337. Phil Collins over zijn dochter Lily – ‘You’ll be in my heart’

Source: You Tube – Dutch musical awards 2006 – 22 May 2006

Lyrics van “You’ll Be In My Heart” – Phil Collins (1999)

Titelsong voor de Disney film Tarzan uit 1999 en – na alle persoonlijke echtscheidingsperikelen – geschreven als vader voor zijn dochter Lily.

Come stop your crying
It will be all right
Just take my hand
Hold it tight

I will protect you
from all around you
I will be here
Don’t you cry

For one so small,
you seem so strong
My arms will hold you,
keep you safe and warm

This bond between us
Can’t be broken
I will be here
Don’t you cry

‘Cause you’ll be in my heart
Yes, you’ll be in my heart
From this day on
Now and forever more

You’ll be in my heart
No matter what they say
You’ll be here in my heart,

Why can’t they understand
the way we feel
They just don’t trust
what they can’t explain
I know we’re different but,
deep inside us
We’re not that different at all

And you’ll be in my heart
Yes, you’ll be in my heart
From this day on
Now and forever more

Don’t listen to them
‘Cause what do they know
We need each other,
to have, to hold
They’ll see in time
I know

When destiny calls you
You must be strong
I may not be with you
But you’ve got to hold on
They’ll see in time
I know
We’ll show them together

‘Cause you’ll be in my heart
Yes, you’ll be in my heart
From this day on,
Now and forever more

Oh, you’ll be in my heart
No matter what they say
You’ll be in my heart,

Yes, I’ll be with you
Cause I’ll be there for you always
Always and always

Just look over your shoulder
Just look over your shoulder
Turn around and look over your shoulder
Cause I’ll be there always

Genesis of a frock star: Lily Collins on the rock star dad who walked out on her

Source: Daily Mail Online – By CHARLOTTE METHVEN – 30 november 2007

Lily Collins, daughter of veteran rock drummer and singer Phil, was just six when her father walked out of the family home for another woman. But Lily, now a Hollywood-based model and TV presenter, says there is no bitterness about his decision to leave – in fact, she thinks her dad is cool

If you didn’t know, you’d never guess that 18-year-old Lily Collins spent the first six years of her life in rural West Sussex. To speak to her, she is pure California teen, her sentences endearingly sprinkled with the word ‘like’ – all sunny American enthusiasm without even a dash of British reserve.

But not only is this delicate beauty with enormous brown eyes one of the up-and-coming models of the moment, she is also the daughter of rock legend and Genesis drummer Phil Collins.

And she was this year’s most feted debutante at the annual Crillon Ball in Paris – an honour confirmed by the fact that she was been dressed for it by Chanel Haute Couture, a tacit symbol of who comes top in any given year’s deb hierarchy. (US Vogue editor Anna Wintour’s and Kristin Scott Thomas’s daughters both wore Chanel to the ball in recent years.)

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Lily was this year’s most feted debutante at the prestigious Crillon Ball in Paris

She is undisputed rock royalty and was ‘discovered’ as a model by none other than Tommy Hilfiger on a flight from New York to LA. And though she lives in Los Angeles with her Californian mother Jill Tavelman, Collins’s second wife – whom he reportedly divorced by fax – she is at considerable pains to emphasise how close she is to her father, currently based in New York.

“He’s amazing. Honestly, he’s the best,” she gushes, surprisingly effusive give that much has been written about Collins’s parenting skills – and most of it not good.

He is said to have rarely communicated with his children while on tour – and even then often by fax, to save his voice – and last year he left his Swiss third wife, Orianne, and two small sons shortly before taking up with an African-American news anchor called Dana Tyler.

But, in spite of my probing, Lily is adamant. “He’s so funny and so supportive. We always talk on the phone; we watch movies; we have inside jokes. I love hanging out with him in New York. We both love the theatre, so we’ll often go to a show.”

“And he knows all the cool places that I’d never know about – like some secret restaurant hidden beneath a terrace. He’s dubbed ’the shy guy’, but to me he’s not shy. He wrote a song for me called ‘You’ll Be In My Heart’, for Tarzan the musical. That song is very, very close to me.”

You gets the sense Lily idolises her father, perhaps because he has been somewhat elusive in her life. She was just shy of her sixth birthday when Phil left their Sussex farmhouse to start a new family with Orianne in Switzerland, and Lily and her mother (a Los Angeles native) relocated to LA. This must have been hard on her, I suggest.

But Lily remains impenetrably upbeat. “I was actually the one who decided to move to LA,” she explains. “Mom and I were driving on Sunset Boulevard during one of our trips back to see her family, and I said, ‘Can we just stay?’ So we did.”

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Daddy’s girl: Lily says Phil Collins is ’the best’ despite criticism about his parenting skills

She also insists that there is no bitterness between her parents. “They get on great. And I see a lot of my half-siblings, even though we’re scattered all over the place. We’re all super close, and super close to Dad.”

Her elder sister and brother (by Collins’s first wife Andrea), Joely and Simon, an actress and a musician respectively, live in Canada, while little brothers Matthew and Nicholas are in Switzerland with Orianne.

