To prepare for her starring role as the rebel Jyn Erso in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Felicity Jones watched a lot of music videos. The British actress, who was nominated for an Oscar for 2014’s The Theory of Everything, told The Hollywood Reporter that one major inspiration for Jyn was Florence Welch, the vocalist of the band Florence + The Machine. Jones told THR that she watched hours of video to capture the singer’s unique movement style.
“So much of Jyn is movement,” said Jones of her Rogue One character, a rebellious misfit turned hero who leads a band of Rebels on a mission to steal plans for the first Death Star. “It became a very important part of finding her. She walks almost a bit like a caged animal. Her fight sequences become like dances.”
Watch a Florence + The Machine video:
Jones, who turns 33 next week, also made a scrapbook for Jyn, which is part of her preparation for every film role. Though she didn’t specify what Jyn’s book contains, Jones explained that the scrapbooks usually consist of “pictures that I see that remind me of the person I’m playing” and “little bits of writing,” which help her “understand who the characters are and why they’re making the decisions that they’re making.”
She also found some of Jyn’s spirit in Sigourney Weaver, her co-star in the fantasy drama A Monster Calls (in theaters Dec. 23). While the two were promoting the film together recently, Jones pulled Weaver aside to thank for paving the way for Jyn with her role as Ripley in the Alien films.
“I was floored,” Weaver told THR. “For her to thank me is very generous. And kind of absurd.”
Rogue One was filmed largely between August 2015 and February of this year, but Jones had to return to the role of Jyn this summer for some much-publicized reshoots. However, she assured THR that the Rogue One reshoots were par for the course, and not the sign of doom that the press made them out to be.
“Obviously when you come to the edit, you see the film come together and you think, ‘Actually, we could do this better, and this would make more sense if we did this,‘” she said. “I’ve done it so many times. I mean, you wouldn’t just give your first draft on this story, would you?”
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in theaters on Dec. 16.
Watch Felicity Jones talk about Jyn Erso earlier this year: