Welcome to Admiring Felicity Jones, your best source for everything Felicity Rose Hadley Jones since 2016. Felicity is known for her roles in The Theory of Everything, Inferno, A Monster Calls & Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Our goal is to keep you updated with every project, photoshoot and news from the career of the British actress. Enjoy your stay.
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Oscar-nominated actor Felicity Jones talks anxiety, red carpets and all things fashion – from charity-shop style to embracing tomboyishness

For an actor who has so successfully scaled the giddy heights of Hollywood, Felicity Jones has reassuringly normal teeth.

They are devoid of the spooky, preternaturally white veneers to which so many of her peers have succumbed. They are characterful, and ever so slightly off-kilter, their very charm residing in their imperfection.

In this, they mirror their owner’s taste in clothes. For when it comes to her own wardrobe, Jones, 38, is very firmly in the pre-loved camp, an English rose so passionate about sustainability that she has agreed to be the face of Oxfam’s Second Hand September initiative, an annual campaign to encourage people to choose pre-worn fashion over new. Given that the UK sends 13 million items of used clothing per week to landfill, it’s fair to say encouragement is needed.

Born in Birmingham to a journalist father and advertising executive mother, and raised in Bournville, Jones’s love affair with pre-loved clothing started early. ‘I remember sitting underneath rails of clothes when I was a little girl. My mother used to volunteer at a second-hand store when we were growing up, the Settlement shop, in Birmingham. She would always find great bargains, and I’ve inherited that interest from her. I love the mystery of second-hand shopping, and the narrative behind the clothes. You never quite know what you’re going to get.’

An actor since the age of 12 (her first role was in the 1996 TV film The Treasure Seekers, alongside Keira Knightley), the narrative behind the clothes is particularly relevant to her profession, clothing being such an essential part of building any character. And what characters Jones has played, her 26-year career resulting in a CV that any actor would envy.

As well as a 10-year stint playing Emma Grundy in The Archers, she has appeared in costume dramas (2008’s Brideshead Revisited), comedies (2011’s Chalet Girl), sci-fi (2016’s Rogue One) and biographical dramas, earning Oscar, Golden Globe and Bafta nominations for her performance as Jane Hawking in 2014’s The Theory of Everything. When it comes to choosing her roles, she says, ‘I definitely have a strong gut instinct, and I try not to be too premeditated. But it’s a big commitment, making a film, so it has really got to connect to you in some way.’

She recently finished shooting Borderland, a tense thriller set in 1970s London and filmed in Glasgow, co-written and directed by the Guard brothers, one of whom is her husband, Charles.

‘Borderland is a real passion project, and a story that I clicked with straight away. In terms of the role, it’s a slightly different muscle for me. There wasn’t a huge budget, so we sourced a lot of clothes from vintage stores around Glasgow. The costume designer found some amazing original blue 1970s corduroy trousers, which were so tight I had to squeeze myself into them.’ She laughs. ‘What was lovely about them was that lived-in quality that clothes get, when you can feel the creases and know they’ve worn in over time. It looks especially good on camera.’

Arriving at her character Catherine’s look was, she says, a collaborative process. ‘You spend so long channelling a character and thinking about them that there has to be collaboration. If you don’t feel comfortable, it’s not going to come across well in your performance.’

Even before filming Borderland, Jones says, the 1970s was her favourite fashion decade. ‘I like clothes that are high-waisted: there’s a sexiness to them. I love the classic combination of high-waisted jeans and a shirt. There’s a masculine quality to it that makes me feel safe. And I love the style of Fleetwood Mac and Jane Birkin. My beauty look is probably drawn from them, too. Depending on what I’m wearing, I’ll adapt the formula, but I’ll always have some kind of liner on my eye. I like it to look a little bit wonky. Not too neat.’

Today, she’s wearing a black T-shirt and a black calf-length wrap skirt bought from a stall in the Jinney Ring, a craft centre in the West Midlands: ‘I’ve had it for at least 20 years, and wear it all the time.’

