Lili Collins plays the role of an anorexic young lady in the 2017 film "To the Bone."
British-American actress Lily Collins starred in the 2017 Netflix film “To the Bone.” It premiered in competition at the Sundance Film Festival as a contender in the U.S. Dramatic Competition. However, following its release, the movie met with controversies as it allegedly “glamorizes anorexia.”
“To the Bone,” which is directed by Martha Mills Noxon, is a film that revolves around a young anorexic woman. Lily plays the role of the 20-year-old Ellie, who battles against anorexia. The project was deemed controversial since the actress suffered an eating disorder during her teenage years.
Lily had to do a lot of preparations for the movie, one of which was losing weight. In an interview with Glamour, she revealed that although they didn’t give her a particular weight loss target, she ended up losing 20 pounds.
“They never gave me a number or a goal weight, but I ended up losing around 20lbs. My nutritionist put me on lots of supplements, and I was eating every meal, just specific things. I was very proud of the fact that I was never overly tired, I never missed a day of work, and I never forgot my lines,” Lily shared.
The actress added that they maintained a semblance of control over the situation and ensured her body was still functioning the way it should. She reminds herself daily that she was hired as an actor not because of the body she “would have attained by suffering.”
Lily hired a nutritionist to help her lose weight as safely as possible to portray the character of Ellie. Despite that, there was still a part of her that feared she would fall back into unhealthy patterns, noting that it was nerve-wracking because she was doing something close to her.
Lily Collins suffered an eating disorder when she was a teen.
In 2017, Lily made a writing debut with “Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me.” She discussed her battle against mental health in the book, including her eating disorder during her younger years. She recalled indulging in “every type of junk food” and later forced herself to throw up.
She continued starving herself and exercising even though the extreme effects of the eating disorder started to show. It caused her hair to fall and her nails to become brittle. Lily revealed that she was terrified that her eating disorder during her teenage years may have ruined her chances of having kids.
In the book, Lily said that the condition may have started after her father, Phil Collins, divorced her stepmother. Their “terrible disconnect” as she got older also triggered her. Thus, the movie “To the Bone” was really a challenge for her, considering the roles she had to portray.
“I was anxious, but the anxiety was driving me forward because I wanted to do this movie for a greater purpose. It served a greater story than just my own, and I was excited by the idea of taking what’s considered a taboo subject and bringing it to more people,” Lily noted.
The film has been criticized for its “triggering content” due to the main topic its tackles. But the actress believes opening a conversation about taboo subjects could lead to positive changes. She said such discussions should be more accessible to young people to avoid the stigma.
“I was very passionate about telling the story to more people, and the anxiety was what drove me every day to continue to fight to tell the story.”
When asked whether she would change her appearance for a role, Lily responded, “it’s all situational.” She shared that she started to live by the mentality of “never say never.” For instance, she never wanted to dye her hair when she was young, but she did it for her role in “Okja.”
"To the Bone" director says it was Lily Collins' choice to lose weight for the movie.
In an interview with PEOPLE, Marti Noxon shared that Lily made the decision to shed pounds for her anorexic character. The director explained that they never asked the actress to lose a certain amount of weight and they made sure that everything would work well for her.
“We only had about four weeks between her signing on and starting filming because of her schedule. And it was really more of a conversation about what’s going to make you feel, as an actor, prepared for the role, but also how do we keep you safe and not at a dangerous weight that’s going to be triggering for you,” Marti said.
Meanwhile, Lily told Access Hollywood that she wanted to feel like she was paying homage to the 16-year-old girl that she was before. She also made it clear that there was never a weight goal, as well as there was never a number.
The filmmakers made her look anorexic and skinnier by using special effects, wardrobe, makeup, and prosthetics. But although the actress chose to lose weight for her role in the movie safely, Project HEAL criticized her decision to lose weight, considering her history.
The non-profit organization focuses on equitable treatment access for eating disorders. They wrote in a statement: “We in no way intend to endorse the idea that people with anorexia nervosa can lose weight safely.” They added, “the weight loss aspect is not something that Project HEAL supports.”
Despite the criticisms, Lily said that everyone working on “To the Bone” made her feel she was in good hands and made her fears disappear. She added that she was surrounded by many people who would be accountable for how she was doing it and had check-ups.
However, the actress admitted that she had difficulty putting on the weight she lost due to her past experiences. She explained that she should find a way to gain weight again in a healthier way since it’s not good to go from nothing to a lot as the body doesn’t know how to handle it.
Did Lily Collins lose weight for the second season of "Emily in Paris"?
Lily stars in Netflix’s “Emily in Paris,” with the second season dropping back in December 2021. She plays the character of Emily Cooper, a marketing executive hired to provide an American perspective at a marketing firm in Paris.
The comedy drama garnered much attention from viewers following the premiere of season 1. The actress was praised for portraying her characters, who usually wear fashionable outfits. But with the release of the latest installment, many noticed something about the Emily Cooper star.
Viewers noticed that Lily had lost significant weight, as her appearance looked quite different from her looks in the first season. Some took to social media and expressed their concerns that the actress might be going through something.
“Did Lily Collins lose more weight in Season 2? Hope she’s doing well,” one user posted on Twitter, while another one wrote, “Lily Collins’ weight, or lack thereof, is very distracting this season. I hope she’s getting the help she needs.”
Apart from the weight loss rumors, others speculated that Lily underwent plastic surgery, specifically a boob job. Yet, the actress seems not to be bothered by these hearsays, and she chose not to comment regarding these matters.