Felicity Jones is opening up about feminism and the joy of getting to play a female character “who’s not just thinking about [romantic] relationships,” in Star Wars: Rogue One.
In a new interview with Glamour, the actress got candid about the rarity of “full-sided” female characters in film, and her experience playing resistance fighter Jyn Erso in the new standalone Star Wars film.
“I’ve always been a feminist, and what I love in my work is being able to explore a full-sided woman and not patronize her,” she told the magazine.“Particularly with Jyn, it’s such a rare opportunity to be able to play a female who’s not just thinking about [romantic] relationships.”
Jones’ strong feminist views may stem from her childhood, during which she was a “tomboy running around the garden,” and constantly surrounded by males.
The actress credits her mother for teaching her early on that a woman should not be defined by her looks.
“My mother was in the kind of late-‘60s, early-‘70s origins of female emancipation,” said the Theory of Everything star. “And she was very much like, ‘You’re not going to be defined by how you look. It’s going to be about who you are and what you do.’”
Putting aside looks was of utmost importance when it came to Jones’ character Jyn Erso in Star Wars: Rogue One, which hits theaters on Dec. 16.
“Everyone wanted to create a character that was not in any way objectified,” sad Jones. “We didn’t want to sexualize Jyn… We don’t even see Jyn’s arms! That’s not her priority. She’s a survivor, and she has a mission to complete.”
During the interview, Jones also addressed fellow Hollywood actresses like Jennifer Lawrence and Patricia Arquette pushing for equal pay for women in Hollywood.
“I want to be paid fairly for the work that I’m doing. That’s what every single woman around the world wants,” said Jones. “We want to be paid on parity with a man in a similar position. And I think it’s important to talk about it.… It’s brave of those women to come forward and make a point about it. Now younger actresses will have a confidence in those discussions with their agents and be able to say, ‘Can we make sure that I’m being paid the right amount for the work that I’m doing?’”
Find out which line Jones was most nervous to say while filming Rogue One in the video below.