By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
HOLLYWOOD—British actress Felicity Jones sees something remarkable about the woman-behind-the-genius roles she has played in “The Invisible Woman” and now “The Theory of Everything.”
“What I like about them is that they are still incredibly powerful people, but their power is shown in a different way,” says the brunette beauty with a lilting accent. “I am quite interested in these women’s stories of how they managed to have power in times when they weren’t ostensibly allowed to have power.”
In the former, she played a Nelly Ternan, the young muse to famed author Charles Dickens. In the latter, she plays Jane Hawking, an author and teacher, as well as the sturdy first wife of the celebrated theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, who was married to him for more than 25 years.
Dressed in a powder blue cocktail dress, her brown hair pulled back in a chignon, Jones is the epitome of the English Rose. But like Jane, and other quiet yet strong characters she plays in films, her delicate exterior belies a forceful, determined interior.
Born in working-class Birmingham, Jones is the daughter of a journalist and an advertising executive. Though her parents divorced when she was young, her family remained close. She was drawn at an early age to theater and spent the equivalent of senior year of high school touring Japan with a drama troupe.
Though most of her film credits are in independent cinema, she recently played Felicia Hardy in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” She is supposed to reprise the role of Felicia a.k.a. Black Cat in a future installment of the popular Marvel superhero series.
In the meantime, Jones explains that she was pleased and honored to take on the role of Jane Hawking opposite her good friend Eddie Redmayne, who plays the renowned theoretical physicist, and welcomed the challenges and advantages of playing someone who is alive. The experience became slightly surreal for the actress when she started getting texts from the former Mrs. Hawking, addressing her as “Jane.”