In the new movie To the Bone, actress Lily Collins portrays a woman who is being treated for eating disorders. But it's not just a role to the star, who is now bravely opening up about her own struggles with anorexia. While talking about her new character, the actress revealed that she battled the disease when she was a teenager, and this part is taking her back to the emotional time.
"This was definitely a more dramatic role for me. I suffered with eating disorders when I was a teenager as well," Lily shared in an IMDB Studio interview at Sundance over the weekend. "I wrote a book last year, and I wrote my chapter on my experiences a week before I got [director] Marti [Nixon]'s script, and it was like the universe kind of putting these things in my sphere to help me face, kind of dead on, a fear that I used to have and a way to explain it as someone who's gone through it and to open up a topic that is considered quite taboo with young people nowadays, male, female, and to really start a conversation."
In order to portray this character, Lily lost weight – safely, with the help of a nutritionist – which was an emotional journey all around.
"But in a way that was the most safe, healthy way possible, with a nutritionist, and really to physically go there but also emotionally, and it did require a different set of emotional skills, to kind of go back in time for me, with you know, my experiences," she explained. "So definitely a different type of film for me to do, very, very personal."
After sharing her story publicly, Lily was met with tons of messages of support from fans, which she addressed in a personal Instagram post.
"Chilled to the bone but feeling so free. What a huge moment this is for me. Owning my past, being open, and having no shame or regrets about my experiences," she captioned a photo where she is looking as free as can be. "Sharing my history with eating disorders and how personal this film has been is one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. Thank you for all your love and support. I'm sending all of mine right back (especially today!) and remember, you are never ever alone #Unfiltered..."
We're so proud of her for speaking out about her own recovery, and reminding others that no one is ever alone in their experiences.
Click through the gallery to hear from more stars who have previously shared stories of their own eating disorders and recovery. If you or a friend need help finding treatment for an eating disorder, there are tons of helpful resources out there. A great place to start is nationaleatingdisorders.org.