Rogue One star 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. 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 says. “Particularly with Jyn, it’s such a rare opportunity to be able to play a female who’s not just thinking about [romantic] relationships.”
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.’”
“Everyone wanted to create a character that was not in any way objectified,” said 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.”
The 33-year-old British actress is also the latest actress to speak openly about the problem, following the likes of Jennifer Lawrence.
“I want to be paid fairly for the work that I’m doing,” Jones told while promoting Rogue One
“That’s what every single woman around the world wants,” she said. “We want to be paid on parity with a man in a similar position. And I think it’s important to talk about it.”