Lily Chloe Ninette Thomson (born 27 December 1989), known as Lily James, is an English actress. She played Lady Rose Aldridge in the ITV period drama Downton Abbey and the title role in the 2015 Disney film Cinderella.
In 2011, James played Taylor in Vernon God Little at the Young Vic Theatre in Tanya Ronder's stage adaptation of the novel Vernon God Little directed by Rufus Norris, Nina in a modern adaptation of The Seagull at Southwark Playhouse, and Desdemona in Daniel Evans production of Othello at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, alongside Dominic West and Clarke Peters. Quentin Letts wrote in The Daily Mail: "We may have a new star actress on our hands.... She left drama school only last year, yet she practically sweeps all before her as Desdemona in this Othello. Poise, diction, allure – she has them all. ... Her character’s love affair with a much older husband is completely believable".
In 2012, James played the role of Katrina in Play House and Marijka in Definitely the Bahamas in a double bill written and directed by Martin Crimp at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, London as part of the theatre's fortieth anniversary. Charles Spencer of The Telegraph wrote that "it is performed with a persuasive mixture of mischief and deeper feeling by Obi Abili and Lily James, the latter combining a mixture of neuroticism and glowing sexual allure that proves extraordinarily potent."
Also in 2012, James played the role of Korrina in Warner Brothers' Wrath of the Titans and starred in Fast Girls, written by Noel Clarke, centered around a group of young female athletes competing in the World Championships. Her television credits include Ethel Brown in the 2010 BBC production of Richmal Crompton's Just William, Poppy in the fourth season of ITV's Secret Diary of a Call Girl (2011), and the rebellious Lady Rose in the last episode of series three, later becoming a main character in the fourth and fifth seasons of the popular British series Downton Abbey. James played the title character in the 2015 live-action Disney film version of Cinderella.
The film was released on 13 March 2015. James, as Cinderella, was photographed by Annie Leibovitz, in the blue gown that she wears to the ball, for the December 2014 issue of Vogue.