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When Lily Collins’ new film To The Bone premiered on Netflix last Friday, she was traveling to Italy to take some much-needed time off. The 28-year-old actress began her vacation at the Ischia Global Film & Music Fest where she accepted the festival’s breakout actor award.
Written and directed by Marti Noxon, To the Bone also stars Keanu Reeves as a doctor specializing in eating disorder treatment. Both Noxon, who penned the film based on her life, and Collins suffered from anorexia and have been outspoken about the disease’s impact on their lives.
Collins tells THR in Ischia that she took the role to add to the discussion about eating disorders. “I don’t think we are starting the conversation,” she says, “but we are making it louder, which is very important.”
Collins, who started out as a model, believes the fashion industry in particular would benefit from a renewed discussion on the health of models. “I think the BMI conversation was really important,” she said about France’s regulations that runway models must have a body mass index of at least 18 and a doctor’s note to walk.
“But then you do watch fashion shows and you do see extremely small girls walking down the runway, and a lot of them are really young and haven’t become women yet,” she says. “It’s like their body shape hasn’t changed. Some girls look like they’re about to pass out. I think there’s still a conversation to be had there about runway sizes.”
Collins adds that she’s often frustrated with ill-informed discussions around eating disorders, when the public criticizes models or celebrities for being too thin. “I hate that because you just don’t know if someone is struggling. I was a victim of that when I was losing the weight for this movie,” she says. “I was photographed looking a certain way, and all of a sudden it was like plastered everywhere, and I wasn’t allowed to talk about the movie yet.”
Collins is next jumping to Amazon with the series The Last Tycoon, about the power struggles of early Hollywood studio executives, premiering July 28.
“They’ve just given me a lot of juicy, cool things to do,” she says of her role as Celia Brady, an ambitious young woman navigating a decidedly male world. “It’s the 1930s, and there was a lot going on that I think a lot of people don’t realize were going on in the 1930s, and Celia gets to experience a lot of them. She wants to be a producer, so she starts working her way up from the ground up. She goes to all the different departments and she meets some incredible people on the way, and amazing guest stars come in.”
Collins is optimistic that the show will extend beyond its current first season. “Hopefully we get to go into more seasons,” she says. “It’s brilliantly written. And there are so many different relationships and stories going on. It would be a shame not to be able to share them all.”
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