I am so excited to bring you my first #RogueOneEvent interview today. We screened 28 minutes of the film the night before (at Skywalker Ranch of all places) so we didn’t get to see the whole movie. I can tell you that what I did see was AWESOME though. I’ll be seeing the Thursday night (12/15) show with the boys! Today’s interview is with Felicity Jones who plays the rebel Jyn Erso.
What I loved about Felicity (besides how warm and positive she was) is how highly everyone else spoke of her. She is very well respected by all the cast. Many people commented on how she never complained and was an amazing leader on set.
(That’s me just to the left of Felicity as you’re looking at the photo)
Felicity Jones Blogger Interview
We asked her first to describe Jyn to us in her words:
“Jyn has a very strong ideology. She hates the empire, she hates everything they stand for. They have destroyed her family so anytime she sees a storm trooper she is like an animal who wants to take them down but at the same time she has a wonderful humanity and she learns how to be a leader throughout the film. She starts off a bit of an outsider and is very suspicious and untrusting of people.
She’s had a bit of a hard life, there’s been quite a lot of struggle, so it’s not easy for her to trust people. Throughout the film you see her actually forming these kindred spirits with the other rebels and finding something – that they all have a common dislike of the empire – they unite over that despite their differences.”
One of the questions some of my friends/readers wanted to know from each actor – How did you find out you got the role?
“I had a phone call from Gareth Edwards, but actually, my agent who I’m very close to and we’ve worked together for years and years and years. She sort of said to me, ‘I’m pretty sure it’s yours but, when Gareth phones you up can you make sure that you sound really surprised?’ He wanted to break the news to us so he called and said, ‘I’d love you to play the part.’ And then I was thinking, ‘that’s great but there’s gonna be a lot of training involved in this film so I’d better get my ass to the gym.’”
Did you bring any suggestions yourself to the character?
“Throughout everything it was very collaborative from the costume… Originally the costume, the first suggestions, were sort of this combat style, combat trousers and a kind of vest. I tried that and it didn’t feel quite right and it didn’t feel ‘Star Wars’ enough so we had a quite a lot of discussions about bringing in more of this Japanese style that you see in those early films with OB Wan Kenobi and the martial arts type clothing that they wear. To bring out that side of Jyn, to bring something a little bit more spiritual into her characterization through the costume. But, every step of the way, it was a very, very open dialogue in terms of all of us to bring as much as we wanted to the characters.”
Then she was asked if we can expect to see a reward, a sweet moment or even a love interest for Jyn in the movie.
“I’m saying nothing. There is very much (a reward). What’s great about her is her perseverance and her determination and it definitely pays off at the end. You feel like her and her team, you feel like there’s justice.”
How much training was involved?
“I’ve never done any of this stuff before so it was just learning everything from the very beginning and working very closely with the stunt team who took me through these sort of acrobatic moves that Jyn would have to perform eventually in the film so it was just a lot of practice and a lot of practice.”
Can you talk a little bit about what Star Wars means to you and now being part of it what that means to you?
“Star Wars – I feel the reason it’s lasted for so long is it’s about family. It’s not just blood relations it’s the family that you form with friends and friendships. I think what’s so special about it is those friendships are across different races, different languages, but it’s people who come together and they’re obviously united by fighting the forces of evil. I think that’s what people, generations and generations tap into. Those relationships. And really empathize with those characters.”
What will you take with you from the experience?
“The thing that I would take from this, it’s obviously, it’s an incredible thing to be part of, but the thing that I actually love are the friendships. And I really, really absolutely love all of them and everyone is very different and we all have our quirks and our ways but there is a real spirit of collaboration. I never felt like there were any huge egos, it felt like everyone was in it together and there was real support. Working with a group of men you could think that they would be sort of trying to cut you down or sort of compete, but I was very lucky, they were very supportive throughout everything. I felt like we’ve all built a team off set as well as when we were on and we were working. I actually took a lot of time to get everyone to focus, there’s a lot of joking and there’s so many people and banter. Often the first AD (assistant director) who has to bring everything together would be like, ‘okay, come on everyone.’ You start being treated like children as they’re trying to get us onto set an get everyone to do what they’re told but that comes from those real genuine friendships between everyone.”
We’ve seen a sort of progression as far as the Star Wars women, Lea was very strong but she was still kind of that damsel in distress and Rey, a little bit stronger. I feel in that twenty eight minutes that we got to see that your character is stronger yet. Was that important for you as far as that role?
“I just wanted the audience to really care about her and empathize with her and be in it alongside her. And she is very resourceful and it was very clear to Gareth and I, we’re both from the same page about this, we didn’t want her to keep being saved. You know, sometimes in films the female character is often the one who’s sort of in distress and then the male character comes and gets her out of it. Wo we were very clear about just making sure that she could survive on her own. And she’s capable but also at the same time, they do need each other. There is a team and part of what makes someone strong is being able to work in a team and to rely on other people. So it was trying to get that balance.”
What do you want for like younger generations of girls to take away from your character when they’re pretending to be Jyn?
“What I like about her is she’s not a princess, she’s not really rich, she’s not privileged. That’s what we’re used to seeing in these sort of leading roles. She’s very much an ordinary woman and ordinary girl who’s had to make the best of things and I think what I would like young girls to take from it is resourcefulness and self reliance. And that Jyn isn’t always sweetness and light and giggles, that she is exactly who she wants to be. I think that’s what’s important that young girls don’t feel like they have to conform to some idea of what a girl should be. You can be whoever you want, whatever you are and take confidence in that and there isn’t a standard that we should all be working towards. It’s about celebrating what’s different about us and being allowed. Society letting that come through.”
What was the most difficult part about being a part of Star Wars?
“I think sometimes it comes with a lot of pressure, and obviously Star Wars is the boss. It’s not any individual or any one person, it’s the whole franchise and I think it’s the responsibility. And not letting that become too much and get to sort of overly serious. I think when there’s a sense of leadership it’s trying to keep a kind of likeness. And then, an enjoyment and not beating yourself up too much for all the mistakes that you might be making.”
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is in theaters December 16th and you’re not going to want to miss it!
That music though…
I attended the #RogueOneEvent #StarWarsRebelsEvent #MickeyRacersEvent #PinocchioBluray as press. Opinions expressed are my own.