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Felicity Jones

“2011 has been the most surreal, fantastical, incredible year of my existence,” says Felicity Jones.

The British actress has a lot to be excited about.

First, there’s the success of her new movie, the romantic drama Like Crazy. The low-budget picture brought Jones a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.

The film moves into a wider release tomorrow (Nov. 18) in the U.S. in the wake of some very positive reviews.

And, now, Warren Beatty has reportedly just chosen Jones as the female lead in his upcoming movie about Howard Hughes.

In recent days she’s been in the U.S. doing a round of press interviews. Her visit is seen as an attempt to raise her profile during awards season.

Her name has been mentioned as a possible Oscar contender.

The actress is clearly pleased by the positive response to Like Crazy and her performance.

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“It’s such a nice bonus,” the Birmingham, England native told me. “For people to respond in the way they have is obviously a really lovely thing, so I’m just enjoying it.”

With some ten pictures under her belt, and a contract to be the new face of Burberry, the 27-year-old British actress was being routinely referred to as Britain’s – and Hollywood’s – new “It Girl” even before the reported offer from Warren Beatty.

Still, Jones is modest in her assessment of her “It Girl” status: “It feels like at the moment there’s a really good interesting group of British actors who are doing interesting work – and it’s nice to be part of that.”

Like Crazy, shot in a naturalistic style, is the story of a young student couple who meet in Los Angeles. Jones’ character returns to her native Britain, while her American boyfriend, played by Anton Yelchin, remains in California. Visa problems prevent them reuniting, so much of their communication is channeled through cell phones and texting.

The film doesn’t have a neat, happy Hollywood ending, and Jones sees that as one of its strengths: “I like that because I think in life things are often quite ambiguous and aren’t always totally resolved.”

Jones is a Doctor Who fan, having acted in an episode in 2008. “I sort of dip in and out of it, she says, adding that as soon as she starts watching, she’s hooked: “You just get completely drawn into it.”

One of Jones’s next endeavors is a film that reunites her with Like Crazy director Drake Doremus. “It’s more of a companion piece to Like Crazy,” she says. “It’s another exploration of love, but it’s about loving someone you shouldn’t.”

The film, as yet untitled, is expected to arrive in cinemas next year.

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By Tom Brook