While some actors might balk at the thought of revisiting a traumatic chapter of their lives for a film project, Lily Collins boldly chose do so by making To the Bone, a dark comedy about anorexia that she and writer/director Marti Noxon debuted at the Sundance Film Festival this week.
Speaking at Vanity Fair’s video suite, Collins told Executive West Coast Editor Krista Smith why she decided to star in the film—which is loosely based on Noxon’s own experience battling an eating disorder—even though it meant that she would have to lose a significant amount of weight for the role.
“When I wrote my book [Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me] last year, I wrote a chapter on eating disorders a week before I got this script,” Collins said. “It really felt like the the was universe saying, ‘This is either something you need to address yourself, or something you need to bring to new people. It’s a conversation that you need to help start among young people—males and females—because it is becoming more and more prevalent for both now.”
Although she immediately connected with the script, Collins admitted that it did give her some pause.
“I retracted because I thought, I am 10 years [past my eating disorder],” Collins said. “Why would I want to put myself back in that situation? . . .And I read the script, and right away I was just in awe. Because it is not just a story about anorexia. It is so much more. And I felt like my journey and my experiences could benefit [an audience]. And I knew that with Marti involved, this could help me face a fear again.”
Additionally, Collins hoped that the film would help audiences who do not hear often about eating disorders—especially from the stick-thin Hollywood community.
“It is just such a taboo topic that I think people avoid because people feel uncomfortable talking about it,” Collins said. “But the second that they do, anyone who knows someone or is going through it themselves feels less alone. And it’s really a beautiful result to have the film give.”
Published on January 25, 2017