YOUR first kiss is sometimes awkward, something special and always memorable.
Imagine it also being a movie kiss, 55 stories up, on the rooftop of a Toronto skyscraper, at 3am, surrounded by a large film crew, with cameras watching your every move.
Of course having your mum watch you too, not to mention your ‘on-screen mum’ and Hollywood A-lister Lily Collins, could pose some considerable challenges to someone who has not yet made it to a teenager
As with everything in her life, 11-year-old starlet Lily Laight has taken it all in her stride.
From starring in the RCS’s Matlida, new blockbuster Love Rosie, ITV’s Doc Martin, a brush with the movie Les Miserables and recently being head hunted by Keira Knightley’s agent, Lily is the most successful Torquay export since sticks of rock.
“It has been brilliant” said Lily, bouncing around her home with mum Rebecca, dad Ellis and slightly bonkers dog, Monty.
“I love television because it is really quick and you get to do quite a lot on a day, sometimes five or six scenes.
“Theatre has been brilliant with live audiences, and I find it very exciting.
“But with the movies I get to travel around a lot and I love that.”
Lily is just about to start at a local grammar school having had a few weeks off after an astonishing 2 years.
“ I have met some amazing people and learnt so much”
She landed the role of a young Therese Raquin in the movie of the same name, starring Harry Potter’s Tom Felton and American stars Jessica Lange and Elizabeth Olsen. It was shot across Europe and is this week being showcased at the prestigious Toronto Film Festival.
There was the casting for Les Miserables, the biggest movie of last year, playing a young Jennifer Saunders in The Comic Strip presents, and winning Gold at the All England Dance Championships on the side.
After being represented by Sylvia Young, Lily was headhunted and is now on the books of United Agents thanks to an introduction by Anne Hathaway’s agent Mick Sullivan, after he met her on set in Dublin.
But it is likely to be Love Rosie, an adaptation of Cecelia Aherns best selling novel ‘Where Rainbows End’ starring Lily Collins and Sam Claflin which will really launch Lily onto another level.
Filming in Ireland and Canada she has been ‘papped’ by international media, such is the interest in the film and its stars, which is due for release next spring.
Her bond with Ms Collins over the 12 week shoot has led the two to being described as ‘Lily squared’ and generated a substantial social media fanbase!
Mum Rebecca said: “When we were introduced to her, she flung her arms around Lily and gave her a huge hug. She was so pleased to be an on screen mum for the first time”.
Ms Collins, 24, recently said in interview that working with Lily was the highlight of her summer.
“I think actually playing a mum is my favourite memory.
“I was just in Dublin for two and a half months filming Love Rosie and I got to be a mum to this lovely young actress, Lily Laight.”
Lilys table is covered in thank you notes, including one from Ms Collins which includes her direct line. She even gave the young Lily a Claddagh necklace as a parting gift to seal their friendship and the two remain in regular contact. Lily is of course chuffed, but not precious.
For a little girl that has gone from Torbay’s Got Talent, to being represented by one of the world’s best agencies, now is all about heading off to a new school, developing her skills, and a seemingly endless possibility of what is around the corner. One thing is for sure, this little girl works her socks off and I guess the expression ‘watch this space’ has never been more apt.
You can see Lily at the Babbacombe Theatre in West End Encore until September 26, and on Doc Martin on September 16 at 9pm on ITV1.