We’re two-thirds of the way into 2016 and Oscar nominated actress Felicity Jones still has four (4!) high profile movies opening in theaters this year. After Collider opens in August, A Monster Calls and Inferno open in October, there’s the first Star Wars Story, better known as Rogue One, coming in Decmber.
With Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016 lifting the veil of secrecy last month on the first Star Wars Anthology movie, and a second trailer debuting yesterday, Felicity Jones can finally talk a little more openly about her role leading a team of Rebels against the Galactic Empire and their first Death Star.
Jones recaps to EW her first meeting with director Gareth Edwards about the film and the role of Jyn Erso, which as you can expect knowing Disney and Lucasfilm, was very hush hush.
“We were both working at the time and we met at something like 5:30 a.m. in a hotel restaurant. Most of the meeting was conducted in whispers as he explained the story and the character. My first introduction was definitely one shrouded in secrecy and being very careful no one overheard what we were talking about.”
Certainly a role that comes with higher expectations than any other in her career, playing Jyn is also physically demanding for the 5-foot-3 actress who trained with a Kung Fu coach for her many scenes fighting Stormtroopers. Part of the reason Edwards wanted to cast Jones is that she doesn’t seem physically intimidating at a glance, someone who’s smaller than her cohorts – and that lets audiences empathize with her. At the same time, she has the talent that lets Edwards leave the camera on pointed at her, and she doesn’t need to do much for one to wonder what she’s thinking about. It’s captivating. Jones:
“She is absolutely a very unlikely heroine. She’s someone on the edges and fringes of society. Physically, she’s smaller than everyone else around her, but… when someone has something they believe in, that’s what powers them, that’s what motivates them, that’s what can give someone enormous strength.”
Below are photos from the Rogue One: A Star Wars panel at Star Wars Celebration 2016 and behind-the-scenes shots of the cast from the event:
Felicity Jones’ role as Jyn Erso also represents another female lead for the Star Wars movie franchise, something the original movies and prequels didn’t offer. And where Rey (Daisy Ridley) fits the Luke Skywalker, force-sensitive archetype with her part in the new episodic Star Wars movies that began with The Force Awakens, Jyn is the Han Solo scoundrel type – someone who you very much want on your side and who can get the dirty work done – no Force powers necessary.
Rogue One also brings back Mon Mothma, who returns from the original trilogy as the leader of the Rebel Alliance.
“I would say there’s a huge amount of respect for women in the Rebellion. Mon Mothma is ultimately, for Jyn, someone she looks up to. So even as the film opens [Jyn] has a very strong female role model in front of her, and someone she respects.”
If you haven’t seen the brand new, epic trailer, click here. Share your thoughts in the comments!
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in U.S. theaters on December 16, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15, 2017, the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25, 2018, Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019, and the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.