Star Wars

Star Wars star Felicity Jones on finding the Force for Rogue One

The Theory of Everything actress talks about hitting the gym and learning kung fu in preparation for her role as rebel Jyn Erso in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 December, 2016, 9:03pm
UPDATED : Monday, 12 December, 2016, 9:03pm

Felicity Jones steps into the big league with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, an action blockbuster role that is the first spin-off film in the space franchise.

Jones, 33, is best known for her Oscar-nominated role as the wife of physicist Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything and as Tom Hanks’ sidekick in the 2016 adventure Inferno .

Early audience reactions from ‘Rogue One’ premiere are in

We spoke to the British actress about training for the role of rebel Jyn Erso and finding the Force for the film. The following are edited excerpts.

How much did you know about the film when you were cast?

I didn’t know a great deal but I did know that she was going to be a rather extraordinary character because my agent said ‘I think you’re going to really like playing this part.’ And she was true to her word.

At what point did you go ‘Oh my god. I’m actually in a Star Wars film’?

It takes a while for it to drop ... and then you think ’Oh my god. I’ve got to get to the gym.’ I got to start training really quickly to get to the kind of level of fitness that you need for something like this. It is absolutely magical being on set even when ... we would be doing a lot of military type scenes and running and kind of clambering out of our bunkers and having sand thrown in our faces. But through all of that there is much joy in being part of it.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – answers to your most pressing questions

You studied kung fu, is that right?

I did, yeah. I worked with this kung fu teacher who constantly told me to think like Tiger Girl, so that would be in my head before doing a fight sequence. I’d think ‘I’ve got to think like Tiger Girl.’

Are you ready for how this is going to change people’s perception of you?

I feel great pride in having made something that I hope people are really going to love and take to their hearts.

Some quick questions. Does Jyn get to meet Darth Vader?

You have to wait and see.

How much of a Force user is Jyn?

She definitely has the Force within her. It’s her mother’s legacy really and the Force for Jyn is more about belief and hope.

Is she Rey’s mother?

[Shakes head]

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in Hong Kong on December 15