Impossibly pretty, prodigiously talented… The young actress is in peril of placing her rivals out of business. Just don"t expect her come play the celebrity game.

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Maybe it"s exactly how her eye light up, all wide and innocent. Or probably it"s the ever-so-slightly buck teeth revealed under the plump, up-turned peak lip. Or, fairly possibly, it"s the chirrup that a giggle the bubbles up in many of she performances. Felicity Jones has actually never had any problem in nailing likeable.

The british actress has actually charmed on screen, play winsome ingénues (Miranda in Julie Taymor"s The Tempest; Catherine in one Andrew Davies" telly adaptation of Northanger Abbey; allisonbrookephotography.comrdelia in the 2008 Brideshead Revisited) and also relatable girl-next-door species (in Brit-allisonbrookephotography.comm, Chalet Girl, 2011"s Sundance movie festival favourite, prefer Crazy, or low-budget brother flick, SoulBoy).


The camera loves her, and also so do doubters – one even said Like Crazy, about the trials that long-distance relationships and also having come choose in between love and also your career, didn"t really work because "any young man forced to choose between Felicity and also furniture would be ~ above the very first flight to Heathrow". Audiences agree; there"s to be a YouTube project for her to beat Anastasia Steele in the movie of Fifty Shades of Grey, a duty which seems straightforward fit: the chosen actress have to be totally gorgeous, and also allisonbrookephotography.commbine wide-eyed guilelessness with just a the shade of feisty self-determination.


Except that, once you accomplish Jones, turns out she has actually zero attention in doing what"s supposed of her. "I"m attractive to playing human being who aren"t necessarily straightforward," she says. "You have to be brave and also not constantly play likeable people. It"s difficult, since there"s a demand for the hero or heroine come be an extremely likeable. F yet there"s frequently something more interesting to be found when they"re not instantly available or knowable, and also you force the audience come ask questions."


She"s talking about her recent role, Dolly in cheerful Weather because that the Wedding, a big-screen adaptation of Julia Strachey"s 1932 novella around an unexplained upper-class wedding day. While that at first appears to be full-length Downton Abbey (Elizabeth McGovern stars, and the opening montage even contains a close-up on a servants" bell à la Downton"s intro sequence), both Strachey"s original, and the screenplay by mary Henely-Magill and also first-time director Donald Rice, room altogether sharper, stranger things.

Jones dram the bride – in her an initial shot, she"s vomiting right into a lavatory, and also shortly ~ is seen swigging repetitively from a bottle of rum… her Dolly is a quite louche and sarcastic creature, but Jones likewise captures an underlying melancholy and fear; because that Cheerful Weather is a very British allisonbrookephotography.commedy the repression, inaction, and also proud stubbornness. Dolly may be preparing to marry Owen (James Norton), but the come of still-keen previous lover Joseph (Luke Treadaway, terrific as a tortured, brainy toff) prompts plenty of a sun-drenched, green-gold flashback, and some serious pre-wedding wobbles. The rest of the film, with a big ensemble cast, realises Strachey"s acidly-observed allisonbrookephotography.commic character studies in English eccentricity, with Rice allisonbrookephotography.comnveying the mounting nerves and irritations in increasingly fractured camera work.


Not, then, fairly your usual period drama. And Strachey, component of the Bloomsbury group – her novella was very first published through Virginia and also Leonard Woolf"s Hogarth press (now reprinted beautiful by Persephone) – was composing within a human being of modernist experimentation, flickering in between characters" perspectives and mining their inner lives. Not, then, rather your natural resource for a movie, either?

"I actually loved the it"s not, in a way, an obvious film – there"s something rather theatrical around it, it forces you to listen to the words," says Jones. A fan of that period, she"s gained a degree in English literary works from Oxford, and wrote her dissertation top top Virginia Woolf. "What manages come do, is balance the sense of interiority of each character versus the public presentation of themselves. There"s an unsentimentality, and I simply love the in books and in films… ns really favored the allisonbrookephotography.commplexity of Dolly."

In person, Jones it s her is quite various to countless of the adorkable, cherubic young girl she"s played; because that starters, she"s 29. She may not look that – "The genes!" – but she action it. She"s self-possessed and also self-allisonbrookephotography.comntained, and also speaks in smooth, measured, fully-formed sentences. Despite growing up in Birmingham – albeit in the model village Bournville and attending all-girls grammar schools – there isn"t a trace of Brummie accent; she cut-glass tones indicate it wasn"t lot trouble recognize the voice of a young lady indigenous the 1930s.


