After a week of having her name in the news for all the wrong reason, Rebecca star Lily James is going on something of an anti-press tour, cancelling all the upcoming interviews she’d had to discuss her starring role in Netflix’s new Hitchcock remake. Well, she cancelled her upcoming appearances on Today and The Graham Norton Show anyway, two big-time talk shows that A-list stars aren’t typically blowing off last-minute. After photos of James and married co-star Dominic West packing on some serious PDA in Rome made the rounds — and West and wife Catherine Fitzgerald gave a public statement affirming their marriage was solid — we imagine James has been trying desperately to stay below the radar. And her cryptic comment about how things “appear to be” in what may be her last video interview for a while is doing little to stop fans from speculating about her and West’s alleged tryst.
Chatting with Grazia UK alongside Rebecca co-star Armie Hammer, James veered into some interesting territory when talking about the distance between how actors are represented on screen and by the media and how they are in real life.
“We were talking about how in this film, it’s a bit like social media, we think Rebecca is this one thing — like you’re saying it’s very deceptive — and you scratch the surface and you realize it’s completely different,” she shared. “I think that’s our lives, that’s how we display ourselves on social media, that’s the characters we play versus who we really are, how we present ourselves versus the truth. It’s a complete minefield and very rarely what things appear to be.”
Of course, actors aren’t just dealing with social media vs. reality but the extra layer of how the press will interpret their persona and their lives — for example, when looking at the photos that certainly make it seem like James and West are having an affair. The actors have to deal with that fallout regardless of circumstances surrounding that weekend, the circumstances within West’s marriage, and the nature of their relationship (all things, it bears mention, about which we know nothing).
James seems to have simply been touching on a common frustration for actors (and really, anyone with social media in 2020). But James’ grappling with how she wants to be seen and cancelling media appearances until she can decide how to present herself in wake of these new rumors is a telling example of how this dilemma plays out.