"The biggest British import since Carey Mulligan, Like Crazy star Felicity Jones takes on Beverly Hills in the flirty palette and bold prints of a true Hollywood romantic"
Twenty-seven-year-old Londoner Felicity Jones is about to have a love affair with Hollywood. It begins this month with the soulful indie Like Crazy, in which she plays a young Brit living in Los Angeles whose euphoric, make-scrapbooks and stay-in-bed-all-Sunday romance with a quietly charming American (Anton Yelchin) dissolves into a tenuous long-distance affair when visa issues send her back across the Atlantic. Director-cowriter Drake Doremus cast Jones after she sent a self-made audition tape from her flat in East London that included a wordless but emotionally pivotal shower scene. “Can I just say,” laughs Jones, “that it was a close-up?” Doremus recalls it as “phenomenal, a bold choice…she can just be and make you feel something without even trying to make you feel something.” Jones’ unfussy but exquisitely authentic turn—improvised with Yelchin from a 50-page outline—earned her a Special Jury Prize for acting at Sundance this January. (The picture itself won the Grand Jury Prize for dramatic feature.) Overnight, she was reportedly courted by filmmakers, producers, and chieftains from studios including the Weinstein Company.
Raised in Birmingham, England, where she and her friends held mock auditions on the playground, Jones landed a part in the UK kids’ series The Worst Witch at age 11 and later graduated to standout supporting roles in highbrow adult fare such as BBC One’s The Diary of Anne Frank miniseries, as Anne’s older sister Margot, and Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s ’70s-era Cemetery Junction. This summer, Jones made the risky but respectable choice to take the title role (to raves, we might add) in Luise Miller, an adaptation of Friedrich Schiller’s landmark German tragedy Kabale und Liebe at London’s Donmar Warehouse theater—consequently turning down the lead alongside Julia Roberts in Tarsem Singh’s Snow White project.
Critics stateside took notice of Jones when she played the virginal daughter Miranda to Helen Mirren’s Prospera—an experience Jones calls “the best schooling there is”—in Julie Taymor’s ambitious but divisive big-screen take on The Tempest. Jones brought the Bard’s words to life (treacherous territory for even the most virtuoso thespian) with graceful ease. It didn’t hurt that she looked the part, with green doe eyes, porcelain skin, and a Brigitte Bardot pout that in June prompted Burberry’s creative director, Christopher Bailey, to cast Jones in the brand’s ad campaigns, a position inherited from another English ingenue, Emma Watson.
Next, Jones plays a priggish Victorian in the upcoming Maggie Gyllenhaal–led comedy Hysteria (about the invention of the vibrator) and has already begun filming Doremus’ next movie as a girl infatuated with a married man. On snatching up Jones yet again, Doremus echoes a sentiment that could belong as much to Yelchin’s Like Crazy Romeo as it could to casting agents the industry over: “Oh, I’m not letting her go.”http://www.elle.com/Fashion/Fashion-Spotlight/Felicity-Jones-the-New-Brit-in-Tinseltown