Lily James Covers October ELLE

'I think you're at your sexiest when you're at your most free and uninhibited and bold. Power is sexy.'

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British actress Lily James is ELLE's October cover star. In an exclusive interview Lily talks candidly about tackling more challenging roles next, what makes her sexy, and partying with boyfriend Matt Smith.

For the cover shoot with Lily, ELLE gained exclusive access to Burberry's highly anticipated see-now-buy-now collection, that showcased on the catwalk in London last night.

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'Maybe I should be a b***h now…' Lily told us on her plans to take tougher roles next. 'I'm so much more than those roles. I can be challenging too and not always sunny in the way people might expect. I'm not afraid to insult people, not purposefully, but to have strength of conviction and trust myself'. 

Talking about her boyfriend, and fellow actor, Matt Smith, Lily added, 'I love dancing but I don't do it very much now unless I'm drunk. Me and Matt have been known to dance on a table…' Later adding, 'I can be quite a solitary person and I need to be alone quite a lot. Or with Matt.'

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The 27-year-old actress who was recently revealed as the new face of the Burberry Black fragrance said of the campaign, 'The pictures are very sensual and seductive, and people are a bit shocked to think I would do that, based on the period roles I've played. It just felt natural. And it's nice to explore different sides of yourself. I just felt really confident and sexy. I think you're at your sexiest when you're at your most free and uninhibited and bold. Power is sexy. So is being open and innocent and vulnerable. But trying too hard is not sexy. Or thinking about it too much. I've got drawers of sexy underwear which I probably never wear because I'm much sexier when I'm not trying.'

She believes there are still many battles in her industry's fight for gender equality. 'The brilliant thing is that it is now being addressed so openly. Emma Watson, Jennifer Lawrence, Lena Dunham are all so inspiring and I feel totally swept up in the movement, even though I haven't had a pay gap experience in the same way as them due to doing different type of work. But we all need to join together from the smallest jobs to big blockbuster movies.'

Read Lily's interview in full, with the accompanying shoot, in October ELLE – on newsstands from today.