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Charlie McDowell And Lily Collins Confirm They're Dating; Defends Him After He's Accused Of Racist Jokes

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Who Is Charlie McDowell? New Details On Lily Collin's Boyfriend Who She Defended After Being Accused Of Racist Jokes

While the lives of celebrities are fascinating, frustrating, and downright star-studded, it’s their children who sometimes make headlines. Such is the case with one actor, most known for his debut film, The One I Love.

Who is Charlie McDowell? While rumors began swirling in August that McDowell was dating actress Lily Collins, the two have since confirmed their relationship by posting a snap of them on her Instagram with the caption, "always got your back."

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You may have heard his name in the celebrity gossip columns before, as he’s dated quite a few famous ladies. He's currently dating Lily Collins — yes, Phil Collins' daughter — after the pair were spotted together a few months ago. But that’s not all he’s known for.

Here are 7 things to know about Charlie McDowell.

1. His parents are famous.

McDowell is the son of English actor Malcolm McDowell and his ex-wife, actress Mary Steenburgen. He also has an older sister, Lily, from his mother’s marriage.

Steenburgen eventually remarried, as did McDowell. That means that Charlie’s stepfather is Ted Danson! And he has quite a few step-siblings and half-siblings from his parents’ marriages.

2. Who is Charlie McDowell? He's a writer and director.

Though he’s most known for directing The One I Love, which starred Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass, he’s appeared in a few projects, including the shows Becker and Curb Your Enthusiasm

However, he’s noted for being a writer and director on films and television shows, including The Discovery, Sarah Silverman’s HBO pilot, Dear White People, and Legion. McDowell is planning to adapt the novel Zero K for FX.

3. He owns a production company. 

He’s currently the president and CEO of Cloudbreak Productions. According to the website, the company was launched in 2004. It “produces innovative commercial and independent entertainment in both film and video productions.”

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4. His Twitter is renowned. 

In 2011, Time named his Twitter “one of the most hilarious Twitter feeds out there." In 2013, Dear Girls Above Me was released as a book, based on McDowell’s Twitter feed.

His feed focused primarily on the crazy conversations he’d hear from his neighbors upstairs, including Suri Cruise’s outfits, the Real Housewives of New Jersey, and other funny anecdotes.

5. He dated Emilia Clarke.

Clarke and McDowell began dating in late 2018, and they both alluded to their relationship on Instagram. However, Clarke apparently dumped McDowell in February 2019 due to her work commitments and having a long-distance relationship.

6. McDowell also dated other famous women.

He's has been linked to Haylie Duff, dated Kristin Chenowith from April 2008 to February 2009, and was in a long-term relationship with Rooney Mara from 2010 to 2016. He also dated actress Phoebe Tonkin.

7. Collins and McDowell have been dating for over six months now.


A post shared by Lily Collins (@lilyjcollins) on Nov 29, 2019 at 6:53pm PST

Collins, known for her role in the film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, was spotted out with McDowell in July 2019. The two walked together, coffee in hand, with McDowell’s arm around her waist. 

A source revealed, “We spotted Lily and Charlie sitting on a bench outside of Scoop Shack, an ice cream shop in Edgartown. They were sitting pretty cozy, and he had his arm around her shoulder. They shared a brief kiss prior to us coming up to them. They were very friendly.”

8. McDowell has been accused of making multiple problematic comments.

McDowell's inappropriate comments on his social media accounts have recently surfaced. He's also been accused of making inappropriate comments about race, rape, domestic violence, and eating disorders in his book, Dear Girls Above Me: Inspired by a True Story.


A post shared by see newest post (@onceoceanfound) on Jul 5, 2019 at 8:48am PDT

Collins responded about McDowell's comments on her Instagram page, saying, "This week I saw some messages and comments that were really hurtful to me and someone I love. It's never okay to verbally abuse, bully, or threaten people even if you don't agree with their opinion or sense of humor. I've always leaned on social media, especially Instagram, because we've built a community up on this page that is so encouraging and loving. It's amazing to see you guys make friends and start new conversations. I'm incredibly thankful for all of you. But please please think before you write something negative and defamatory. It's so important that we try our best to lift each other up, not tear each other down. Love always and forever."

However, many people wrote comments on her Instagram post, some stating that she was "giving her boyfriend a pass." Both Collins and McDowell have blocked their online critics.

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Samantha Maffucci is an editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.