Felicity Jones grew up wanting to one day be cast as Ariel in "The Little Mermaid," but now she is playing a character she relates to much more.
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"I am playing a Disney princess," she told Glamour for its December issue. "A very contemporary, kicka-- Disney princess."
"The opportunity to play someone determined, who’s trying to find her skills as a leader, to be in a fantasy movie, to be able to do a leading female role in a film of that scale -- that’s very, very rare," she said of her character, Jyn Erso.
And when Jones describes Jyn as "a rather beautiful blend of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo," fans everywhere have a female "Star Wars" lead, much like Daisy Ridley's character Rey, that they can get behind and really look forward to when the movie, "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," hits theaters next month.
Jones' character, a new addition to the "Star Wars" cast of heroes in the standalone film, is still under the Disney umbrella at Lucasfilm. ABC News is owned by The Walt Disney Co.
Jones also touched on how she wanted to avoid sexualizing Jyn and to stay true to what "Star Wars" represents.
"Everyone wanted to create a character that was not in any way objectified. We didn’t want to sexualize Jyn," she said. "We don’t even see Jyn’s arms! That’s not her priority. She’s a survivor and she has a mission to complete."
In fact, Jones said director Gareth Edwards told her and the cast that Jyn would be someone whom everyone, boys and girls, would want to emulate.
"A female friend of mine said, 'I love that Jyn looks how we look, with trousers and a long-sleeved top,'" Jones said.
"We aren’t in hot pants. When do women walk around wearing hot pants?" she continued. "I’ve always been a feminist, and what I love in my work is being able to explore a full-sided woman and not patronize her. Particularly with Jyn, it’s such a rare opportunity to be able to play a female who’s not just thinking about [romantic] relationships."
"It felt really momentous of how far we’ve come from when I was growing up playing with Barbies," she said.