Cinderella London Premiere

The cheerful and svelte Lily James stole the show in Leicester Square this evening as the stars gathered for Cinderella London Premiere for the screening of Disney’s retelling of the Cinderella fairytale. 

James, who plays the lead role in the new film, hit the blue carpet in an elegant split gown, while Fairy Godmother Helena Bonham Carter also looked her usual glamorous in a teal gown with a black flower pattern.

Bonham Carter, James and Branagh walked a blue carpet at the Odeon Leicester Square for the London premiere, along with Downton Abbey’s Sophie McShera and The Borgias’ Holliday Grainger, who co-star as the wicked stepsisters, Game Of Thrones hunk Richard Madden, who plays the Prince and Sir Derek Jacobi who is the King.

Bonham Carter said: “I was really scared that it was going to be such a cliche and really boring. I said, ‘What there’s no take on it? No twist?’

“Because Cinderella is a story that’s been told a hundred times and everyone knows what’s going to happen.

“But having seen it I’m amazed and it does work, which is a testament to, one – the story is such a classic and was meant to be retold. And also he’s very clever Ken. It could have failed on so many levels and been really naff. But I think all the characters work because they’re not stereotypes.”

There has been some controversy regarding the size of James waist in the corseted dress Cinderella wears to the ball and the example it sets young girls. But I didn’t see any big deal with Lily’s waist. I see ten times thinner at fashion week and with many models I work with. So a case of ‘much ado about nothing’. 

But Bonham Carter said for her it was all about making your waist bigger when being fitted with a corset for a long day’s filming.

She said: “Lily does have a tiny waist. They didn’t make it tinier than it is, she just has.

“But if it’s a working corset then you make it work for you. A corset can be very comfy, as long as you don’t breathe in when they’re fitting it.

“Don’t be vain at six o’clock in the morning, be the opposite. Breathe out, and then you’ll be fine.”

James said: “We tried to make the lead character really strong. Somebody who’s got unbelievable kindness, unbelievable strength and that makes her able to deal with life on her own terms and find joy in bleak situations. So I think there’s a lot to take from it.”

Branagh agreed: “In this version, I think the message is very positive. She is empowered, good, thoughtful, strong. She asks questions about why her stepfamily are so cruel. She decides to stay in that house for a reason. She doesn’t dismiss the idea of service, thinking it’s not a thing to be ashamed off. And she’s really mature in the face of this mistreatment. 

“She’s neither frail nor unsophisticated, and in Lily James’ performance she’s also funny and beautiful.”

Cinderella Synopsis

Synopsis: After her father unexpectedly dies, young Ella (Lily James) finds herself at the mercy of her cruel stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and stepsisters, who reduce her to scullery maid. Despite her circumstances, she refuses to despair. An invitation to a palace ball gives Ella hope that she might reunite with the dashing stranger (Richard Madden) she met in the woods, but her stepmother prevents her from going. Help arrives in the form of a kindly beggar woman who has a magic touch for ordinary things.

Cinderella, which also stars Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett as the wicked stepmother, opens in UK cinemas on March 27.

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Kenneth Branagh arrives at Cinderella London Premiere © Joe Alvarez

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