Lily Collins appeared in a film at Sundance Film Festival this year that hit pretty close to home for the star. The film, To the Bone, is about a young woman dealing with anorexia and the unconventional doctor who helps her truly face her condition. In an interview with Vanity Fair, the actress talks about why she chose to revisit her own struggles with eating disorders for the film.
Collins attributed a big part of her decision to take on the role to the writer/director of the film, Marti Noxon. “She’s such a badass. She’s such an empowering woman. She’s the writer and director of this project and it is loosely based on her experiences.”
The two women were able to work together throughout the project and the end result was a combination of both of their experiences with eating disorders.
Though the topic originally made Collins a bit nervous, she admitted to being in awe after reading the script, which she received a week after writing the chapter in her book about eating disorders. To Collins, this was the 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.” The actress knew that contributing her own experiences could add a lot to the conversation about eating disorders.
She goes on to say, “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.” The actress knows that many people feel uncomfortable discussing eating disorders, and she hopes to contribute in changing that attitude. By just making the topic more common, so many men and women can benefit.
Collins expressed her concern before the announcement of the movie by saying, “All people kept seeing were these pictures of me progressively losing weight and sometimes they were quite scary photos. All I wanted to do was be able to reach out to the young girls who follow me on social media and say A) It’s for a role, B) It’s being done in the most healthy way possible, and C) This is something that is a real issue…It wasn’t for fashion’s sake [or] vanity’s sake.” Her main goal throughout was to promote a positive body image for women and men, and she is now committed to spreading that message.
It is unimaginably hard to immerse oneself in the struggles of one’s past. Lily Collins is a major badass for doing just that for the sake of all the young people who struggle to find a voice.
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