FIERCE FELIC­ITY

Meet the coolest new lead­ing lady.

Elle (Canada) - - Radar -

ou’d think Felic­ity Jones would be used to the deaf­en­ing roar of ap­plause. The Bri­tish ac­tress stole hearts in Like Crazy and The Amaz­ing Spi­der-Man 2 and has taken on the am­bi­tious role of Jane Hawk­ing, wife and bril­liant sup­porter of ge­nius Stephen Hawk­ing, in the well- re­ceived biopic The The­ory of Ev­ery­thing. The film dropped at the Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val to thun­der­ous praise and sparked awards buzz around leads Ed­die Red­mayne and Jones. But the 31-year-old ac­tress was still ner­vous. “I thought they were go­ing to hate it,” she says when we sit down, tuck­ing her pris­tine white dress around her knees. “It’s very per­sonal for all of us. Ed­die and I cared so much about Jane and Stephen—we wanted to bring their fe­roc­ity to the screen.”

Jane and Stephen had a com­pli­cated re­la­tion­ship. What was your im­pres­sion when you got to know Jane?

“I was so in­tim­i­dated by her. Her level of sacrifice and com­mit­ment to Stephen was phe­nom­e­nal. She’s some­one be­hind the fa­mous and rich per­son who does more of the mun­dane and less glam­orous work, so it did feel like a chal­lenge to bring Jane’s in­ner strength to the screen.” She is so strong yet so vul­ner­a­ble. “I think that’s what’s im­por­tant with fe­male char­ac­ters: It’s not just about be­ing tough or vul­ner­a­ble; it’s about a com­bi­na­tion. It’s about show­ing hu­man­ity, isn’t it? I just want to play com­plex, in­ter­est­ing fe­male roles as much as I can. I’m lucky that I’ve been able to do that.”

How do you deal with the ups and downs of the in­dus­try?

“I was watch­ing in­ter­views with Bette Davis re­cently and I was like, ‘That’s how you have to be! That woman had nerves of steel!’ You have to have a strong sense of self, oth­er­wise I don’t think you’d sur­vive. I’ve been do­ing this for 20 years. I started when I was 10, so I guess I’m ready for re­tire­ment.” [Laughs] Have you adapted to fame? “I think it sounds aw­ful. I mean, who would want to be fa­mous? It sounds ter­ri­ble.” The Kar­dashi­ans, maybe? “Los­ing your pri­vacy doesn’t ap­peal to me at all. I like be­ing able to walk down the street and not have to talk to peo­ple. I think there is a lot of con­fu­sion now be­tween ‘celebrity’ and ‘act­ing’; they are dif­fer­ent things.” Do you choose roles with that in mind? “I love this idea that we have in­fi­nite choice, es­pe­cially for fe­male parts. There aren’t tons of great fe­male roles for film com­ing through the doors, so I take what I can get and make the most of it.... You want to in­habit that role and let that per­son’s thoughts be­come part of your sub­con­scious. I im­merse my­self in it.”

It must feel kind of like a breakup at the end of a film.

“There is this sad sense of loss. But you get used to it. You get tough be­cause you’re con­stantly meet­ing new peo­ple and the world is chang­ing—you be­come a bit like a cir­cus per­former. When I was watch­ing the film last night, I thought it had a very hu­man con­clu­sion. It was about ris­ing above evil and not tak­ing ev­ery­thing so se­ri­ously— cel­e­brat­ing how lucky we are to have health and how lucky we are to have life.” KATHRYN HUD­SON

Ed­die Red­mayne and Felic­ity Jones as the loving, am­bi­tious, com­pli­cated cou­ple in

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