Sophia Lillis is the World's Sunniest New Yorker

Ahead of the Dior show, the young actress discussed Paris, the climate strike, and what she loves about fashion shows.
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Sophia Lillis just may be the next big thing. She’s only 17, but has been acting for years and had a breakout moment playing Beverly Marsh in 2017’s It, later reprising the role in the film’s sequel. Between that, playing a younger version of Amy Adams' Camille Preaker in Sharp Objects, and her critically acclaimed performance as the title character in Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase, the rising star has gotten widespread attention and racked up a lot of upcoming projects, including Gretel in Gretel and Hansel and the lead in Netflix’s upcoming original series, I Am Not Okay With This. It’s safe to say we’ll be seeing a lot of the actress next year as those projects debut and the world gets increasingly curious about the teen behind some of today’s most compelling performances.

In the meantime, with It: Chapter Two’s premiere a few weeks behind her and her next big projects still a bit in the distance, Lillis is just soaking in the moment with a sunny perspective--and what better place to do this than at Paris Fashion Week? Though she has attended shows before, the actress showed clear excitement about being in the fashion capital again for Dior Spring 2020, explaining she was most ready to enjoy her time through food and friendship.

“I love to just walk around and eat some good food,” Lillis said of her plans for her stay in Paris. “We know some people who live here and know the city well, so it’s great to be able to see them and eat at their new favorite places.”

Naturally, Lillis arrived at the show in a full Parisian look topped with a beret, creating an aesthetic that's classic but still fun enough to complement her bubbly personality and matter-of-fact sense of humor. She had a beauty look to match, emphasizing icons of decades past while celebrating her youth and modernity.

“Playing on Sophia's large eyes, we went with a '60s Mia Farrow style with Dolly lashes," makeup artist Emma Day said of her goal in creating the fashion week look for Lillis. 

Just ahead of the show, L’Officiel USA spoke with the up-and-comer to get her thoughts on the wonder of experiencing a fashion show, the ongoing climate strike, and her genuine love for the books behind her latest roles. Below, get to know one of film’s most exciting young talents through a fun and fashionable lens.


What are you most looking forward to this fashion week?

The clothes! I mean, it's great to be in Paris and be able to walk around the city. It's so beautiful. But I love the show--its really exciting to see the new designs.


What are you most excited to see at the show?

The whole thing. It's just such an experience and it's over in like 15 minutes. I'm also a big jacket and hat fan myself, so I always like to see what designers come up with on that front.

How would you describe your signature style?

Comfort above all and a hat whenever possible.


Can you tell us about your look for the show?

I would describe it as hip Parisian schoolgirl.  


What has been your favorite part about working on the It movies?

The friends I made on set. I feel like the seven of us were all sort of starting out when we made the first It movie. Now we each have our own careers but we can still all get together and feel like we're part of the same club.


You have been acting since you were a young child, but your career has really taken off over the past couple of years with your work on It and Sharp Objects. What has that experience been like?

Hectic but great. It's been tricky to juggle acting and school but I'm in my last year of high school and so I'm looking forward to just concentrating on acting for a while after I graduate. Its been an amazing opportunity and I've had the chance to work with some really great directors and actors. I've learned so much from them.


After Nancy Drew and It, you’re now about to take on another iconic literary role in Gretel and Hansel. Did you read these stories growing up, and what has it been like to offer your take on these characters?

I did always love reading Grimm fairy tales growing up. They are so odd and creepy. Oz Perkins had such a cool way of approaching the story and everything, the set, the costumes, the hair and makeup--and working in Ireland in the winter. All of it gives this feeling to the film which is rich and magical, and odd and creepy also at the same time.


What do you like to do when you’re not acting?

Sleep mostly. And draw. And see my friends and be at home with my family.  


You recently posted about your support for the climate strike. What are your thoughts on the climate crisis?

I feel like its such an important issue, and it's great that it's finally starting to get the attention it needs. I think it’s cool too that the younger generation is taking responsibility for pushing this forward. I think we need to use every tool that we have to reduce negative environmental impact and help preserve the resources we have.


Can you talk about some of your many upcoming projects?

Gretel and Hansel comes out on January 31, and I just shot a Netflix show over the summer called I Am Not Okay With This, which is being produced by the same team as Stranger Things and was created and directed by Jonathan Entwistle, who created The End of the F***ing World. It's dark and funny and ironic, and I got to work with my fellow It cast member, Wyatt Oleff, which was great. We play friends, which was pretty easy since we are friends. The rest of the cast were also great and we all had a lot of fun over the summer.


Where would you like to see your career go? Any dream roles or new territory you want to explore?

I just want to keep working on interesting projects and be part of this process, really. And just get better. The one thing I think would be really cool is to work on a film about kids growing up in New York City-- I mean, just normal kids, not drug dealers or something. Growing up in the city is such a unique experience. We have a lot of freedom at an early age. Pretty much from middle school, sometimes earlier, we can start taking the buses and subways all over the city. Most movies or series show kids growing up in suburbs. I haven't really seen many films about kids- even with all the recent coming of age movies- set in the city. Like that film Metropolitan by Whit Stillman. It was so great, but that was set in the late eighties, so quite a while ago.

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