Lily Cole on Marilyn Manson's ‘Phantasmagoria'


Lily Cole isn't a household name in America, but in her native England she's achieved big success as a model (The Sunday Times ranked her the 77th richest young person in Britain). And she's begun turning that success into an acting career. I caught up the redheaded stunner this week in Beverly Hills at the press junket for Terry Gilliam's new The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, in which she plays Valentina, the long-suffering daughter of Christopher Plummer's titular Doctor, opposite Heath Ledger in his final screen performance. She's next set to star in something considerably darker – Marilyn Manson's feature film directorial debut, Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll. Read what she told us about the film after the jump.

"Phantasmagoria still has no production date," says Cole. "I'll begin with that. It's a film about Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell from Alice in Wonderland, the girl that Lewis Carroll wrote the book for. The premise of it therefore is non-fiction, but it gets very surreal and fictionalized. I'm due, if it ever happens, to play Alice, and Manson is going to play Lewis Carroll. It explores that relationship."

As for whether or not it's fate will be determined by the success of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, Cole remarked, "I have no idea how that works. It seems to me that sometimes if a certain movie's theme is successful it helps other movies get made. For example the Twilight and vampire explosion. But I don't really know how that works."

I asked Cole to describe how Manson's brand of fantasy differs from Gilliam's, and she replied, "I think Manson's a lot darker in his vision. He's setting out to make what he calls "a psychological horror film." Whereas Terry's is much more family friendly. I guess that's the key distinction."