Lily James was first seen playing the role of ‘Ethel Brown’ in the 2010 British television series ‘Just William.’ The following year, she starred as ‘Poppy’ in the British drama television series ‘Secret Diary of a Call Girl’ created by Lucy Prebble. In 2012, she made her big-screen debut in the action-fantasy film, ‘Wrath of the Titans’ directed by Jonathan Liebesman. The film received mostly negative reviews from critics and grossed over $302 million against a budget of $150 million. That same year, she also joined the cast of the British historical drama television series ‘Downton Abbey’ created by Julian Fellowes. She played the role of ‘Lady Rose Aldridge née MacClare’ and remained a part of the series until it went off-air in 2015. She portrayed ‘Cinderella’ in the 2015 romantic fantasy film ‘Cinderella’ directed by Kenneth Branagh. The film garnered positive reviews from critics and was a major financial success. She continued to star in films like ‘Burnt’ (2015), ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ (2016), ‘The Exception’ (2016), and ‘Baby Driver’ (2017).
In 2017, James was seen playing the role of ‘Elizabeth Layton’ in the war drama film ‘Darkest Hour’ directed by Joe Wright. The film opened to a positive reception and received 6 ‘Academy Award’ nominations. ‘Darkest Hour’ was also a major commercial success and grossed over $150.8 million on a budget of $30 million. The following year, she appeared in the American surrealist black comedy film ‘Sorry to Bother You.’ The film saw critical acclaim upon release and scored an approval rating of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. That same year, she was also seen in the historical romantic-drama film ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’ which also garnered positive reviews from critics. She next starred in films like ‘Little Woods’ (2018), ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’ (2018), ‘Yesterday’ (2019), ‘Rare Beasts’ (2019), and ‘Rebecca’ (2020).
James was last seen in the 2021 British drama film ‘The Dig’ where she portrayed ‘Peggy Piggott.’ The film earned praise from critics and received 5 ‘British Academy Film Awards’ nominations. She will be next seen in the upcoming British romantic comedy film ‘What's Love Got to Do With It?’ directed by Shekhar Kapur.