From an all-female lead cast in Ghostbusters, to Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad, 2016 in cinema has seen women at the forefront of several major movies.
This week’s release of the Star Wars spin-off, Rogue One, sees another female action star taking top billing, as the movie focuses on Jyn Erso, Felicity Jones’ character.
The star told BBC Breakfast what this means for female representation in cinema.
“It’s a wonderful moment for cinema and there’s a great appetite for female action hero leads.
“Going back to Sigourney Weaver in Alien, there’s a great tradition of wonderful leading female heroes.”
She explained that with Jennifer Lawrence heading The Hunger Games franchise, and Daisy Ridley as joint lead in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, female action stars are now ‘absolutely the norm’.
“It’s absolutely time that we had female leads and as many females leading films as we do men.”
“It’s a very exciting time to be an actress.”
Jones also revealed that her character took influence from feminist pop-star Beyonce. The singer was recently voted as one of Women’s Hour’s ‘Seven most significant’ of the last seventy years. “Beyonce is one of those women who has enormous power but is also not a diva,” Jones said.
“She doesn’t seem precious, and so she was definitely an inspiration for Jyn.”
The Theory of Everything star went on to explain why she feels both genders will relate to the movie:
“I hope absolutely that young boys go and see the film, and young girls see it, and that they both identify with the film,” she added.
“The characters are in a time of war, they’re in a battle, they’re not from privileged backgrounds, they are ordinary people who are fighting for their lives and I feel like you can’t help but identify with them.”
You can catch Felicity Jones in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, released worldwide this week.