10 Things You Never Knew About Felicity Jones
Felicity Jones is a guest on this week's episode of The Graham Norton Show, dropping in to discuss the movie adaptation of Jojo Moyes' bestselling romantic novel The Last Letter from Your Lover.
It's another intriguing role for the 37-year-old actress, who won an Oscar nomination for her performance opposite Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything, led the Star Wars spin-off movie Rogue One, and portrayed the great Ruth Bader Ginsburg in On the Basis of Sex. Ahead of her chat with Norton, which airs Friday at 11pm EST on BBC America, let's find out a little more about her.
1. Her late uncle, Michael Hadley, was an actor.
His TV credits included episodes of Ashes to Ashes, A Touch of Frost, and The Bill, as well as the movies The Boat That Rocked and Diana. "We used to see him in the theater, in things like Ibsen and Shakespeare," Jones told The Times recently, adding that this helped to pique her interest in acting.
2. Her parents split up when she was 3 years old, so her mum raised Jones and her brother as a lone parent.
"As I get older, I realize how difficult it must have been in a way you don't understand when you're younger. I think that my brother and I have both inherited some of her perseverance," Jones told The Observer in 2011.
She added: "I think that when something happens when you're growing up, like a death or divorce, it does open the world slightly because things aren't as straightforward. So that process which everyone goes through where you realise things aren't as comfortable and safe as they seem, I think that happens at an earlier point."
3. Before she became famous, she appeared in iconic BBC radio soap opera The Archers.
You can relive her character's wedding day in this classic clip from The Archers' archive.
4. Before she focused fully on acting, she completed an English degree at Oxford University.
"There are people in my family who had been before: my great uncle went to Cambridge," Jones told Stylist in 2013. "It had been something that I have always wanted to do. I wanted to carry on studying because I liked English at school. Going somewhere like Oxford meant I could act and be part of the theater there and study at the same time. I loved it. I met my best friends there, who I’m still really close to. I’m so lucky that I had that experience."
5. And right before she went to university, she starred in a TV commercial for an acne-preventing face wipe.
And naturally, said commercial is available to watch on YouTube.
6. After university, she moved to London to try out for TV and movie roles, and says she'd see the same faces at auditions "constantly."
And those faces were... Carey Mulligan, Andrea Riseborough, Eddie Redmayne, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Hardy. "We were all going for it. So you were disappointed if you didn’t get something, when someone else did," she told The Guardian in 2019. "It was funny. People would have these moments and suddenly go stratospheric. I guess I started to realize that everyone has their own unique selling points.”
7. She appears in a music video by "Uptown Funk" hitmaker Mark Ronson.
Look out for Jones around three-and-a-half minutes into Ronson's video for "The Bike Song." Appropriately enough, you'll spot her riding a bicycle.
8. At least one Star Wars fan has had Jones' face tattooed on their body.
Thankfully, it's not in too intimate a position, as Jones shared during a previous appearance on The Graham Norton Show.
9. When she and Redmayne were working together on The Theory of Everything, they would hurl verbal abuse at one another to prepare for an emotional scene.
Jones told The Guardian: "I would stand there, or he would, shouting horrific things, ‘You’re hopeless, you’re never going to work again,’ anything to get a response. Shooting gets monotonous. You do scenes over and over and over again. To try for something a little… spicier, it helps if someone is pushing you, provoking you."
10. She says Dame Helen Mirren, with whom she worked on the 2010 movie The Tempest, became "such a mentor" to her.
"I just love the way she works – in a very straightforward, un-flashy way – and she achieves great things," Jones told Interview magazine at the time. "The way she behaved was something I wanted to emulate. She’s very calm and she doesn’t ever let how others perceive her get in the way of her work. She’s completely un-jaded."
The admiration is certainly mutual: Mirren calls Jones "fabulous," "very smart," and "up for a laugh" in this BAFTA tribute video.
Do you have a favorite Felicity Jones performance?