By Laura Harding, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor
Felicity Jones has said she is not interested in watching films that do not have women in them.
The British actress, 37, best known for roles in Star Wars spin-off Rogue One and her Oscar-nominated turn in The Theory Of Everything, said it is only in recent years that opportunities have opened up for women in the film industry.
Jones stars alongside Shailene Woodley in new film The Last Letter From Your Lover, based on the novel by Jojo Moyes, which was directed by female filmmaker Augustine Frizzell and on which both actresses also served as executive producers.
She told the PA news agency: “It’s just extraordinary, when you look back at the history of cinema, just how much of that has been dominated by a male perspective.
“Even the idea – which I think is total rubbish – the idea of the director and the cult of the genius. Therefore it was seen that only men could fulfil that role.
“But in history we see that most things aren’t achieved just by one individual. That’s absolute rubbish.
“There’s often a group of people or two people. Even Hitchcock had amazing support from his wife, which is why he was so brilliant. It was the two of them, but they sort of just got written out of history.
“So now to be starting to open up with this female viewpoint, it’s just fantastic.
“I remember reading an interview with Sofia Coppola (the director of films including Lost In Translation, Marie Antoinette and The Virgin Suicides) and she was saying she just hates watching films that don’t have women, and I’ve been saying that for so long.
“My husband (director Charles Guard) will suggest something and I say, ‘Well, either there’s not enough women or there aren’t any women in it and I’m probably not going to be interested’.
“I remember a few years ago you literally only had the choice of male directors, there were only a handful of men in the world who could even tell female stories, so your options was kind of that narrow.
“Then to see, in the last few years, I mean, it’s really recently that the opportunities have just opened up dramatically.”
Jones said she hopes her new film, which will be released in cinemas later this week, gives people a reason to return to theatres that is not based on stunts and explosions.
She said: “It’s amazing how I think what we want from the cinema has probably changed through the pandemic, and actually, coming out of it, I personally feel desperate to see a romantic story and go out for the evening and be cheered and have a feelgood film. I do think our appetites will be different.
“I feel like, particularly with what we’ve been seeing at home, and seeing so much more grown-up drama, I hope that does translate to the cinema because I think the cinema just became a little bit of an amusement arcade.
“But I think there’ll be a great desire to get out there and particularly if you can have some nice chocolate and a glass of wine while you’re watching, and go with some friends, I mean, what could be better?”
The Last Letter From Your Lover is released in Irish and UK cinemas on August 6th.