I was invited by Disney to a Star Wars press trip to facilitate my reviews. All opinions shared are 100% my own.
I couldn’t wait to sit and chat a bit with Felicity Jones about her leading female role on Star Wars: Rogue One as Jyn Erso. From the 28 minutes of footage that we saw at the Skywalker Ranch, she is intense and goes through a lot of hardship. I had a million questions buzzing through my mind from girl power to her training to achieve the action packed scenes we saw. Here is our Exclusive Interview with Felicity Jones on Jyn Erso in Star Wars.
As Felicity walks in she shares with us about a scary Jyn Erso doll with 8 arms for that she just received for her nephew 🙂 I think she was taken with the weirdness of it, and loved her for taking care of business for her nephew!
Felicity Jones on Jyn, Being on Star Wars and Her Costume
The first thing we ask Felicity to do was, to describe her character to us. She summarizes by saying that Jyn has a very strong character and hates the Empire which has destroyed her family. She has a wonderful humanity and grows into a leadership role as she becomes trusting and finds common ground with others on their hate for the empire despite their very many differences.
How would you react to finding out you got a role in Star Wars? Well Felicity had a heads up on this one. Her agent kind of told her, and asked to act surprised when Gareth Edwards delivered the news to her. I can just imagine how nervous I would be to have to act surprised!
Her costume looks quite comfortable and cool on her. Felicity Jones tells us that the costume was combat style and it didn’t feel quite right it or Star Wars enough until it was decided to add the Japanese martial art style used by Obi One Kenobi to it. Indirectly, the costume was also used to bring some spirituality to her character. She did have and open dialogue and shared her take on the outfit at every step of the way.
Love for Jyn? Training for Star Wars Action?
Because we had seen on screen that Jyn has a tough and hard life, I was wondering if in the end she has a reward or even a love interest? To that she replied: “I am saying nothing!”. Boy did my question throw her off :). She did share; however, that Jyn’s perseverance and determination pays off. In the end we will that feel there is justice for her and her team.
Moving on to the physical activity we started talking about training for the movie. Felicity says she had to learn everything from scratch. That means that, she had a lot of practice with the stunt team. At the end of the day she was full of bruises. Fortunately, she didn’t realize she was getting them because the adrenaline was pumping hard. She does graciously blame herself for taking so much upon herself and trying hard so that the scenes feels believable. Because she did do an lot of wire work with a harness. in the end she had lots of different versions of her costumes: one to sit, the stunt version and the walking version depending on what was needed. All of them long sleeved so no one saw the bruises 🙂
Star Wars is Family
What does Star Wars mean to Felicity Jones? Well, to her, Star Wars is about family and the family made with friends. “Especially the friendships made across different languages and races that come together and unite to fight the forces of evil. That is probably the reason why Star Wars talks to people over generations and has lasted so long.”
Her personal takeaway from filming Star Wars is the friendships that blossomed. She loves everyone in the cast. She recognizes that everyone is very different but had a wonderful spirit of collaboration. She was lucky to have so many supportive men that were not competing with her. She didn’t witness huge egos. Additionally, no one was trying to cut her down. There was a lot of joking on set, and it took a while to get everyone to focus.
Talking about girl power, we are witnessing a progression for women in Star Wars roles. It seems that Jyn is the strongest female role yet. In working her character, Felicity was looking for the audience to empathize, care, and side with Jyn. Both her and director Garrett Edwards didn’t want Jyn to keep being saved, So, they made her resourceful, able to survive and capable. But at the same time able to be part of a team.
What she wishes the younger generation of girls to take away for Rogue One is: ” She (Jyn) is not rich or a princess not privilege. She is an ordinary girl. Who has had to make the best of things. She is resourceful and self reliant. She is exactly who she wants to be. That should be the biggest takeaway. You don’t have to conform to an idea of what a girl should be. There should be no need to work towards a standard of what a woman should be. Instead, we should be celebrating what is different about us.”.
Star Wars and Our Choices
With a resounding “No way!” Felicity tells that her character will never be on the dark side! nevertheless, she keeps on reminding us that it is a choice. So much in Star Wars is about the parent child relationship. At the same time it’s about finding ourselves. Making choices can be complicated. Light and dark side are choices that might not be as apparent as we believe. So she poses a question: “If your parents have a set of beliefs, do you go with them because they are your parents or reject them? The question is all about who are you and who you chose to become.”.
I really enjoyed our time together, and loved her ideas on the complexity of family that we can appreciate in Star Wars. Of course, I believe she is on point on how as women we should embrace our uniqueness and plow forward.
Fun fact: growing up Felicity Jones really liked hand solo just because Harrison Ford is so hot!
Which part of this interview did you like most? Was there anything else we didn’t cover you would have liked to know? Got your tickets for opening day December 16th?