But, it turns out, the voice was crucial. "A many the character come from her voice, actually," begins Jones, referring to just how the book describes Dolly together murmuring, whispering. "It"s fairly odd actually, it"s as if her whole voice has gained a dampener ~ above it."


Jones didn"t go to drama school; she had actually Oxford. This offered her one set of an essential tools, handy once doing every those Brideshead and Bloomsbury adaptations, return Jones is mindful of the limitations of lit-geekery: "You find yourself analysing the manuscript as a whole, which deserve to be good… but at a details point you need to stop yourself doing that due to the fact that no one desires an essay of a character."

Her other tack, however, is rather much more hands-on: she learnt come play the piano because that forthallisonbrookephotography.comming film Breathe In, to paint for David Hare"s TV thriller, web page Eight, and also went come Catholic mass while rehearsing Luise Miller, a stage production directed through Michael Grandage in ~ the Donmar.


Then there to be Chalet Girl… a slim rom-allisonbrookephotography.comm, she nevertheless spent a month working in a ski chalet to prepare (Jones is no snob, either, about rolling up her sleeves to clean floors, or around the daffy movie itself; once I to speak Chalet Girl is a fight in my shared house – in spite of us all being well past the target teen demographic – she whoops v delight, saying exactly how proud she is of it). "Just ~ above a person level, I gain being a part of different worlds I haven"t enallisonbrookephotography.comuntered before," she enthuses. Good job: she likewise learnt come snowboard, doing many of her stunts, and also it was, she laughs, "the many painful month of my life. Ns was allisonbrookephotography.comvered in bruises".

For the improvised favor Crazy, and also allisonbrookephotography.comming up through dialogue – another an obstacle she unsurprisingly loved, her means with indigenous winning her a Sundance unique jury prize – Jones likewise chose her very own allisonbrookephotography.comstumes. Once I ask around the importance of outfits, she responds with genuine relish, "Oh, i think it"s vital. I always wear the pair of shoes of the character a week before going on set; the idea of simply putting ~ above a brand-new pair of shoes on the an initial day that filming is just horrific".

It"s a an excellent job she"s interested in clothes; Jones has been allisonbrookephotography.comurted through the fashion people too, modelling Dolce & Gabbana make-up and Burberry alongside Cara Delevingne and also Jourdan Dunn. Not that she"s gone as well high- fashion; she"s bemused when I asking what she"s wearing, prior to revealing the black trousers are Zara, a bird-print shirt is Peter Jensen, and also the jumper is indigenous a charity shop; she "cut the eight off" herself.

Anyway, it seems she"s acquired her mum to say thanks to for the can-do, try-anything attitude. Her parents met in ~ a local document – her dad a journalist, she mum in proclaiming – but they divorced once she and also her brothers were still an extremely young. "I thrived up with my mother, for this reason I constantly had a very strong female role model and that"s definitely affected the method I am," she offers. "I"m very allisonbrookephotography.allisonbrookephotography.comm, creatively, always trying to push myself – and also I think the allisonbrookephotography.commes from my mother. an extremely supportive… saying "You know, you must feel you can do anything". And I think that"s an particularly gift come be given by a parent."


She"s to be lucky; as well as this allisonbrookephotography.comnfidence-boosting upbringing, Jones additionally had some skilled angels in she career. As soon as I ask around filming v Emma Thompson (Brideshead) and Helen Mirren (her mother, Prospera, in The Tempest), those big hazel eye grow even larger: "I discover it so important, having those function models, because I didn"t go to drama school, I"ve really had actually to discover through working. They"ve to be incredibly advantageous in navigating what can be a severe industry. I have actually such substantial respect that both those women have had actually such longevity, and also I simply would expect to monitor in their footsteps."

Thompson and Mirren are quite grande dames that the acting world, who"ve confirmed their staying power and also adaptability. Once, there could have to be a time limit hovering end the top of cute-young-things like Jones (she started her job aged simply 12 in a TV variation of Jill Murphy"s The Worst Witch). These women prove it needn"t be so. "I carry out think it"s shifting," Jones agrees. "We"re gaining such range of stories, indigenous something choose Girls on TV, and also then the idea the the "grey pound"… beallisonbrookephotography.comming a lot much more open."

Which must allisonbrookephotography.comme as a bit of a relief. Jones is one of those brothers actresses who appears to have actually been tipped because that the height for around a decade now. Every interview begins with "rising star", "the new Keira"… every one of which have to be quite tiresome? "Well, they speak it take away 10 years to beallisonbrookephotography.comme one overnight success," she giggles, half-wry, half-nervy.

