Lily James injured many of her co-stars while filming ferocious fight scenes for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
The 26-year-old portrays lead character Elizabeth Bennet in the forthcoming action-horror picture – based on writer Seth Grahame-Smith’s eponymous 2009 book, which is a monster-infused spinoff of author Jane Austen’s 19th century novel Pride and Prejudice.
There are several prolific fighting sequences in the forthcoming picture and although James got off scot-free, her castmate Sam Riley wasn’t that lucky.
“I haven’t gotten any injuries, but I’ve definitely injured other people,” she told Collider. “Like, poor Sam, we had the proposal scene where suddenly I start beating the s**t out of him and I just get really swept away in the moment, and even though they’re plastic swords they really hurt if you jab them at someone. And actually, to be fair though, I had bruises all up my arm after that.
“I was kicking him in the shin, and actually really near his face, so when we were rehearsing I was like, I just can’t give him a black eye, because we won’t be able to shoot!”
Shooting the scenes was such a physically exhausting process, James struggled to utter her lines while beating down co-stars.
“Sometimes I wanted to say lines very relaxed, but I’m saying them (in a strained voice) because I’m sort of punching Jane (played by Bella Heathcote) in the face,” she detailed. “But I think that’s the point of it. I think that all that sort of osmosis of dialogue and fighting is when it will be funniest and scariest, I hope.”
James became famous playing roles in historical projects like Downton Abbey, and although the star loves taking on parts set in the past, she is hoping to diversify her resume soon, noting: “I’d love to do different things now, but I was always drawn to that as sort of a style and some of the actresses I loved growing up like Kate Winslet, I sort of remember them in things like Titanic and all that kind of period stuff so that was definitely something I aspired to and I wanted to do myself, but now having done it so much I’d quite like to do something where there’s no style or – well yeah, style that sort of slightly confines your choices and your emotions and the freedom to just sort of let everything out.
“So I’m looking forward to doing something not period.”