Lily Collins faces quite the tall order with director Tarsem Singh's "Mirror Mirror" -- namely, putting a nonanimated face and an updated spin on perhaps the most classic of fairy tales, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves." But it's a challenge she's been happy to tackle. Even with a competing Snow White film grabbing for headlines, Collins (aka singer Phil's daughter) is working hard to keep her focus where she wants it.
Did you ever think, in playing a fairy tale princess, that you'd get to do an action movie training montage?
No! I mean, it was written in the script that she meets the dwarves and there would be sword fighting, but the script changed so much during filming that this montage, when it was added, I thought, "This is going to be so much fun to shoot." It took a long time to shoot, but when it's all cut together with the music, it's just so fun. And I never thought that I'd be sword-fighting and fencing and learning all these cool stunts.
It is an interesting update. Fairy tales traditionally aren't great for the females -- lots of sitting around and pining, waiting to be rescued.
And that's what we did not want. We didn't want to take the animation and just make it live-action. We wanted to take it and have a reason to redo it. In today's day and age, girls are very empowered to do the same things that guys do. And young girls want to see movies that show people that they admire are not needing the prince as much as they used to.
How was it playing opposite Armie Hammer with these new takes on Snow White and Prince Charming?
It was fun because we both agreed from the get-go it's a very Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy back-and-forth -- not just the physicality of the sword-fighting but the physicality of the language, because it is so back and forth, and we're both trying to one-up each other in conversations. It was very playful.
There's that other Snow White movie coming out in June. How much were you aware of the competing project?
I think it was known before we even started that there were these two projects. Aesthetically and with the storyline, they're so different. I think more of the struggle was just this whole, like, who's coming out first kind of a thing and making sure there's enough time in between so that everyone's not overloaded with the fairy tale. But that never really trickled down to us on set.