British model, author, film director, actress and entrepreneur, Lily Cole began her career as a model in 2003 while she was still a teenager. She has worked with several prominent photographers, walked the ramp for various fashion house/designers at fashion shows, graced the cover of many magazines and worked in the advertising campaign of numerous brands. In 2004, she was named Model of the Year at the ‘British Fashion Awards’ and in 2009 was in ‘Vogue Paris’ list of top 30 models of the 2000s.
As an actress, she made her debut in 2007 with Oliver Parker and Barnaby Thompson directed comedy film ‘St Trinian's’. The movie, in which she played the role of Polly, received mixed reviews from critics. In 2009, she was seen in the role of a supermodel Lettuce Leaf in Sally Potter's satirical mystery art film ‘Rage’. The same year, Terry Gilliam's fantasy adventure film ‘The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus’ was released wherein she played the role of Valentina. This was Lily Cole’s first leading role. That year, she acted in Shekhar Kapur’s short film ‘Passage’ too.
In 2011, she played the role of Aline in the war drama 'There Be Dragons' and Ernessa Bloch in the fantasy horror movie 'The Moth Diaries', both of which received negative reviews from critics. The same year, she acted in an episode of BBC’s sci-fi television series ‘Doctor Who’ as well. Following this, she acted in several other films like the historical drama 'Confession of a Child of the Century' (2012, role: Elsie), the fantasy film 'Snow White and the Huntsman' (2012, role: Greta), the sci-fi drama 'The Zero Theorem' (2013, role: Woman in street commercial), the supernatural mystery thriller 'The Messenger' (2015, role: Emma), the fantasy action-drama 'Orion' (2015, role: The Virgin) and the comedy horror 'Gravy' (2015, role: Mimi).
In 2016, Lily Cole appeared as herself in Mandie Fletcher's comedy film ‘Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie’ and the next year played the title role in Channel 5’s 3-part TV Mini Series ‘Elizabeth I’. She then acted in the epic space opera film ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ (2017, role: Lovey), the mystery crime thriller 'London Fields' (2018, role: Trish Shirt) and the biographical drama film 'Hilma' (2022, role: Mathilda). She also became part of short films like ‘Red Shoes’ (2013) ‘Princess Taxi Girl, Part 2’ (2016) and ‘Utopia’ (2018). On television, she acted in an episode each of television series ‘Upstart Crow’ (2018, role: Ephie) and ‘The Split’ (2022, role: Bella).
Apart from these, Lily Cole appeared as herself in the documentary ‘Klimt & Schiele: Eros and Psyche’ (2018), presented an episode of the TV series documentary ‘Icon’s (2019) and narrated a couple of documentaries – ‘The Atom: A Love Affair’ (2019) and ‘Night Burns Like Cigarettes’ (2022). In addition, she co-wrote and presented the TV series documentary ‘Lily Cole's Art Matters’ (2013). Her other work as a co-writer is the 2018 short fiction film ‘Balls’ which she also directed. She has additionally directed the documentary shorts 'Lights in Dark Places' and 'Full Circles' (both 2017) as well as a short film titled ‘Marblehill’ (2018).