In the premiere of War and Peace, the TV series based on Leo Tolstoy’s epic novel, one of the central characters is Natasha Rostova. She falls in love with and becomes engaged to Prince Andrei Bolkonsky (James Norton) but his father doesn’t approve (she is half Andrei’s age and below his social class). When Andrei’s father forces them to postpone the marriage for a year, Andrei is sent off to war and Natasha is left at home vulnerable to the charm of Prince Anatole Kuragin. In the 1954 film, Audrey Hepburn played Natasha.)
Natasha is portrayed by Lily James. The English actress is best known for her roles on Downton Abbey (Lady Rose MacClare), Disney’s Cinderella (Cinderella), and Secret Diary of a Call Girl (Poppy). James is currently filming The Kaiser’s Last Kiss, based on the Alan Judd novel, with Christopher Plummer who plays Kaiser Wilhelm II. Fun fact about James: She is a sixth cousin of U.S. President George W. Bush, through her American grandmother. Note: James was the woman standing next to Jamie Foxx at the Golden Globes when he had his Steve Harvey moment. War and Peace will premiere on Lifetime on January 18 at 9pm.