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Classic twist

Actress Lilly James packs a punch as Liz Bennet, a zombie slayer, in the latest version of Austena��s novel

PERIOD-drama Downtown Abbey actress, Lily James, will star in another period action-drama, but this time, ita��s the movie Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a spin-off based on Jane Austena��s novel Pride and Prejudice. The English actor plays Elizabeth Bennet who is a zombie slayer in the film. But why another foray into the same genre and what next? We find out.

Were you a fan of the source material before you got the role?
I hadna��t heard of it. I read the script and within the first opening sequence, when Darcy sort of gallops up on a horse and gets stripped down, I thought, a�?Yeah, this is cool.a�? Then I read the book and thought it was brilliant. It shouldna��t work, but it does.

You were in training and learned to run for Fast Girls, too. Was this more intense?
No, I dona��t think anything will ever be as intense as that because for this we can hide all manner of sins in a period dress, but in Fast Girls I was in pants so we had to be toned. For this, ita��s been more about a mental fighter attitude too.

Have you sustained any injuries so far?
Nope, but Ia��ve definitely injured others, like Sam (Riley). We had the proposal scene where I had to suddenly start beating him vigorously. I just got really swept away in the moment, and though theya��re plastic swords, they hurt if you jab them at someone.

What about weapons?
The blade. I have daggers hidden everywhere. Liz Bennet is a dagger/sword ninja so I always fight with two. But she has a dagger on her at all times.

Youa��ve got the repartee of Jane Austen and then you make it physical. Was it difficult?
When wea��re doing the scenes without any fighting, I treat it ordinarily. Where therea��s dialogue and fighting, ita��s been a bit of a battle. Sometimes I want to say lines in a relaxed way, but Ia��m saying them in a strained voice because Ia��m kind of punching Jane in the face.

You seem to do a lot of period roles.
I was always drawn to that as sort of a style and some of the actresses I loved growing up like Kate Winslet, I remember her in Titanic, was definitely something I wanted to do. Now having done it so much, Ia��d like to do something with style that slightly confines your choices and your emotions and the freedom to just let everything out.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies releases today.
a�� Team Indulge


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