WHO: Lily Sheen
WHAT: Being a “daughter of” in Hollywood comes with its own set of pressures, but Lily Sheen is determined to forge her own path without the help of her name. In fact, when she landed her first major role in the dark comedy The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, the producers had no idea she was the offspring of Kate Beckinsale and Michael Sheen. Her talent stands on its own. In the film, which premiered at this year’s South by Southwest festival, Sheen provides the heart as Nicolas Cage’s charming daughter in a story that is an all-out fun meta adventure. It’s a breakout performance not to be missed.
Working on The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent was… An incredible challenge. It was my first real acting job, and I was surrounded by so many talented and creative people with so much knowledge of the field and craft. It was a really fantastic opportunity to learn from some of my heroes. The actors are all so professional and still so funny and kind and talented. I couldn’t really believe how lucky I was. We shot my portions during an unexpected lockdown in Hungary, and the entire cast and crew’s ability to roll with the punches and adapt under such extreme circumstances was really inspiring. And to have been able to get such a fun, hilarious movie out of it is just proof of their massive talent (he-he)!
What I can tell you about my character, Addy, is that… She completely knows herself. She’s a typical 16-year-old girl in the ways that count for her, but she has this maturity and understanding of her identity that was born from feeling unseen by her parents, specifically her dad. I think everyone can relate to that feeling of having to mold oneself to fit a parent’s vision of their “perfect child” and the frustration of feeling completely unappreciated for our own uniqueness. The journey she goes on with her dad is really special. It felt cathartic to play someone so adamant about their own identity.
In the spirit of the film, one of my favorite Nicolas Cage characters is… I’m all about the bees!! The Wicker Man is fantastic and criminally underrated. Nicolas Cage is the master of teetering on the line of restrained madness and unbridled insanity, and this movie is such a great vehicle for that. Of course, I’d be remiss not to mention movie of the year, Pig! Rob is so complex and in control with this undercurrent of power and comforting wisdom. He’s unknowable in a way that I’ve never seen a character be on-screen. It’s such a testament to Nicolas Cage’s skill.
The stories or projects that make me feel excited to work in this industry are… Weird-girl stories! I love when women and girls are allowed to be completely strange and off-putting. It’s so freeing to watch as a former (and current) weirdo. Ghost World is a perfect example of that—stories about girls finding their own paths and identities and cultivating their own strange little world amidst so much commercial conformity. I feel so lucky to be coming into myself during a period of time where so many different interests and micro-identities are being celebrated. I can’t wait to be able to show those on-screen and inspire uniqueness in other young girls.
Outside of acting, some of my other passions include… Watching, reading, or listening to horror stories. I am obsessed. I got a Shudder account and have been absolutely beside myself, but the Criterion Collection app also has an excellent selection of really creepy, foundational horror movies with very little gore or jump scares if that stuff isn’t your vibe! I love to read (all genres) and paint, too. Though, my painting skills are still being honed. There’s something very therapeutic about working through a feeling or dream by painting it out, and if you do it regularly, you get a visual journal of all your neuroses.
If you catch me off duty, chances are I’m wearing… In an ideal world in which I get myself together, I love a baby tee. They’re so easy to layer and dress up and down and give you room to go wild with the trousers and jewelry. A classic look would be a pair of blue jeans and a fun baby tee. I have a great pair of vintage jeans with Mickey Mouse on them to pair with silly graphic shirts. My honest answer would be a comfort pant. I’ve gotten sucked into the matching-sweat-sets revival, and I love to pair them with some enormous sneakers. It’s very comfortable, but you can still pass as someone who does laundry regularly.
When it comes to fashion, I’m a total sucker for… Vintage for sure! New York is such a haven for vintage shopping, and every time you ask a stylish girl where she got something, it’s maddeningly vintage. The smaller boutiques are so well curated, and you can find a once-in-a-lifetime piece without even trying. I coveted this Mugler shag jacket for two weeks, and the day I finally snapped and went to buy it, it was gone. The early bird…
My spring wardrobe would not be complete without these three pieces: