Felicity Jones 'covered in bruises' after filming her own stunts
British actress Felicity Jones has said that performing her own stunts in her new film left her “covered in bruises”.
The Aeronauts is set in the 1860s and Jones plays an adventurous pilot called Amelia Wren who embarks on a hot air balloon flight that goes wrong during scientific research.
The Star Wars actress performed some of her own stunts. She said: “We had the balloon set up in a studio, we were shooting in a studio – it felt endless – for about eight weeks, and then I worked really closely with a stuntwoman that I’ve worked with before called Helen Bailey.
“But I would try and do as much as possible, that I could myself, probably to my own detriment.
“I think actually both of us were covered in bruises.”
She stars alongside Eddie Redmayne, whom she worked with on the Stephen Hawking biopic Theory of Everything.
Redmaye won the best actor Oscar in 2015 for his portrayal of the late British physicist.
He said: “They built this balloon, so it’s a gas balloon rather than a hot air balloon – there hasn’t been balloons like this, really, in this country for years.
“So they built one specifically for the film and we did go up and shoot in it, and Felicity was sort of swinging up and down in the ring.
“From my point of view it was quite terrifying, but (she) seemed so at ease with it.”
Jones said she and Redmayne had already “built up so much trust” having worked together in 2014, and were able to “hit the ground running” as a result.
She said: “And obviously we were in a really tiny space, for really long periods of time, so it was good to be working with someone who you really respect and admire.”
Redmayne said: “It’s so lovely because obviously we didn’t know each other that well when we did Theory and then we became very close making that film.
“And then of course your friendship extends over that period, so as well as the work side of it, there’s also the kind of… there was just a lovely, well it’s more of an intense film for Felicity, but it really didn’t feel like going to work for me. It may have been different for her.”
The film, which was filmed in west London, had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado in August, followed by a screening at the Toronto Film Festival.
It is based on the account of British scientists James Glaisher and Henry Coxwell who broke the world record for the highest flight at altitude in their hot air balloon.
However, while weather scientist Glaisher appears in the film, portrayed by Redmayne, Coxwell is replaced by the fictional character Amelia Wren – a move which has been criticised by Keith Moore of scientific academy, Royal Society.
He said: “It’s a great shame that Henry [Coxwell] isn’t portrayed because he performed very well and saved the life of a leading scientist”.
“There were so many deserving female scientists of that period who haven’t had films made about them. Why not do that instead?”
The Aeronauts is released on 6 November.
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