The strange first acting credit of Lily Collins
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The strange first acting credit of Lily Collins

Lilly Collins may well be one of Netflix’s biggest stars. Her role in Emily in Paris has endeared the star to millions worldwide, with a bubbly vivaciousness encapsulating the show. However, she has also delivered a powerful performance in Windfall and a captivating role in, To the Bone. However, like most actors, things didn’t start out quite so pertinent.

Actors will take any role to get onto the Hollywood ladder. After all, it’s not easy to grasp a hold of the rungs at the very bottom of the industry where daytime TV and obscure micro-budget cinema thrive. Kristen Stewart took a role in the dismal Flintstones: Viva Rock Vegas, Bryan Cranston appeared as Paramedic #1 in Amazon Women on the Moon, whilst Jennifer Aniston took on the tiny fabled terror in Leprechaun. Indeed, any role will do at the start of any given actor’s career. 

Such could not be more true for the British-American actor and model Lily Collins, the star of such modern movies as The Mortal Instruments: City of BonesMirror Mirror and Love, Rosie. Rising to popularity at the end of the 2000s, the Oscar-winning 2009 movie The Blind Side, starring Sandra Bullock and Quinton Aaron, would take her to new industry heights. 

Long before her live-action role in the sports drama, however, Collins would appear (albeit in a voice-acting role) in the 1999 Disney movie, Tarzan, directed by Chris Buck and Kevin Lima. Standing beside Tony Goldwyn, Minnie Driver, Brian Blessed, Glenn Close, Lance Henriksen and Rosie O’Donnell, Collins plays a minor role, appearing as a baby ape when she was just ten years old.

The daughter of the English drummer, singer, songwriter and record producer Phil Collins, the actor was given a part in the film after her father created the soundtrack. Creating the music and writing the lyrics for each of the iconic tracks in the film, Phil Collins even based the song ‘You’ll Be In My Heart’ on a lullaby he wrote for his daughter when she was a baby.

More recently in her career, Lily Collins has found success in such films as Tolkien, based on the earlier life of the fantasy author J. R. R. Tolkien, David Fincher’s Oscar-winning Mank, and the highly popular Netflix show Emily in Paris.  

Both are celebrated and criticised for their glamorisation of the life of a spunky young American woman who travels to Paris to inject a bit of American creativity into the French fashion industry. The Netflix series still gained a considerable following. Appearing at the forefront of the show, Collins starred alongside the likes of Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu, Ashley Park, Lucas Bravo and Samuel Arnold.

Of all the future projects of Collins, the forthcoming project, Gilded Rage, looks the most promising. Helmed by Charlie McDowell, the director of The One I Love, Collins is set to star among a glittering cast that includes the likes of Bill Skarsgård and Christoph Waltz.

For now, see if you can spot the voice-work of Lily Collins in the trailer for Tarzan below.