Felicity Jones was Oscar-nominated in 2015 for playing scientist Stephen Hawking
’s wife in the drama The Theory of Everything,
but she may be better known as Jyn Erso, in the the film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
(2016) and the TV show Star Wars: Forces of Destiny
(2017). Oscar-nominated at age 31, Jones had already been acting for two decades: she was 11 when she filmed the TV movie The Story of the Treasure Seekers
also had a role); she later voiced Emma Carter on the BBC radio drama The Archers
and on TV starred in The Worst Witch.
She read English at Oxford, graduating in 2006, and went right to work on stage and in films. Slight, fair-skinned and dark-haired, she gained notice as the star of a TV version of Jane Austen
’s Northanger Abbey
(2007) and a film remake of Brideshead Revisited
(2008). She earned rave reviews and a special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival for Like Crazy
, a 2011 indie film with Jones as part of a troubled trans-Atlantic love affair. That led to her role as Jane Hawking, the youthful bride of a future physics genius in The Theory of Everything
(2014, with Eddie Redmayne
as Stephen Hawking). She was nominated for both the Oscar and a BAFTA Award as best actress, and the hubbub around the film helped launch her as a newly-minted star.