Felicity Jones: “I would have done anything to get the Star Wars part”

The British actress says playing Star Wars Rogue One lead character Jyn Erso was "a gift" she was more than eager to receive

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Star Wars rebel Jyn Erso carries the hopes of the Rebellion on her shoulders in upcoming movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but that doesn’t bother lead actress Felicity Jones, who would have gone far, far beyond the call of duty to get the role.

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“I couldn’t believe it,” Jones told RadioTimes.com when asked how she felt when she got the call. “I couldn’t believe that there was this opportunity to play a fascinating, complex female character who is a leader – who is a true leader in every single way – and that it was going to be part of something like Star Wars.”

“I just thought, ‘That is an absolute gift’,” she added. “It really did take me aback, and then immediately I just said yes. From the very beginning, instinctively, I would have done anything to get the part and wanted to see it through to the very end.”

Jones, who stars in upcoming Dan Brown adaptation Inferno alongside Tom Hanks, says she cherishes the opportunity to play complex and intelligent female characters like Jyn.

In fact, the chance to play a fiercely clever woman who’d prove to be Robert Langdon’s intellectual equal is partially what convinced her to join Hanks for the project.

“Each one of them wants to be the cleverest in the room,” she says when describing the relationship between their characters, who join forces to try and prevent the outbreak of a deadly virus crafted by a billionaire with a twisted vision of the future.

She says working with Hanks and director Ron Howard was fascinating. “I loved watching the way he and Ron work together. In many ways, that’s why I wanted to do it. I could see that I would learn a lot from seeing that dynamic.”

“Nothing is too great a problem. They’re open to discussions, they like to be collaborative. They’re everything I expected and more.”

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Inferno opens in UK cinemas on 14th October