Lily James on Martial Arts in Corsets in 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies'

At first, killer zombies amid “Pride and Prejudice’s” 19th century English countryside society was a combination Lily James couldn’t fathom.

“I didn’t get it,” the actress tells Made in Hollywood. “I was slightly mortified. But five pages into the script, this was brilliant.”

“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” is a mash-up of Jane Austen’s 1813 classic romance and modern zombie fiction. James stars as the Austen heroine Elizabeth Bennet opposite Bella Heathcote as her sister Jane.

James says the updated parody is “heightened, stronger and sexier” than the original.

“I guess because we know and love the story so much… and the characters are so strong and the love story is so compelling—you just enjoy seeing this story we love told in a different way.”

The ladies fight for love—and survival—in the horror-comedy. But battling the undead in period costumes posed some challenges and surprising benefits.

“The corsets were fine because they’re doing this martial arts style it’s important to keep a strong center and balletic posture, so it worked to our advantage,” James explains.

“They cut strategic slits for our legs,” Heathcote reveals. “The top half easy,” she says of the costumes’ bodices, “the bottom half, I struggled with.”

“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” opens Friday.