Rogue One: A Star Wars Storyis almost out in theaters, and will probably launch British actress Felicity Jones into super-stardom as Jyn Erso, the rebel protagonist at the center of the film.
Of course, Felicity Jones has been around for awhile, quietly turning in some of the best performances of her generation in everything from her star-making turn in Like Crazyto her more high profile role in The Theory of Everything. If you’re looking to see the Rogue Oneactress in other roles, here are six choices to start with…
Like Crazy (2011)
I went into this film for Anton Yelchin (Star Trek) and Jennifer Lawrence (who has a small, supporting role), but came out impressed by Felicity Jones. Like Crazyisthe story of an American boy and a British girl who fall in love while in college, then have to navigate the complications of a transatlantic relationship.
Rather than write a traditional script for the film, writers Doremus and Ben York Jones compiled a 50-page outline, then had the actors improv most of the dialogue. The result is a raw, intimate protrayal of the lightness and limitations of young love in which Jones totally captivates in her turn as a young woman continually being changed by those chaotic, scary post-college years.
The Theory of Everything (2014)
If you’ve encountered Jones before, it was probably in this Stephen Hawking biopic in which she plays Jane Wilde Hawking, the theoretical physicist’s first wife and the person who wrote the memoir on which the screenplay was based.
Eddie Redmayne won the Oscar for Best Leading Actor, but Jones is just as good in her understated, complex performance as Jane, the woman who watched the man she loves, the father of her children, deal with the effects of motor neurone disease. Apart from the film’s top-notch performances, The Theory of Everything is a beautiful film well worth the watch — whether you’re a Felicity Jones fan or not.
Northanger Abbey (2007)
Who doesn’t love a good Jane Austen adaptation? Northanger Abbeymight not be one of Austen’s more popular works, but the Gothic satire is still a lot of fun and, with Jones in this TV adaptation’s leading role, there’s a lot to like about this youth-geared adaptation. Jones stars as Catherine Morland, an overimaginative, romantic girl who starts to confuse real life with the world of the Gothic novels she loves reading when she goes to stay at Northanger Abbey.
In lesser hands, the Catherine Morland character can come off as frustratingly childish, but Jones’ intelligence and charm dullls the edges on the more annoying traits of this character. It also helps that the script is penned by Andrew Davies, popular for his TV miniseries adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and the more recent War & Peace.If you’re an Austen fan or a Felicity Jones fan, this is well worth the watch.
Chalet Girl (2011)
The premise for this British romantic comedy is a little over the top, but Chalet Girltakes a cheesy plot and imbues it with depth, humor, and heart through a surprisingly solid, funny script and a great performances from our actress of honor.
Ed Westwick, Sophia Bush, Bill Bailey, Brooke Shields, and the great Bill Nighy also star in this movie about a former champion skateboarder who gives up the sport she loves following a car accident that kills her mother. When the fast food job she has isn’t paying the bills, Kim decides to take a well-paying job working in the Alps. One of her rich clients? Chuck Bass (OK, he’s actually called Johnny, but we all know he’s actually Chuck Bass). The plot line is thoroughly predictable, but, the cast is charming and charismatic, and Jones really sells the emotional through-line of this flick.
Doctor Who, “The Unicorn and the Wasp” (2008)
Felicity Jones isn’t front-and-center in this fourth season episode of Doctor Who,but I’m pretty much always looking for an excuse to re-watch and recommend episodes of the British time travel series. Jones plays Robina Redmond, one of the guests at a 1920s dinner party to which famed mystery writer Agatha Christie is also in attendance.
Though Robina may not be The Doctor, Donna, or Agatha Christie, she still gets some fun moments, and Jones gets a chance to show her range in a character twist you might not see coming. Come for the giant wasps, stay for Felicity Jones. (This should be the tagline for all of her projects.)
A Monster Calls (2016)
OK, so this one isn’t out until December 23rd, after Rogue Onehits theaters, but it still seems worthy of including on the list. In A Monster Calls,Felicity Jones plays the terminally ill young mother of the film’s boy protagonist. The book the film is based on comes from Classcreator Patrick Ness and the man behind the camera for the adaptation is Spanish director J.A. Bayona. Bayona made The Orphanageand The Impossible(one of Spider-Man Tom Holland’s early roles), and will be directing the next Jurassic Parkfilm. Basically, this is a film that seems worth checking out for many, many reasons — but Jones is definitely one of them.