WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA – NOVEMBER 17: Actress Lily Collins attends the 2nd Annual StyleMaker Awards hostd by Variety and WWD at Quixote Studios West Hollywood on November 17, 2016 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
  • Golden Globe Awards

Lily Collins

It took 18 years for Warren Beatty to return to directing; a wide cinematic gap between Bulworth and Rules Don’t Apply. Good thing for Lily Collins he did. Had he shot Rules right after, the then 9 year-old would not have been a good fit to play Marla Mabrey, the young ingénue who comes to Hollywood to screen test for Howard Hughes and experiences the joy and heartbreak of career and love. But Beatty did wait and now Collins is Golden Globe nominated for Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical.“One of my dad’s favorite films was Heaven Can Wait,” Collins recalls about her childhood with father Phil Collins. “I grew up knowing who Warren Beatty was and my mom was a huge advocate about teaching me about Hollywood history. So for me, Lily, this movie was very cool to learn who this enigma Howard Hughes was and how vast his influences were.”The same could be said for Beatty; so how accessible was Collins to working under his guidance? “This was a project he has been nurturing for decades,” she continues. “He just gave it up to his actors. His ability and willingness to let us play with the lines was something I was not expecting. He encouraged us to do something completely different and unplanned and that was such a huge gift for an actor.”That acting trail began for Collins at age 2 when back in her native England she made her screen debut on the BBC series Growing Pains. Relocating to Los Angeles with her mother, a different path seemed to lay in wait as she studied broadcast journalism at the University of Southern California, writing articles for such publications as Teen Vogue, Seventeen and the Los Angeles Times. But a guest role in 2009 on 90210 reignited her appetite to act and co-starring roles in such films as The Blind Side, Priest and Abduction led her to cast as the lead of Snow White in the film Mirror Mirror, co starring Julia Roberts.Rules Don’t Apply also provided Collins the opportunity to tap into her genetic talent pool and sing on screen for the fist time, a prospect that had the 27 year-old nervous and anxious. “I always wanted to experiment and sing in a film,” she revealed to the HFPA. “I knew I didn’t have to be perfect at this and if my voice cracks as Marla, that is fine because Marla is a songwriter, not a singer.” To help his actress out, Beatty allowed Collins to sing live on set, wearing an earpiece to help guide her on the vocal track. “It was an amazing experience and one I hope to get to do again.”Collins looks back on 2016 as a seminal year for herself, not only with the release of Rules Don’t Apply, but finding her own voice as an artist and as a woman. “I have learned when I can speak up and realized that I cannot control how people are going to react to me,” she notes. “My mom says that when someone shows you who they are, believe them and so I have had relationships both business and personal where I thought I could change aspects of the people I was around. Really these people are giving you a gift by showing you their true selves. It allows me to move forward and know myself better.”You see, the rules do apply.