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watch lily collins battle anorexia in new 'to the bone' trailer

The actress relived her own battle with eating disorders to give a gripping (and surprisingly funny) performance.

by Hannah Ongley
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22 June 2017, 11:43am

With the controversial teen drama 13 Reasons Why, Netflix proved it wasn't afraid to start important and unsettling conversations about mental health. The streaming platform's next original project tackles an equally difficult theme: eating disorders. To the Bone stars Lily Collins as a 20-year-old anorexia patient who enters a group recovery program in a last-ditch effort to overcome the illness she has spent most of her teens fighting. By the looks of the first trailer, it won't be an easy watch, particularly for people with first-hand experience of how devastating the disease can be. But Lily is one of those people. The actress bravely relived her own battle with anorexia to give a gripping performance as the frail yet feisty Ellen.;

Speaking to Vanity Fair after To the Bone premiered at Sundance, Lily said she was attracted to how educational the script was. "I didn't go into treatment, I didn't seek out professional help," she said of what she didn't know during her own eating disorder. "I kind of just figured it out on my own. And this was an amazing opportunity to gain knowledge." She continued, "It's very rare that one gets the opportunity to wear shoes you once wore with a different mindset and perspective on things."

It's difficult to put a genre label on the difficult, eye-opening, and darkly humorous project. "Isn't it funny? It's a cake!" says Ellen's shockingly misguided mom while carrying out a cartoonish hamburger cake that reads "Eat up, Ellen!" These lighter moments contrast with the film's unapologetic approach to the more heartbreaking aspects of eating disorders, such as the wider obsession with perfection and the psychological effect the disease has on siblings.

To the Bone was written by Buffy's Marti Noxon, who also injected the film with her own personal experience of eating disorders. "I've wanted to get all this off my chest for a long time," Marti said of the semi-autobiographical project. "This was my way to be able to tell this story for the greater good, for a greater purpose, to open up communication." The film's humor and humanity should hopefully remove some of the stigma around anorexia when it hits Netflix on July 14.

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Text Hannah Ongley
Image via Youtube