If you are yet to watch the trailer for Lily Collins' up-coming Netflix original film, To The Bone, stop everything you're doing right this second and dedicate the next two minutes to watching a snippet of the 27-year-old actress' spell-binding performance. In To The Bone sees the British born star play Ellen, a 20-year-old artist whose family sends her to an nontraditional recovery program in a group home for young people.
However, Collins' on-screen experiences aren't too far off her own struggles with weight issues. The acting job forced the star to lose a significant amount of weight, under medical supervision, in order to give the appearance of a recovering anorexic - a task which Lily admits was incredibly challenging to fulfil.
'When I got the script, it wasn't something that I was talking about yet. It was this fear being placed right in front of me, and doing the film meant that I would have to face it head-on,' she said.
'At first it was definitely a scary process. It was something that I thought is risky, because there's a fine line between facing something head-on and succeeding, or falling back into it. But I knew that, this time, I would be held accountable for it. I would be [losing weight] under the supervision of a nutritionist and surrounded by all these amazing women on set. So, I knew that I would be in a safe environment to explore this,' she told Refinery 29.
However, according to writer and director Marti Noxon, who has also struggled with anorexia in the past, it took several years to find producers willing to commission To The Bone. The reason? She believes the majority of male Hollywood heavyweights failed to understand the film's premise.
'It seemed like male producers didn't understand,' she told IndieWire.
'I was told a number of times that it was just too small a topic. I was like, "What? Really?" Half the movies that get made are about some really talented white guy who understands jazz, you know? So many of the indie movies that get made are not about topics that touch millions and millions of people,' she added.
According to Anorexia and Bullimia Care, there are over 1.6 million people in the UK estimated to be directly affected by eating disorders, with reports estimating as many as 25 per cent of Britons struggling with eating disorders may be male.
It's about time society realises that anorexia is not a female-specific eating disorder, as is often misunderstood, but a psychological problem that has no bias towards gender, age or class.
Everyone, and we mean, everyone can be affected by the disease, and the more we raise awareness, create an open space of discussion about mental healthy and highlight the support networks available to sufferers, the closer we will be to tackling the issue.
The film debuts on Netflix on 14 July.