Searching for The One? Lily James has been linked to a handful of Hollywood’s hottest hunks — and fueled plenty of speculation along the way.
The Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again star briefly sparked a romance with British actor Jack Fox in 2011, but the pair’s flame fizzled out after one year together. Her next notable relationship was with The Crown‘s Matt Smith, whom she met while filming Pride and Prejudice and Zombies in 2014. Despite making a number of appearances together, including the 2015 red carpet premiere of James’ Cinderella, the actress was hesitant to discuss the details of her dating life in public.
“In regards to your love life, you’re just entering into a whole [world] of pain if you talk about it,” she told InStyle in 2015. “If you’ve never said anything, there are no sound bites to haunt you when you’re crying into a box of Kleenex after it all goes wrong.”
In July 2017, James hinted that she and Smith were ready to take the next step in their relationship, telling Good Day L.A. that “it’s no secret” that the pair was “very happy” together. Less than one year later, the Downton Abbey alum sported a massive diamond ring on her left hand at the BAFTAs, leaving fans to wonder whether Smith had popped the question.
At the time, neither James nor the Doctor Who actor addressed the engagement rumors. While speaking to Marie Claire UK in July 2018, James opened up about the challenges she and Smith faced in their romantic life with their nonstop schedules.
“I’d like a few months where I go traveling and just switch off. When you’re an actor, it’s like, ‘You’ve got to keep the momentum up.’ And I’m like, ‘No,'” she told the publication. “You have to trust that things won’t go away if you stop for a bit. I haven’t really stopped, and I don’t think that’s a feasible way to work. For me, eventually, that’s not the lifestyle I want. That’s not only with regards to my relationship with Matt but with my friends and family. There’s so much you miss. That’s why I know I can’t keep working at this intensity. I finish a job; Matt starts one.”
After they hadn’t been photographed together for several months, the former couple sparked rumors that they had split in December 2019. The Daily Mail caught the stars having a “tense lunch” at the time, further fueling speculation of a breakup. In March 2020, James and Smith reunited for a casual walk through London.
Since calling off her five-year relationship with Smith, the Darkest Hour actress has been linked to Chris Evans and Dominic West. Despite the increased interest in her love life, James has played coy when asked about her relationship status.
“Don’t be obsessed by boys!” she told Harper’s Bazaar UK after refusing to discuss her rumored fling with Evans. “Hang out with your girl mates. And don’t take everything so seriously — be kind to yourself.”
Scroll down to look back at James’ dating history.