Maureen Hoff
January 19, 2016 8:00 pm
Picture shows: Natasha (LILY JAMES) **Strictly embargoed for publication** EMBARGOED UNTIL WEDNESDAY 12TH AUGUST - WAR AND PEACE EXCLUSIVE IMAGE - LILY JAME

Lily James, queen of fierce eyebrows and period pieces, has spent the majority of her career in ball gowns. This year alone, James has Pride and Prejudice and Zombies coming out (which looks absurd and amazing), along with a miniseries adaptation of War & Peace. She’s also a regular on Downton Abbey as Rose. It appears as though casting directors love Lily James in period pieces. But it was this year that one of Lily’s roles became a little more rough than expected, leaving her with scars. And surprisingly enough, it was not her zombie fighting flick that inflicted the wounds.

In the miniseries recreation of Tolstoy’s classic novel War & Peace, James plays Natasha Rostov, a young, vivacious girl. But in the story, Natasha falls ill, and in the olden days, medical treatment was very different.

“[…]a way of curing yourself then was to have leeches and they would suck out the impurity of your blood. The fake leeches looked [too] fake, so I had real leeches on my arm sucking my blood … I thought it would make me feel really sick and like I was dying and help with the acting, but really it just made me giggle,” James told People Magazine.

Okay, I’m all for honesty in art, but this seems a little kookoo. If placing blood-sucking leeches on my skin stood between me and my dream career, I might have to pass on the leeches. But total props to Lily for being so cool about the experience! I don’t know how we’ll watch the scene without being distracted by the real leeches on Lily’s arms!

(Image via BBC)

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