Unsurprisingly, she’s a regular Oxfam shopper. ‘I don’t know if I’m allowed to mention rival charities. Are there rival charities? Do they work like that?’ she laughs. ‘But Shelter is brilliant as well. And Fara. There were some amazing vintage shops in Glasgow, with one in particular that I kept going back to. It looked straight out of the ’70s – a real hodgepodge. I bought a beautiful black velvet jacket with a ruffled collar.’

Despite the boom in online vintage shopping sparked by the pandemic, Jones is not a fan. ‘I find that it’s never quite what you imagined it was in the picture, and then you end up keeping it because it’s too much hassle to send it back. Everyone talks about Depop, but I much prefer seeing things in real life, and trying them on.’

She recognises that the desire to recoup money from old clothes is particularly acute in straitened times. While she understands the allure of resale sites such as Depop and eBay, she agrees that passing things on is better for the soul.

‘Totally! Does everything have to be turned into a financial transaction? There’s something very holistic about donating. Something that feels old to you could be new to someone else, and that feels very special.’

Fans of Jones’s style could do worse than head to west London, where her local Oxfam is the beneficiary of her own pre-loved clothes, shoes and handbags. ‘I grew up donating to charity shops. It feels like the best way of giving back.’ She admits, though, that she’s a bit of a hoarder. ‘I’m always trying to shift stuff out, but I get very attached to items, then can’t get rid of them. Our house is always chock-full of bits and pieces. I’ve still got things from when I was about 12 that I know I’m never going to wear again.’

In 2020, she and Guard had a son, whose name they have chosen not to share. Of giving birth during the pandemic, she says, ‘You get through it the best way that you can. The pandemic sort of feels like ages ago, and not that long ago at the same time. We’ve all learned so much. It was a real collective experience, and there’s definitely been a reordering of priorities. There’s a much greater movement towards work/life balance because we had this collective near-death experience. It forces you to assess what’s actually important, and what is worth my time, because time is not endless.’

Jones has spoken before about suffering from anxiety so extreme that it would lead her to vomit, an affliction that has lessened with age. ‘Exercise is key for me in order to feel the best that I can. I love swimming, yoga and running, and make sure that I do those regularly, because it makes a massive difference.’

She says becoming a parent has changed her style. ‘Practicality has become key, although it’s so much fun when you do get dressed up. I put on a pair of heels for the first time in ages. I could hardly walk in them, but it was such a pleasure. Heels almost feel a bit old-fashioned, don’t they? The quintessential fashion now is a dress and trainers. I like that. I always like a little bit of tomboyishness.’

Like the Duchess of Cambridge, she’s a firm believer in handing down old children’s clothes. ‘They don’t need brand-new. It’s such a waste.’ And she loves sharing with friends when it comes to what she wears, too. ‘My husband’s clothes look so much better on me than my own,’ she smiles. ‘Or I’ll put on my friend’s shirt and think, actually, I’m so much more comfortable in other people’s clothes. I don’t know what that says about me. But somehow, I find the lack of ownership very reassuring.’

While many people shopped locally during the pandemic out of necessity, for Jones it’s the habit of a lifetime, one started in childhood, cemented during her time at the University of Oxford (‘There was one [vintage] shop run by this amazing woman who got really attached to the clothes, and wouldn’t always sell them to you’) and continued as a parent.

‘That’s when I’m really relaxed and happy, going to local bookshops and charity shops. Those are my happy places… When you read the figures surrounding the production of new clothes, the damage to the environment is enormous – greater than the aviation industry. It’s a problem that’s quite easy to fix, and that’s quite rare in today’s complex world. It’s easy and it’s fun, because there is such pleasure in buying second-hand clothes. It’s a win-win situation.’ [Source]

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Current Projects
The Midnight Sky

Role: Sully Ginsburg
Release Date: 2020
A scientist, alone in the Arctic, tries to make contact with a spacecraft returning to Earth.
Last Letter from Your Lover

Role: Ellie Haworth
Release Date: 2021
A young journalist in London becomes obsessed with a series of letters she discovers that recounts an intense star-crossed love affair from the 1960s.
Borderland

Role: Unknown
Release Date: Unknown
An IRA member hunts for his wife's murderer, while also being tracked by the same killer.
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