An Oscar win, a sidekick to Tom Hanks and a “Star Wars” heroine—it seems like Felicity Jones’ career is on fire.
This weekend, the British actress will appear in “Inferno,” the third art-infused conspiracy thriller from Dan Brown. In the role of Dr. Sienna Brooks, she will accompany Hanks’ character, a now-amnesiac symbologist Robert Langdon, on a quest to prevent a mass-killing virus from spreading.
Long story short: Jones is one of the few (like three) highlights of the film. While key members of the production seem to be at their most mediocre—or lost—she seems to have mapped out where she needs to go and how to get there. That aligns with Jones’ approach to every role, apparently, in which she would jot down notes into a scrapbook.
“Pictures that I see that remind me of the person I’m playing, little bits of writing,” Jones said to the Hollywood Reporter. “As much as possible, I’m trying to understand who the characters are and why they’re making the decisions that they’re making.”
To ready herself to steal the Death Star’s plans, however, Jones looked to two different sources of inspiration: Florence + The Machine and martial arts. With what Jones’ character in “Rogue One,” Jyn Erso, knows, she should bond in a flash with Padmé (bless her soul), Princess Leia and recent Force-favored warrior, Rey.
“I’ve never done this level of physical preparation for something. Particularly for ‘Rogue One’ where I was training every day and doing kung-fu rehearsals on a daily basis. But that’s part of the reason I wanted to do it, because it was very different from what I’ve done before,” Jones said in the latest issue of film magazine Total Film.
“Rogue One” wasn’t supposed to be Jones’ debut in a major franchise. In 2014, a blockbuster named “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” provided the foundation for a potential solo film about Green Goblin’s thief girlfriend, Black Cat, whom Jones played.
Awkwardly enough, the name “Felicia Hardy” doesn’t have as much comic-book quality as “Felicity Jones.” Even more awkward was when said project never came to be (or will be) when Andrew Garfield’s second time as Spider-Man got tangled in disappointing revenues.
Then Sony got hacked.
Had Jones still stuck with Spidey, however, she would have been caught in the franchise fatigue rather than venturing to markedly different genres or racking up the Oscar count. Early next year, Jones is eyeing her second golden-man statue by playing a terminally ill mother in the adaptation of “A Monster Calls.”
Jones said to Yahoo! Movies that it was hard distancing herself from the role because, like everyone, she has seen someone who’s gravely ill.
“You definitely take it home with you, without a doubt. You don’t sign off and then not think about it,” Jones said. “Any creative process comes with a level of self-analysis and self-criticism. There’s a lot of waking up in the middle of the night going, ‘Oh, I wish I had done that differently.’”
“Inferno” is in theaters now.