The first time Lily Collins appeared onscreen, she was two years old. It was on a show in England called Growing Pains, a different version than the one we know in the U.S., and she didn’t realize she was acting. It wasn’t until years later, in 2009, that Collins earned her second role, as a drunk prom girl on the reboot of 90210.
The day she wrapped her two-episode arc, Collins found out she’d landed a role in The Blind Side, the film that set her current trajectory. “I always loved dressing up and telling stories,” Collins says, sitting on a bench in Malibu. Her latest film, Love, Rosie, out February 6, is a quirky comedy-of-errors story.
The 26-year-old actress moved from England to Los Angeles when she was 5, after her parents, British rock star Phil Collins and American antiques dealer Jill Tavelman, split up. She began to pursue acting during high school, but she didn’t ask her dad for any help with his show biz connections. She even drove herself to auditions and meetings, and on set she never mentioned that her dad was a famous musician.
Collins, who is soft-spoken and decidedly humble, professes not to have many friends in the entertainment industry, spending most of her free time watching movies and going bowling. (Although she has been linked to a few of Hollywood’s it boys, like Zac Efron and Taylor Lautner.) Before she was an actress, she pursued a career in journalism at the University of Southern California. Collins wrote about everything from politics to fashion to body image for magazines like Seventeen and Teen Vogue and had a short-lived career as a political correspondent on Nickelodeon, notably during the 2008 presidential campaign. “I always loved meeting new people and asking the questions other people think are awkward,” she notes. “I have no problem.”
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