Lily James Learned Typewriter for Darkest Hour
Lily James was obsessed with using a typewriter in Darkest Hour. The 28-year-old actress stars as Elizabeth Layton in the critically acclaimed movie, where she exclusively told BANG Showbiz that she had both lessons and anxiety in using the machines.
On being asked how it was learning to use a typewriter, James says, “It’s a real skill, I’m glad you noticed. I actually did six weeks of lessons. I had this wonderful lady come around and she was very diligent. The keys are really hard and there’s a lot of pressure. You have to [pound away at it]. My fingers got really muscle-y and I’ve been pretty obsessive. I really thought, ‘if I get the typing right it will be fine. All my anxiety went into the typing.’”
Darkest Hour tells its story at the beginning of the Second World War, as within days of becoming prime minister Churchill faces one of his most turbulent and defining moments of the conflict: exploring a negotiated peace treaty with Nazi Germany, which could guarantee Britain’s independence and that of the Commonwealth.
As the Nazi forces roll across Western Europe and the threat of invasion of the UK grows, Churchill must defy his own political party and an initially skeptical King George VI to stand firm against the dangers facing his country and not buckle to the Nazis.
The film has received critical acclaim and Gary Oldman recently won a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his performance.
But despite the film opening to acclaim around the world, James admitted regardless of what happens with awards, she will always treasure the experience.
She says, “It’s a mad thing, the awards. It does [feel great] but you know what feels even better? Just having worked with” her co-stars Gary Oldman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Ben Mendelsohn and Stephen Dillane, as well as director Joe Wright.
“Regardless of what happens now, I had that experience and I will always have had that experience and I think I have grown and learned from it, I had such an amazing time acting and that’s what I love to do so that’s the real prize, as corny as that sounds.”