The 'Emily in Paris' actress has spoken openly about her dad and mom
The Emily in Paris star is the daughter of Genesis drummer Phil and American business owner Jill. She grew up between London and Los Angeles and moved to the West Coast with her mom after her parents split when she was 5 years old. Lily is their only child from their 10-year union, but she has four siblings on her dad’s side — and they’re all “super close,” she told The Guardian in 2012.
While Lily’s relationship with her parents — particularly with her famous father — has made headlines in the past, the Golden Globe nominee doesn’t put much stock in rumors. “I know the truth and I know how it was for me, and I know how much I love my family — and that's all that really matters,” she said.
From welcoming their daughter to where they stand with the Rules Don't Apply star now, here’s everything to know about Lily Collins' parents, Phil Collins and Jill Tavelman.
Phil is a Grammy-winning musician
Born on Jan. 30, 1951, in London, Phil rose to fame as the frontman and drummer of Genesis after joining the rock band at 19. The group has released 15 studio albums over the course of its decades-long career, and several of those records have topped the charts in the U.K. He pursued a successful solo career simultaneously, with his first album, Face Value, debuting to immediate success in 1981.
The musician is perhaps most famous for hits like “In the Air Tonight” and “You’ll Be in My Heart,” the latter of which he wrote for Disney’s Tarzan (1999) and won an Oscar for. Throughout his illustrious career, Phil has received 27 Grammy nominations and won eight awards.
Jill owns an antique store in L.A.
Lily's mom Jill was born in L.A. in 1956. Though she worked as a school teacher before marrying Phil, she later changed careers and opened up an eclectic antique store called Waverly on Doheny in 2014. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter about opening the L.A.-based shop, she explained: “I just didn’t understand the concept of throwing things away. I’ve always matched people up with gifts that are really sentimental or hit the spot for them.”
As Lily’s career took off, Jill found herself “with a lot of free time, because my daughter had grown up and was on her path.” She’d largely been doing charity work for the two decades before she decided to start her own business.
“I thought, ‘It’s time to do something for me, that I’m good at,’ ” she noted. Jill frequently posts updates and new inventory on the store's dedicated Instagram.
Her parents met at a Genesis show
The Genesis frontman met Jill at the Rainbow Bar in Hollywood, California, in 1980. After sparks flew between them, the pair dated for four years before tying the knot in 1984.
Five years later, they welcomed their first and only child together, daughter Lily Jane Collins, on March 18, 1989. The couple lived together in England throughout her early childhood.
Phil and Jill split in 1994
After 10 years of marriage, the pair announced their separation in 1994, when Lily was 5 years old. Their split was allegedly sparked by an affair that the drummer had with his former fiancée, Lavinia Lang, in 1992.
Rumors soon spread that Phil ended their marriage over fax — a detail he repeatedly denied. He also issued a statement that, in part, read, “I am not in love with my partner anymore.” The couple divorced in 1996.
In his 2016 memoir Not Dead Yet, Phil shared he was "disappointed" by his three divorces because he didn't have "a casual attitude" toward marriage. Apart from Jill, he also wed Andrea Bertorelli (1975-1980) and Orianne Cevey (1999-2008), with whom he later reconciled.
“I’m a romantic who believes, hopes, that the union of marriage is something to cherish and last,” he wrote, per Daily Mail. “Yet certainly that trio of divorces demonstrates a failure to co-exist happily and to understand my partners.”
Lily had a strained relationship with her dad growing up
In the wake of her parents’ split, Lily moved with her mom from London to L.A., prompting further estrangement from her dad. She opened up about their dynamic evolving over time in her 2017 memoir, Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me.
“Because my dad was often gone, I never wanted to do anything that would make him stay away even longer,” she wrote. “I became extra careful about what I said and how I said it, afraid he’d think I was angry or didn’t love him. And the truth is, I was angry. I missed him and wanted him there.”
She candidly expressed that the issues in their relationship were the root cause of her “deepest insecurities” and that she’d spent the past decade working through them and building up “the courage to speak my mind to him.”