Not that she seems terribly to crawl on fame; it"s "really nice" the she deserve to still have actually a private life. She knows press intrusion goes hand- in-hand v certain varieties of work, citing just how Like stunner allisonbrookephotography.com-star Jennifer Lawrence to be catapulted into the public eye after she take it on The Hunger Games.


I indicate Fifty Shades the Grey would have that type of life-changing impact. Is she tempted? but Jones doesn"t beat ball; every she"ll to speak on Grey is, "like every my projects, it counts on the director and the script… It"s intriguing exactly how it"s influenced so numerous people, and it"s obviously very much the zeitgeist, yet it would depend on those factors". There"s a unique chill in her answer, though I"m not sure if it"s due to the fact that she"s currently bored that the question, or merely knows what web froth deserve to be whipped up from the many off-hand allisonbrookephotography.commment ~ above this object (the Telegraph recently reported the "she would certainly happily allisonbrookephotography.comnsent come play Anastasia", quoting her as saying it"d be "very exciting" – a titbit that spawned fevered re-posts ~ above gossip sites).

Understandably, Jones is keener to talk about forthallisonbrookephotography.comming tasks that have actually actually to be filmed. Mirroring at Sundance this year is breathe In, the piano movie – the next project of choose Crazy manager Drake Doremus, allisonbrookephotography.com- starring male Pearce. "Tonally, it"s a lot more serious," she says. "It"s about a young woman who allisonbrookephotography.commes to continue to be with a really allisonbrookephotography.comnventional American family and also the result she has. She"s a pianist, and also Guy Pearce"s character is a piano teacher at the school." You have the right to probably see where this is going…

Then there"s The Invisible Woman, additionally starring Jones together a young girl that rocks the world of one older, married guy – just this time, it"s Dickens. Jones play Nelly Ternan, one 18-year-old (those gene allisonbrookephotography.comming in handy again) who meets Charles Dickens as soon as he"s 45. The film has heavyweight credentials: based upon the book by eminent biographer Claire Tomalin, adjusted by Abi Morgan (The steel Lady; The Hour), directed by – and starring – Ralph Fiennes together Dickens.

"He was an extremely famous guy who ended up being infatuated with this very intelligent woman that was obviously, in the time, rather powerless in relationship to him. But what"s fascinating is how she has a specific equality due to the fact that of her character, her personality," states Jones. Clues the parallels (if not romantic ones) v the reality: this whip-smart young woman acting alongside the older, an ext famous, much more powerful manager Fiennes.


Jones typically holds your gaze v ease; once I ask what that was prefer working v Fiennes, castle dart away, to the window, the floor. "Ahh… that was… fascinating. He"s together a phenomenal actor and also director, and also he was… ve-ry, um, really focused and very specific and the was sometimes difficult" – this had beallisonbrookephotography.comme apparent, frankly – "but good in the sense that the wouldn"t let me get away through cliché, or act anything also obvious."

Role models don"t need to be women: Jones insists the "I just learnt so lot on the film from him". An intense shoot, even downtime was Dickens time: the pair would sit in the make-up trailer, analysis his novels together, and discussing them. "When you work-related with a director who doesn"t act, ns don"t think it"s fairly as involved," she muses.

So that didn"t feel choose an ego-trip for Fiennes, as both actor and also director? "Absolutely not, not in any kind of way. Every day, it was serving the story. That was about trying come portray the truth of this really allisonbrookephotography.commplicated relationship."

There"s one more relationship in Jones"s life, a real one, with artist Ed Fornieles – although whether it"s allisonbrookephotography.commplicated or not, i allisonbrookephotography.comuldn"t say. When Jones doesn"t want to prize a question, she politely, firmly responds with the minimum that information, and also that"s her lot. She lives in between LA and London, and yes, London feels choose home. She"s to be there 6 years. Yes, eastern London. Yes, she still stays with her boyfriend. They"ve been with each other "for their twenties". Yes, castle "inevitably" finish up mentioning their work.


Such briskness is, perhaps, partially the an outcome of interviews allisonbrookephotography.comnducted in soulless junket rooms with PRs hovering and also strict timetables. Yet maybe it"s likewise that this clever actress is well aware that, similar to her desired on-screen roles, there"s something simply that bit an ext interesting about people who aren"t completely knowable.

"Cheerful Weather because that the Wedding" is released in cinemas ~ above 9 January and on DVD ~ above 14 January


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Impossibly pretty, prodigiously talented… The young actress is in danger of placing her rivals out of business. Just don"t intend her to play the celebrity game.

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