Birth Name: Felicity Rose Hadley Jones
Date of Birth: 17 October 1983
Height: 5′ 3″ (1.6 m)
In 2006 she graduated with a 2:1 (Second-class Honours, upper division) in English from Wadham College, Oxford, where she’d acted in a few student plays.
Her family home is Worcestershire.
Has an older brother who works as a film editor.
Her uncle is the actor Michael Hadley.
Felicity Jones and Ellie Kendrick have played sisters twice.
When you’re a young actor, there’s this pressure to rush. But I hope to be doing this into my sixties and seventies, so I’d prefer to take my time. There’s so much of a desire in the entertainment industry for newness, a desire to build somebody up and then treat them as old news within six months. I think you’d be naive if you didn’t try to hold on to your own way of doing things.
[on her Like Crazy (2011) character] I like playing someone who wasn’t cautious, who was in the moment and made impulsive decisions, which is what attracted me to her in the first place. I think you’re attracted to things that are different from yourself in a character because it’s more interesting, and you get to play out a fantasy version of yourself.
The key is working with great directors. A film is so many different people and all their talents, but particularly the directors, because of the idiosyncrasies of that person.
You have to take risks. I realized in doing Like Crazy (2011), if you don’t take risks, a true risk, then you’re never going to produce something interesting. The risk is of being exposed. I’ve never done something where I’ve had to trust the director so completely.
I’m used to doing independent film where the style is a lot more casual. With improvising you obviously find so much out on the day – and in a way, I feel more comfortable doing that. That’s the reason I wanted to do ‘The Invisible Woman’. It’s such a different style of performance. Well, there are lines for a start..With every film that you do you’re always so nervous. You feel exposed because you know people will see this eventually. You sort of have to put all that out of your head. What will be will be. But it’s nerve wracking.
I try to inhabit that person and have their thoughts. I don’t try to patronize the time. I think human nature is eternal and constant. I don’t think it does fluctuate hugely. There are simply different pressures on people. I think character and impulses are the same. Desires are the same. …Once you’re playing them, you shouldn’t be judging them in any way. That’s what being an actor is – it’s having empathy for people that are different from yourself Once you’re committed to that person, your responsibility is to tell that story.
[o the character of Nelly Ternan in ‘The Invisible Woman’] I loved that she was incredibly proud and willful. And tough. I think there is a toughness to her. She didn’t want to be a throwaway floozy. I wanted to show a truthful interaction in her that she was in love with Dickens. But love is a complicated emotion. It’s not always straightforward. She loves him, but she also wants to keep her own sense of identity.
Once you’re playing someone, you shouldn’t be judging them in any way. That’s what being an actor is – it’s having empathy for people that are different from yourself. Once you’ve committed to that person, your responsibility is to tell that story.
[on taking the role in The Amazing Spider-Man 2] Who knows what it will be, but I just love the idea of doing something on that scale. I like to go see those films as well as small indies. As an actor you have a freedom. I love films that are about people. You can still take interesting stories about people in a larger scale. “Batman” is still about a character. It’s working with the right people. It’s believing in the actors and the director around you.
[on working with Ralph Fiennes] At first you’re, like, ‘Oh my God – it’s Ralph Fiennes.’ But I found working with him very straightforward. He’s not pretentious at all, and he doesn’t patronize you in any way. I’ve grown up watching his work and love the passion with which he plays every part. I find the people who are really great at what they do are extraordinarily humble people.
Helen Mirren is not starry in any way. She’s fantastic. She is totally self-sufficient and doesn’t have loads of assistants around her. In The Tempest, she said, ‘I’m not going to wear any make-up in this film.’ She’s such a brave actress and she’ll take risks. I learned from her that as an actress you always have self-doubt. She said, ‘You have to put something out there and let what will happen, happen.’
The more famous you get, in some ways it makes acting more difficult because you’re more known as yourself. There’s more of a narrative about you rather than about the character.
I was very earnest and focused from quite a young age – and geeky. At school I was called a swot. I always thought that if you just put your head down and got on with work you’d get away with far more [mischief] than if you were being explicitly naughty, so I studied.