When Felicity Jones first met Jane Hawking, she had already been studying to play her for months.
Jones, 31, was intensely familiar with Hawking’s autobiography, which detailed her life with ex-husband Stephen Hawking. The actress had already begun rehearsals for the film adaptation of Jane’s book, “The Theory of Everything” and was spending time with those afflicted with motor neuron disease – the illness Stephen suffers from.
“You start having all these ideas and these instincts [and wonder], ‘What if you meet the person and it’s all a bit off?’” Jones recalled at a recent Envelope Screening Series presentation of the film.
As it turned out, Jones had nothing to worry about. She and Jane bonded immediately, and when co-star Eddie Redmayne joined the conversation after an hour, he arrived to Jones sporting one of Jane’s coats.
“I found Jane and Felicity in Jane’s wardrobe,” Redmayne said. “She got her wedding dress out, didn’t she?"
While Jones had fun playing dress-up, her time with Jane ultimately provided the actress with great insight into tackling her on-screen.
“She gave me so many ideas,” Jones said. “She has this very ladylike, quite queenly way of holding herself. And there’s something very balletic about her. She loves dancing. So I thought that would be interesting to bring those elements into the film.”
For more from Redmayne, Jones, producer-writer Anthony McCarten and producer Lisa Bruce, watch the clip above and go here for other Envelope Screening Series videos.
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