenging pre-conceived notions of those who claim to not take her seriously due to her younger features. Her sublime acting skills and the ability to add raw vulnerability to most of her roles have helped establish her as one of Netflix’s favourite sweethearts!