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Lily James Interview: The Cinderella Actress on Being the Face of Burberry Black

English actress Lily James’ first major television performance saw her take on the role of Lady Rose Aldridge in the historical period drama, Downton Abbey. Last year, she took to the big screen and stepped into Cinderella’s glass slippers for the highly anticipated Disney movie. Now, the English actress has been tapped as the face of Burberry’s My Burberry Black campaign, and joins the likes of models Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne as the latest ambassadress of the iconic British house. The 27-year-old beauty revealed to that following in the models’ footsteps was nothing short of “an honor” and revealed that she sought inspiration from Moss and Delevingne before filming. “They’re so real, fun, and gorgeous,” she declared.

As for fragrances—they have always held a major role in James’ life and career. “For every character I play, I wear a different scent because it helps me to step into the skin of another character,” she explained. James reached for My Burberry Eau de Toilette before hitting the stage as Juliet for the Romeo and Juliet production in London, and opted for a rose fragrance for her role in Downton Abbey.

The decision to front a perfume campaign was a natural one for James, who has always loved fragrances. “There are a lot of scents that remind me of my childhood—like lavender. My grandmother always used lavender sheets in her drawers to make clothes smell nice,” she reminisced.

The My Burberry Black campaign was shot by renowned photographer Mario Testino, and sees James forego the ladylike poise exhibited by the demure Natasha Rostova—a character played by the actress in the television drama, War & Peace. “We’re bringing a more sensual side,” James asserted.

The one-minute clip depicts the English actress walking under the rain to the soundtrack of the enchanting I Put A Spell On You, while shouldering the brand’s iconic black trench. Before slipping out of her coat, James engulfs herself in a cloud of fragrance—a philosophy she follows in her everyday life. “I spray my fragrance all around the room, on my chest, neck, on my wrists—everywhere ,” she stated, before describing her perfume ritual as “heavy and big.”

However, when it comes to her skincare regime, James prefers to keep it simple and noted that a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer are all she needs to make her skin feel “fresh and alive.” James is equally low-fuss when it comes to her everyday makeup routine, and listed Burberry’s Face Contour Pen, Cat Lashes Mascara, Effortless Eyebrow Definer, and First Kiss Lip Balm as her can’t-live-without beauty products.

Watch the new My Burberry Black fragrance campaign featuring Lily James below.

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