When Felicity Jones first signed up to Rogue One, hot off her Oscar nomination for The Theory of Everything, we were well aware of how lucky we were to have her involved in the Star Wars galaxy. Now, three years after the billion dollar success of the first Star Wars Story, Jones has forged on with her career and now stars in On the Basis of Sex in the role of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, stepping in to replace fellow GFFA star Natalie Portman.
On the Basis of Sex, like the excellent documentary RBG, which has just been released in Britain, celebrates Ginsburg’s 25 years on the Supreme Court bench. There is an irony, however, to the final appearance of a project that has been around since 2011. While Ginsburg’s life’s work attests to the victories won by women, one battlefield remains unconquered: film-making itself. On the Basis of Sex opened in America on Christmas Day, but it came at the end of the year of MeToo and Time’sUp, a year of Hollywood shame.
And so, in Claridge’s, where nothing too bad could surely ever happen, I ask if Felicity Jones, of the charmed life and the feminist parents, has felt unsafe on a set so many years later.
“I’ve felt pissed off,” she counters. “Just being in a minority isn’t fun and it has been many, many years of us being in the minority: scenes with men, a lot of men, on set. It is very male-dominated in lighting and in those technical positions. A cultural shift is needed, a shift to where young women feel that they want to go into the industry.”
Yet during her career, she has seen progress. Her Jyn Erso in Rogue One was, she said at the time, a “very contemporary kick-ass princess”. Gareth Edwards, the director, told her he wanted boys to aspire to be Jyn Erso, not fancy her.
- Simon Schuster
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster
- Edition no. 0 (10/04/2016)
- Hardcover: 400 pages