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Lily Allen | GLAMOUR Unfiltered

Lily Allen sits down with GLAMOUR for an Unfiltered interview to discuss her new show Dreamland, confidence, empowerment and mental health.

Released on 04/06/2023


I actually don't even know if I'd be alive

if I hadn't got sober.

Hi, I'm Lilly Allen and this is my GLMAOUR Unfiltered.

Well, yes I have been a singer for, I don't know,

15, 20 years maybe.

And I don't think I'm very good at that anymore.

Yeah, I find it really hard writing

in this current political climate, maybe.

Still love performing

and I still love playing with stories, telling stories

and making sense of sort of humanity on some level,

and acting enables me to do that.

But, not have to take responsibility for the words

or the subject matter.


I have a sister,

actually, I have quite few sisters,

but one on my mom's side who I sort of grew up with.

And yeah, you know, we lean on each other a lot.

You know, we've had our ups and downs

and have definitely had periods of time

where we haven't been so close,

but we're in a pretty good place now.

But I have different confidence

in sort of two different areas of my life,

professionally and at home.

And, I guess, you know,

my children thriving and being,

and both of them being happy makes me feel confident.

It makes me feel like I'm doing my job correctly.

And I guess maybe in work,

good hair and makeup, styling.


Awards make me feel confident.

A couple years ago I did a play in the West End,

and, you know, I think when you can see

that the audience are really engaged

and having a great time

and engrossed in whatever it is you are doing,

yeah that feels really empowering.

I manage my mental health with medications.


And also therapy, I go to therapy once a week at least.

Sometimes more 'cause we sometimes have

family therapy as well.

I try and be in a habit of writing gratitude lists

before I go to bed every night.

And I find that really,

really does keep me in check

more than anything else actually.

I think, you know, sometimes you can get bogged down

with sort of negativity in your life,

and especially with social media and stuff

you can sort of convince yourself

that your life is not in a good place.

And, so, if you can just sort of cut off

and take stock of all the really good things

and all of the great people,

and you know, the blessings that we have,

then yeah, that definitely helps me get to sleep, sure.

I mean I've definitely had quite a complex relationship

with drugs and alcohol throughout my life.

It was actually really hard.

There' one scene in particular,

it's a sort of a flashback to the night in question

where everything sort of goes wrong for Mel.

She makes a really, really monumentally bad decision,

although it's not really a decision

it just sort of happens.

And yeah, I could definitely relate to that,

but it was really, really difficult.

I've been sober now for nearly four years.

And it was incredibly triggering actually

to go back to that kind of a night.

Yeah. I did not find it remotely enjoyable at all.

I do not miss drinking and drug taking in the slightest.

Oh my goodness.

Sobriety has just changed my life like, immeasurably.

I don't think I'd be married to my husband.

I don't think that my kids would be thriving

in the way that they are.

I don't think that I'd have gone into, you know,

finding acting and how much I enjoy that.

I definitely wouldn't be getting as much sleep.

You know, I go to the gym four times a week.

I mean, pretty much every aspect of my life

has changed as a result of my sobriety.

I actually don't even know if I'd be alive, if I'm honest,

if I hadn't got sober.

So yeah, that's definitely at the top of my gratitude list

when I go to bed every night, is yeah, my sobriety.

Oh gosh, awful.

I absolutely detest and loathe social media

and pretty much everything about it.

I think what it's doing to us

as a species is just, like, awful.

I just yeah, I just loathe it. I'm sorry.

I know you're probably watching this via social media,

but you shouldn't be,

you should be out there doing something better.

I really struggle with it

because it's very hard to do anything sort of creative

and not be a part of it, you know.

It's anyone that wants to sort of fund anything.

You wanna get things commissioned.

People are always looking at that number

next to your name

and how interactive you are with other people.

I think that's why I love the theater so much actually,

is because you get up there, you do your job,

people stand up and give you an applause, or not,

and that's it, there's no number.

People don't come out and rate it and like it.

I mean, I think it's just, it's just all nonsense.

Like, you just, I shouldn't let any of that stuff

affect me quite frankly.

It's just so destructive

and I wish that I didn't interact with it,

but sometimes, you know, I'm not very good at not reacting.

I'm a reactive person.

I wish I wasn't.

I'm hoping I'll get to the stage

where I can just have somebody else

do all of that interaction for me.

I probably am at that stage.


I just haven't found the person yet.

I moved to New York a couple of years ago,

and yeah, the Roe versus Wade thing got overturned.

It's pretty, feels pretty Handmaid's Taley

over there at the moment.

I guess I'm concerned and scared for my children.

I have spent a long time using my platform

to talk about issues that I feel are important to myself

and, you know, lots of other people.

But I guess I don't really know how helpful

it is at the moment.

I kind of like discussing those subject matters in my music,

but it's such a hot topic at the moment,

and I think that people are so into soundbites

and I tend to end up being such a lightning rod

and become a sort of, like, character that, you know,

people have carte blanche to be sort of horrible to

as a result of their political stance.

And so, you know, that's something I'm really excited about

where acting is concerned.

Is that I hope that I can start to talk about

these subject matters through this medium

rather than just tweeting about it or Instagramming.

'Cause I think it's kind of at the point now

where it's kind of oversaturated and getting lost.

I kind of want to pull away from that part

of my public persona or platform.

So yeah, I hope that I can just kind of

get my teeth stuck into sort of, like,

more media subject matters

and cover those things with drama.

Yeah, there were sort of rumors swirling around

that I had a had an album naming and shaming

the people in the music industry,

which is not really true to be honest.

I mean, I guess I did have a collection of songs

where I talked about, you know, my experiences,

funnily enough, 'cause I'm a singer

that writes songs about her experiences.

But yeah, there was no,

it wasn't like a sort of concerted effort.

I don't even know if those songs are gonna come out.

Music hasn't really had the same reckoning

in terms of Me Too, as film and TV and Hollywood.

And I think, I know I have many theories as to why that is,

but I think that when you are hired as a creative

on film or TV, you are taken on as an

employee of that production company or that studio.

And so you have protections that come with that, you know.

Most of these companies have human resources

and you can take that route to make complaints or whatever.

And when you are from personal experience,

when you are having problems with people

from a record company for instance,

as an artist, you are self-employed.

So you are out on your own really.

You don't have anyone to complain to except for yourself,

or your Instagram or your Twitter account


I mean, I have sort of complicated feelings about it,

mainly because of the complicated relationship

I have with my parents.

So, I think that, you know, obviously,

I know that I've been born into

an incredibly privileged situation

and I have no problem or qualms with accepting that

and the opportunities that have been afforded to me.

But I think that that's more of a, you know,

the class that I was born into.

Yeah. Where, you know, where I went to school,

and the connections that I was able to forge with people

as a result of that.

There are people in my family

I don't really have relationships with.

So the idea that they handed things to me

on a plate is sort of complicated.

But whatever, I mean,

I'm just happy and I'm very grateful

and that's all I've got to say on the matter.

Gosh, I wish people could sort of see

yeah, what what me and David talk about in our private time.

They definitely wouldn't call us a power couple.

They just call us a couple of idiots.

We talk about it sometimes.

We talk about doing plays together.

You know, we really love each other

and like spending time with each other, funnily enough.

And we don't get to do enough of it.

You know, he's always off filming,

and I'm always, you know, doing stuff too.