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Felicity Jones talks about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’s Jyn Erso

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Gareth Edwards (Godzilla, Monsters) is directing Rogue One, which tells the story of resistance fighters who have united to steal plans to the dreaded Death Star. The film is produced by Kathleen Kennedy and is slated for a December 16, 2016 release.

The film stars Felicity Jones, Diego LunaBen Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, and Riz Ahmed. 

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Jones spoke to EW about playing the lead role of Jyn Erso, the loner whose scientist father has knowledge vital to both the Rebels and the Empire.

I’m laughing now, but at the time, it was physically exhausting,” says the actress, 32. “It took a lot of hours of practice, and I worked with a kung fu coach, and I learned to fight, even though I never thought beating up Stormtroopers was something I’d be doing in my job. It came through hard work and lots of practice and rehearsals.

She is absolutely a very unlikely heroine. She’s someone on the edges and fringes of society. Physically, she’s smaller than everyone else around her, but… when someone has something they believe in, that’s what powers them, that’s what motivates them, that’s what can give someone enormous strength.

I would say there’s a huge amount of respect for women in the Rebellion. Mon Mothma is ultimately, for Jyn, someone she looks up to. So even as the film opens [Jyn] has a very strong female role model in front of her, and someone she respects.

Gareth Edwards also had this to say about Jones.

There were a lot of people who could learn how to fight and beat people up and do the physical side of it. For me, the most interesting thing is when there’s a crack in the armor, when you can glimpse the vulnerability in someone. You can just hang the camera on Felicity and not say a word, and you can feel her having a million different thoughts. You get interested in what she’s thinking and what’s going on. She can be very observant within a scene. It doesn’t always have to be about her directly, but we’re experiencing it through her. She just has that knack for pulling you in.

Check out all of our Rogue One coverage.

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