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“You shouldn’t have to censor yourself”: Lily James on the nude photo hack

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Harriet Hall
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Lily James has become a familiar face to period drama fans, having started out as mischievous Lady Rose on Downton Abbey and, most recently, won over viewers hearts as Natasha Rostova in War and Peace.

But, despite the 26-year-old having seemingly made it to the big time, she’s revealed in an interview with Town & Country magazine - in which she poses nude - that with this level of fame comes a level of anxiety- for one’s privacy.

James’ boyfriend, former Doctor Who star, Matt Smith, was the victim of the 2014 Hollywood nude photo hack, alongside girlfriend of the time, Daisy Lowe.

James describes the hack as “terrifying and so unfair.”

Lily James in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Lily James in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

“It makes you conscious of not doing…You shouldn’t have to censor yourself in that way,” she says.

“I’ve begun to think like this, and it’s really sad.”

James, who studied at London’s prestigious Guildhall, says that shooting into stardom made her develop a level of self-protectiveness, saying,

“I realised early on, especially because I’m young, that people will take advantage.

“I’m very open, and I stupidly thought that people would be open and fair with me, but they’re not,” she says.

“I sort of found out the hard way.”

Lily James with War & Peace co-stars, Paul Dano and James Norton

Lily James with War & Peace co-stars, Paul Dano and James Norton

James is currently promoting her latest role in remixed Austen: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which hits cinemas next month, but she tells the publication that it’s likely to be her last period drama for some time:

“I sort of don’t want to do any more classic heroines for a while.”

Speaking to 5 News, James explains her new role in thriller, Baby Driver, saying:

“I’m playing an American waitress…so I’m trying to mix it up a bit. I am ready for something different, for sure.”

However, when asked about the possibility of a Downton Abbey movie, James doesn’t deny the rumours, instead admitting she’d be thrilled if that were to happen, saying:

“I would definitely love to be part of it.

“We’ll see, hopefully, fingers crossed.”