How Lily Collins Refused to Just Be the Daughter of Rich Parents, and Decided to Make a Name and Career for Herself
Is it good or bad to be a child of rich and famous parents? The question is more than a rhetorical one, as there are as many opinions as there are different people. Many talk about the great opportunities available to celebrities’ children: they have connections, money, and a big name at their disposal. However, sometimes this only hinders the ambitious children of celebrities in their pursuit of fulfilment. A prime example of this is musician Phil Collins’ daughter, Lily.
Daughter of a famous musician
The fact that her father is an icon in the music world was not immediately apparent to Lily. She was born in the family of Genesis frontman Phil Collins and his second wife, Jill Tavelman. Her childhood was no different from most of her peers’ until one fateful trip to Disneyland. She was walking with her dad to the next attraction when a stranger came up to him and asked for a photo together. This confused the girl. She didn’t understand why anyone would want this.
However, from then on, the musician’s daughter started experiencing such situations more and more often, and eventually accepted it as a fact: her dad is a star. From a young age, she saw both sides of the life of a celebrity. Her father was almost never home, as he was constantly touring, and the girl tried everything to get his attention.
Lily often accompanied her famous father on the red carpet, though she missed getting attention from him in real life. As the musician’s ex-wife recalled, their daughter longed to at least talk to her father on the phone, but instead, he would only send her a fax, apparently trying to save his voice ahead of the next performance.
Growing up, Phil Collins’ daughter increasingly wanted to step out of her famous father’s shadow. And she knew very early on that she wanted to be an actress.
Stepped out of her father’s shadow
Lily didn’t want her father’s name to become a VIP pass for her in the film industry, so she went to auditions with everyone else and waited for her time. At one point, she even thought of changing her name, so people wouldn’t see her as Phil Collins’ child. But she never went through with it.
“I’m so incredibly proud of what my surname represents, for what my dad’s done. And I’m an incredibly proud daughter, but I am going on my own path, my own journey. I didn’t want to change my last name,” the actress shared in an interview. There was no escaping it, though: at first, Lily kept getting introduced at events as the Genesis frontman’s daughter. But this only added to her determination to achieve her own success.
Collins finally landed a prominent role in 2009 in the film The Blind Side. Lily finally got her chance to show the world her skills. In a surprising stroke of luck, one of young actress’ co-stars in her film debut turned out to be Sandra Bullock herself. Critics loved the movie. It became the highest-grossing sports drama of all time. And for Lily, among other things, it meant the beginning of her career.
Made a name for herself
The following years were fruitful for the actress. She was offered roles in dramas and comedies, fairy tales and thrillers. Each year she added several projects to her filmography, and her name would increasingly appear in the press without the prefix “daughter of Phil Collins.” In addition, critics saw the star’s professional growth, which was entirely her own work.
If in 2014, following the release of Love, Rosie, magazines described her as “perfectly charming”, by 2017 Lily was recognized as a serious actress, capable of taking on truly complex and profound characters.
A real breakthrough for Collins was the Netflix series Emily in Paris, which made Lily one of the most popular actresses of our time. But despite the enormous success, she says she hardly ever discusses it with her father: “He says obviously that, you know, he’s proud, but we don’t really talk about that side of things. I share my work, but I think I’ve witnessed and learned and grew from what I saw as a kid and continue to still see and we kind of keep it separate.”
The famous father and now equally famous daughter are dealing with their fame in different ways. The actress says, unlike Phil, she still struggles with her fame. For her, it’s just a side effect of the work she loves with all her soul.
However, there is one thing that definitely sets the daughter apart from her father: priorities. Unlike Phil, who spent so little time with his family and worked so much, Lily feels balance is important. She recently got married to director Charlie McDowell and knows exactly what she wants in life: “Being a mom. When that happens. Having a family. And just being able to continue being a part of the creation of stories in front of and behind the camera.”
Do you think there are more pros or cons to being born into a famous family?