“My older siblings and I all work in ’the industry’,” Lily explains (an LA expression she drops into conversation remarkably often for someone of her age.) “So obviously we have hectic schedules, but we make it work.”

As well as being a sought-after model – she does print and runway assignments and has appeared alongside Naomi Campbell – Lily is trying to break into acting.

She helped to present a show for kids’ network Nickelodeon last summer called ‘Slime Across America’ – a kind of roadshow in which teenagers could win prizes or get dunked in slime. Lily “hosted games and interacted with the kids” as well as doing on-the-spot interviews with celebrity guests such as American footballer Matt Leinart.

She happily admits that she is part of what has been dubbed “Young Hollywood” – a world inhabited by the likes of Mischa Barton, Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Richie, all of whom she sees at events like the recent Teen Vogue Young Hollywood party.

“At first, I didn’t hang out with celebrity kids. That wasn’t the way I was brought up. I went to a run-of-the-mill Catholic primary school when we first moved to L.A. But then I went to a high school where there were lots of ‘industry’ children. Those weren’t my best friends and I’ve never set out to make myself a part of that scene.

There were so many times I could have played on my name but I always steered away from it. Now I’ve realised that the name Collins can open doors, and that’s okay. But it’s up to me to keep them open.

“It’s more fulfilling knowing I earned my place in Young Hollywood, through my acting and modelling, and that I’m not just there by association. I think, because of Dad, I’ve grown up knowing what to be careful of and what to look out for – not to get too caught up in superficial things or to be with people who want to befriend me for the wrong reasons.”

In a previous interview, Lily admitted to feeling the pressures of the modelling world and suggested that both of her parents had encouraged her to stay thin to look the part. But today she is far more polished, choosing her words carefully.

“I think I’ve been brought up very well by both my parents. I am very cautious and I think I’m now fit for the world I’m in,” she says. “They’re very much behind my modelling and very supportive.”

And, though Lily is no larger than an tiny size eight – “it varies depending on the designer” – she is dismissive of what she calls “the size zero thing”. She speaks of it as something she once got caught up in and has now written off as a silly waste of time for people with nothing better to do.

“I think it’s a fad,” she explains. “It’s almost just something to do – to say you can get that small.

“Modelling is not my passion or my number one goal. It’s just something I’m doing on the side now for fun and for some extra money. My parents are okay with it because they know I’m not giving myself over to the industry.”

“What I really love is journalism,” Lily confides, sounding truly excited. “I started writing a column for Elle Girl in the UK when I was 15. It was called LA Confidential – partly a diary of my life, and partly things to do in LA. All these little girls would write to me, and I realised I could connect to people.”

“And I’ve developed this into broadcast journalism with ‘Slime Across America’. I love meeting people and asking questions. The modelling – really it’s just experience for me in front of the camera.”

In January, Lily will begin a journalism course at the University of Southern California’s school of communications, right at home in LA. “It’s a really hard programme to get into and I’m so excited about it,” she says.

“We’re remodelling my grandmother’s flat at the moment (she passed away last year) so I can live there, just a couple blocks from the campus.”

Another thing Lily is excited about is that the Genesis reunion tour is arriving in LA on the night that we meet. “I’m so close to the other Genesis kids – to Mike Rutherford’s son Harry, who’s just a year and a half older than me, and to Tony Banks’s kids,” she says.

“And Joely and Simon will be in town for it too. I can’t wait! Most of all, I adore spending time with Dad and getting to see him up there on stage.”

“I do like the Genesis music,” she says diplomatically, adding, “but it’s probably not something I would just turn on and chill out to. Some of it’s on my iPod, and I’ll listen occasionally, but I just didn’t grow up with it. It was before my time.”

Lily has strong memories, however, of her father’s post-Genesis solo career, when she, as a little girl, would spend most of the year on tour with him. “He was at the height of his fame when I was little,” she recalls, “so I got so used to people chanting and screaming. I think I first realised he was someone other than just ‘Dad’ when we were at the supermarket and people would stop him. I’d think, ‘They recognise dad? That’s weird.’ He was always just Dad to me.”

And now, so many years after her parents’ divorce, does she still feel quite English? Though she betrays nothing, I can’t help but wonder if she feels wistful about what might have been if her parents had stayed together and she had stayed in England?

“I do still feel very British here in Los Angeles,” Lily says. “I’m much more European than other people here. I do feel my roots and I miss England a lot. I try to spend two months every summer at our house in the country. I miss English food – I was brought up on sausage and beans, and beans on toast! I even miss the accent.”

“I have very vivid memories from when I was five and younger, when Mom and Dad were still together? Last summer, I went back to my old school in Sussex – the local village school – and took a photo in front of it as an 18-year-old.”

“But,” she adds, her Californian positivity re-asserting itself, “if we’d stayed I never would have travelled as much. Mom and I have been around the world together – India, Egypt, Japan – everywhere. If I’d stayed in England, I’d probably be riding horses and playing polo right now.

“Goodness, it would be different.”

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