“As much as possible, I’m trying to understand who the characters are and why they’re making the decisions that they’re making.” – Felicity Jones
Felicity Jones first made a name for herself when she appeared in Like Crazy, followed by The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and then by playing opposite Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything, a role for which she won great critical acclaim as well as an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. From there, Jones has gone on to star in three big releases this year; A Monster Calls, Inferno, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
“It was nonstop,” Jones says of her whirlwind year. “But I always think when things are going well, you’ve got to roll with it and take those opportunities. Because you never quite know where the next one is going to take you.” In this instance, Jones decision to grab everything with both hands seems to be paying off. Already, Jyn Erso is becoming a hugely popular Star Wars character, and the movie has barely been open a couple of weeks.
For all her characters, Jones creates scrapbooks. “Pictures that I see that remind me of the person I’m playing, little bits of writing,” she describes of its contents. “As much as possible, I’m trying to understand who the characters are and why they’re making the decisions that they’re making.”
For Jyn, she also did something a little different, knowing that, coming from another galaxy, Jyn is a different character to most. As THR describes, “Before the six-month shoot outside London began in August 2015, she spent hours watching music videos, particularly those of Florence + the Machine.” “It became a very important part of finding her. She walks almost a bit like a caged animal. Her fight sequences become like dances,” Jones says. Indeed, Jyn is a character with a deep inner strength, which stems from her need to constantly fight to live, and for the cause she believes in. For Jones, it’s another huge step on the career ladder, but for young girls out there, Jyn will become a figure of adoration, just like Daisy Ridley‘s Rey before her. In that regard, the amount of preparation and time Jones has put into the character will deliver its rewards not only in terms of critical success, but in terms of her character’s popularity within an already established universe, too. And surely, there’s no greater accolade than that?