“Jyn’s com­pli­cated. it’s what i like about her”

Felic­ity Jones plays Rebel team leader Jyn Erso

SFX - - Rogue one a star wars story - Por­trait by Maarten de Boer

What can you tell us about Jyn Erso?

She’s re­ally thrown into a sit­u­a­tion that she’s not ex­pect­ing. All of the Rebels have had some kind of strug­gle in their past, they haven’t had easy lives, and they all come to­gether and are united in some­thing they be­lieve in. But she’s com­pli­cated, which is what I like about her. She’s re­source­ful when she has to be, but she has also had to stand up for her­self. She’s de­ter­mined, but there’s a hu­man­ity to her, which I hope comes through. She has real em­pa­thy and af­fec­tion for the team around her.

Gareth Ed­wards has talked about how he wanted to make the movie gritty and re­al­is­tic. Was mak­ing Rogue One like mak­ing The Revenant?

It was in­ter­est­ing hear­ing the sto­ries about The Revenant, be­cause it did feel very sim­i­lar to mak­ing Rogue One. It was so im­por­tant to bring au­then­tic­ity. In this one, Stormtroop­ers are not all com­pletely white and clean. They’ve got scratches on them and they’ve been through dif­fi­cult times. At ev­ery level it was bring­ing a level of re­al­ity. I love shoot­ing like that. It was great to work with some­one like Gareth who kept it very fresh, who would say to go with your in­stinct. It brought such fresh­ness to it, which I think au­di­ences are re­ally ready for.

Was there a mo­ment where you thought, “Yeah, now I know I’m in Star Wars”?

Pretty much ev­ery day, be­cause there’s so much de­tail. We would be in the ships, and you can press all the but­tons and they con­nect, and things light up. It’s re­ally fun, ac­tu­ally – the less act­ing you have to do the bet­ter, be­cause it’s go­ing to make it more re­al­is­tic even­tu­ally. You ac­tu­ally felt like you were in the world of Star Wars.

Is there a hint of ro­mance with Diego Luna’s char­ac­ter, Cassian Andor?

I can’t say... But there may be! You’ll have to wait and see. There’s def­i­nitely a con­nec­tion and that’s what’s so beau­ti­ful about Star Wars – I think why peo­ple love it is the re­la­tion­ships, the fond­ness that these char­ac­ters have for each other. There will def­i­nitely be some ten­der mo­ments in the film.

You have the hon­our of say­ing “May the Force be with us”. How do you pre­pare for such an iconic line?

It’s like “to be or not to be” or some­thing. You’ve got to re­ally make sure you get it right, oth­er­wise you’re go­ing to feel re­ally stupid. So I was just walk­ing around my house say­ing it, over and over again, try­ing dif­fer­ent pauses for dif­fer­ent ef­fects. But when I ac­tu­ally said it, I to­tally just chan­nelled the Force to get it out!

There’s loads of se­crecy around a Star Wars movie. Has it been frus­trat­ing not be­ing able to talk to peo­ple?

Yeah, you end up just seem­ing like you’re a spy or some­thing, re­ally se­cre­tive. You get home from work and your friends and fam­ily are like, “Did you have a nice day to­day?” Yep. “Can you tell us about it?” No, noth­ing hap­pened. It is re­ally hard ac­tu­ally, be­cause you get ex­cited and you want to talk about it. The stream of con­scious­ness has to be mon­i­tored, def­i­nitely.

Did you have any good visi­tors on set?

Mark Hamill came to visit. The Em­pire Strikes Back is a mas­sive in­spi­ra­tion for Rogue One, so Gareth and I were al­most bow­ing down to him. It was re­ally spe­cial to meet him. He al­ways comes across so well, just a gen­uine per­son who hasn’t been af­fected by that in­cred­i­ble thing.

Did he have any ad­vice for han­dling the fame?

Ac­tu­ally he just said to en­joy it – that it’s a bit of a roller­coaster, but you’re on it now, so just en­joy it as much as you can.

Gareth Ed­wards pre­pares his cast for bat­tles ahead. We reckon you’re un­likely to see Ewoks in this movie…

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