Lily James Knew Married Co-Star Dominic West Long Before Their Romantic Weekend Jaunt

It’s been more than a month since Lily James was caught with married actor Dominic West during a weekend jaunt to Rome. The two had been working together during the summer and early fall on The Pursuit of Love, a project based on the popular Nancy Mitford book of the same name. However, apparently Lily James knew Dominic West long before the trip to Rome in which they were caught canoodling and sightseeing together. James recalled how they had worked together early on in her career.

In The Pursuit of Love, Lily James is set to play lead character Linda Radlett, a flighty young woman growing up in Pre-World War II London, who misses the boat on love. In the project, Dominic West, who is 20 years her senior, will play Uncle Matthew, Linda’s eccentric uncle and caretaker. In an interview with The Guardian, James touched on her prior professional relationship with West, also mentioning a lively exchange from their upcoming project.

So I’ve known him a really long time. He’s a brilliant Uncle Matthew, another mad sort of character. I have a great line in it where I say, ‘Matthew is frightening and I disapprove of him, but I feel he sets the bar for English manhood.’ What a great line.

The two actually met on the set of Othello in 2011, actually playing leads Iago and Desdemona, two characters who come to fairly ill-fated ends, in the famous Shakespearean production. Playing Desdemona was an early role for Lily James, who received early notice at the time. She then went on to star in Downton Abbey in 2012 and in Disney’s Cinderella a few years later, before landing more recent roles in Netflix’s Rebecca and The Pursuit of Love.

Lily James’ comments on the Uncle Matthew character, her relationship with Dominic West and the “great line” we can expect from her character Linda came a few weeks before news broke about their weekend jaunt to Rome. The article was published after the two were seemingly caught out, despite the fact West is married with children. West and his wife addressed the press and said they are "very much still together," though James has not commented.

For her part, James had at the time recently broken things off with her longtime beau Matt Smith and was seen with Chris Evans over the summer. The rumor mill has been rampant with speculation that she might be looking to get back with the Doctor Who star following her short stint in the gossip rags, but I’d take that with a grain of salt. What is definitely true is that she has cut back on appearances in the time since the news broke, though she did touch base with Jimmy Fallon and The Tonight Show for a recent interview.

The Pursuit of Love is still coming together, but it will be interesting to see how that press is undergone once the series, which also stars Emily Mortimer and Emily Beecham, is ready to make its big debut. It’s a highly anticipated project, so we’ll be sure to keep you updated on that front.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.