Have courage and be kind. So goes the mantra in Kenneth Branagh’s lovely live-action adaptation of the Disney animated classic, Cinderella. As the title character, Lily James embodies that ethos. While always taking the material before her seriously as a performer, James never lets Cinderella herself become too self-serious. Instead, her Cinderella is humble, cheery, ever graceful and devoted to her belief in kindness, a perfectly poised Disney princess for a new generation. Cinderella also stars Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden, Helena Bonham Carter, Stellan Skarsgard, Nonso Anozie, Sophie McShera, Holliday Grainger and Hayley Atwell.
At a recent Los Angeles press day, I sat down with Lily James for an exclusive video interview. We talked about stepping into the shoes, or rather, glass slippers, of a Disney princess, if she’s ready for children to think she really is the beloved character, the technical challenges of filming the grand ball scene, and reuniting with Branagh and Madden next year for a West End stage production of Romeo and Juliet.