In an open letter to Phil, which she created as a template of sorts to help others initiate similar conversations with their fathers, Lily wrote: “I forgive you for not always being there when I needed and for not being the dad I expected. I forgive the mistakes you made.”
The Tolkien star ended the letter with an olive branch, offering up hope that they can find common ground. “There’s still so much time to move forward. And I want to. I’m inviting you to join me,” she added. “I’ll always be your little girl.”
Lily and Phil have adjusted to each other’s fame
Growing up, it didn’t take long for Lily to realize there was something different about her dad. She told Radio Times in 2020 that she first began to understand that he was famous when she was a kid and spotted a fan wearing a shirt with Phil’s face during a trip to Disneyland.
“Then he saw my dad and asked for a photo — and it was a really weird moment,” she said, per Metro. “I was thinking, ‘Why does he want a picture of my dad, and why is my dad on his T-shirt?’ Slowly but surely, I started to understand.”
In 2016, she opened up about adjusting to her dad’s public persona on Harry Connick Jr.’s talk show. “It’s a weird thing to have your dad or your parent be on the stage with a million people saying their name and you’re like, ‘No, that’s just Dad,’ ” she said, adding that it became easier over time. “But I started to get used to [it:] that person was Phil and then when we were home, that was Dad.”
By the time she stopped by Harry, Lily already had several Hollywood roles under her belt, and the tables had started to turn in terms of recognition — a sign of the years to come before she’d become a household name, thanks to her work in Emily in Paris.
“It’s kind of funny, [my dad] told me he got a kick out of the fact there was a radio station playing his music and they said afterward, ‘For those of you who don’t know who that is, that’s Lily Collins’ dad,’ ” she said. “And he was like, ‘What world are we living in? This is great. You’re like getting up there.’ ”
In general, the pair don’t often discuss their respective experiences with navigating celebrity, Lily revealed on the Today show in 2022. “He says ... he’s proud, but we don’t really talk about that side of things,” she said, explaining they prefer to “keep it separate.”
Lily has fought to earn her own stardom away from her parents
While the Mirror Mirror star didn’t explicitly join in the discourse around the term “nepo babies” — which refers to children of A-listers who are assumed to have benefited from their parents' fame — she opened up to Vogue France in 2022 about making her own path.
"It was out of the question that people would think that I use a free pass thanks to my name," she said. "I'm proud of my dad, but I wanted to be me, not just his daughter. For that, I was ready to wait to break through."
Her desire to earn her merit is part of what led her to act in the first place. Although she is also musically inclined, she didn’t want to deal with potential comparisons to her dad. "I love to sing. But as I wanted to make my own way, far from the paternal genius, I preferred to be an actress,” Lily explained.
Lily remains close with both of her parents
These days, Lily is on good terms with both Phil and Jill, proudly posting tributes to them on social media to mark special occasions like birthdays and other big moments, including Phil’s final show on the Genesis reunion tour in 2022.
“To have witnessed this last show was truly the memory of a lifetime and an event I shall hold in my heart forever,” Lily wrote on Instagram, calling her dad “such an inspiration.”
Earlier that same year, she celebrated his 71st birthday with a heartfelt message on social media, writing in part: "We may not get to spend time together that often but when we are face to face, you really do see me. You may not always believe it but please trust me when I say, no matter how old I get or what life may bring, I will always need you.”
While she doesn’t often see her Switzerland-based dad, Lily and her mom frequently spend time together, as Jill is based in L.A. Lily honored her mom for her birthday in April 2021, writing on Instagram, “No matter how much time passes, where we are in the world or how much change comes our way, you’ll always have such a special place in my heart and in my life.”
She went on to thank her “incredible mom” for “all you’ve taught me and all the strength you’ve instilled in me.”
Jill shared a series of selfies with Lily enjoying quality bonding time on Mother’s Day in 2023. “This is what my love looks like!!!” Jill captioned the shots. She noted that the duo spent the day at the Academy Museum and made a trip to Littlejohn’s Candies, a candy store she grew up visiting with her own mother.
For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on People.