We really have to talk about this.
Lily Collins’ latest film, ‘To the Bone’, was among a number of films to premiere and compete at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. However, this movie has a tough, dark-comedic approach to battling Anorexia Nervosa (or simply Anorexia).
‘To the Bone’ revolves around a young artist with divorced parents—played by Collins—as she undergoes a very emotional time within her life. During her fifth and final in-patient stint, she works with a doctor—played by Keanu Reeves—who aids in getting her back to a healthy place.
The film, written and directed by Marti Noxon, is based off of her real-life experience with battling an eating disorder.
While promoting ‘To the Bone’ at Sundance, Lily Collins had revealed that—like her character Ellen—she too had struggled with an eating disorder during her teen years. Collins believes that since she previously suffered from an eating disorder, it had allowed her to understand and connect more with her character.
On Instagram, Collins also shared more on her experience of taking on the role.
Collins is among a small list of celebrities to have spoken out about previously having an eating disorder, including Demi Lovato and Zoe Kravtiz. Yet, this issue still isn’t properly recognized or addressed within mainstream cinema (and society in general).
A film like ‘To the Bone’ is rare because the entertainment industry hasn’t truly tackled eating disorders in movies. Although a few shows have tried to discuss the issue (e.g. ‘Degrassi’), eating disorder films don’t see the light of day. This lack of recognition is because people don’t necessarily like to talk about eating disorders, even though roughly 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from them. However, having Lily Collins in the leading role may help to catapult this film into a more mainstream setting.
As a way to take part in tackling this common issue within the public eye, the film’s cast contributed facts in a PSA that discussed the ‘Nine Truths about Eating Disorders.’ This PSA was featured at a World Eating Disorder Action Day event in May 2016.
‘To the Bone’ may have a dark comedic approach in delivering its message, but the filmmakers have confirmed that the film will thoroughly cover important aspects of Anorexia.
“I’m so proud to have been part of such a powerful and inspiring film that I believe has the potential to make a difference and promote open conversation about a topic so often considered too taboo to discuss. The entire shooting experience and collaboration between cast and crew changed my life and opened my eyes in a way I never expected.” - Lily Collins