Along this coming-of-age journey, Snow learns she is stronger than she ever knew. She even vows to forgo literary tradition and change the typical fairy-tale ending in efforts to save the Prince. And when called to do so, she rises to the challenge to face the evil “beast” in the woods, as she helps rescue the kingdom from the Queen’s wicked ways.

I spoke with Lily Collins recently about her role in Mirror Mirror, why this updated version of Snow White encourages young girls specifically to “believe in yourself” and what makes this film a suitable comedic adventure for the entire movie-going family.

Mirror Mirror has a very light, fun and engaging quality to it with a sweet, yet spunky, protagonist. Did this draw you toward wanting to play the part of this version of Snow White?

We didn’t set out to make a film that was in-your-face feminist or anything about girl empowerment completely. But I think that the idea that it shows a young woman who finds herself along this journey in a way where she accepts spontaneity, she accepts life and love and help from others and finds herself within the process and learns that she can do as much as the Prince . . . I think that was a new twist on this character that really intrigued me.  And I thought, Wow, it would be great for young girls to see this princess they think they know so well not just be the damsel in distress, but really be someone that fights for something they believe in. And that new twist on it was very, very appealing, and it was a complete honor to be even considered for the part let alone grab it.

I heard that you also tried out for the part in the “other” Snow White film, Snow White and the Huntsman, which hits theaters in June. Is that true?

I read the script, and it was definitely around the same time. But [Mirror Mirror] for me captures everything about a fairy tale I would love to be a part of and the vibe of it and having it be this comedic adventure that was about positivity and acceptance and believing in oneself. I thought that was kind of the ultimate message of this fairy tale. So to be a part of this particular one was such an honor.

Were there any fun or memorable moments working with Julia Roberts, Armie Hammer or the actors who portrayed the seven dwarves?

Every day was really fun because it is such a fun film to be a part of, and the energy on set was always positive. But the dwarves and I . . . we all became such good friends, and they truly became like my comrades in real life. We would just sit around before filming and laugh. And you know the scenes when they’re training me, we had so much because there were tons of goof ups and mess ups and improv going on during all of that that sometimes I just couldn’t stop laughing. And then I’d find myself finally in the moment and laughing and then [others] would start laughing, so it was just kind of lots of jokes being played all the time and just lots of laughs. And the same with Julia [Roberts]. She plays an evil queen but in such a fun way. And having Nathan Lane and her together in a room doing a scene is, you know, that’s like fireworks going off. They play off each other, and they’re so incredibly fun. And Armie [Hammer] is kind of this perfect mixture of goofy and funny at the same time, as well as being so gentlemanly and humble and intellectual. So we would have such interesting conversations about all sorts of things, and then all of a sudden someone would say a joke and we’d burst out laughing. It was kind of like the perfect combination for an experience.

Talk about the whole “believing in yourself” theme which is so strong in Mirror Mirror.  What does it mean to you to believe in yourself?