Lily Collins never sought medical help for her eating disorder.
The 28-year-old actress recently opened up about her struggles in her memoir 'Unfiltered' but admitted the first time she was able to share her story with others in a similar situation was when she was researching her latest movie, 'To the Bone', in which she plays an anorexia sufferer.
Speaking to the movie's director, Marti Noxon, she said: "I got to go to an anonymous group with you and share my story and get told the facts for the first time.
"When I went through my eating disorder, I never sought medical assistance. I created myths in my head about how I should get through things, so the idea that I could surround myself with truth and feel comfortable enough to speak mine allowed me to breathe.
"There's a scene in the film when we're in group therapy talking about the euphoria we experience - I'd never heard that weird enjoyment we feel from being in the disorder worded that way before - and in that moment, you caught Lily understanding it as opposed to just Ellen, my character."
And now she's been honest about her past struggles, Lily feels like she's "starting from a clean slate" and will be able to take a different approach with her career.
She added in the interview for Net-a-Porter's The Edit magazine: "From a young age, I've had a desire to put forward this perfect image, whatever perfect was. So even though there was all this un-prettiness going on inside of me, I wanted to make sure that my appearance and composure were a certain way. I imagined that people knew I had these secrets and they'd be judging.
"Now that I've put things out there I feel like I'm starting from a clean slate, so when I play a character I can let go more."
The brunette beauty hopes the movie and her own honest book will make eating disorders less of a taboo subject.
She said: "I've had emails from people in the industry saying, 'This is my story.'
"That's what this movie has the potential to do; to start conversations and take the taboo out of something that is so prevalent.
"We do a good job of hiding it by putting such an opposite image of ourselves out there, like when I read interviews that say, 'Oh, I never exercise and I eat whatever I want, I just have a great metabolism.' "
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