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Felicity Jones' Rogue One hero inspired by Beyonce

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story actress Felicity Jones drew inspiration from Beyonce to play the film's hero Jyn Erso.

The 33-year-old British star had previously spoken of how Jyn, the daughter of an Alliance scientist who leads a team of rebels into battle in a bid to thwart the evil empire, was in part modeled on Sigourney Weaver's character from the 1979 science-fiction classic Alien, Ellen Ripley.

However she has now revealed another inspiration for Jyn - pop star Beyonce.

"Beyonce is one of those women who has enormous power but is also not a diva," she told U.K. TV show BBC Breakfast. "She doesn't seem precious, and so she was definitely an inspiration for Jyn."

Felicity is not alone in being inspired by the Formation singer, as on Tuesday (13Dec16), judges on BBC Radio 4 show Woman's Hour named her among the seven most significant women of the past 70 years due to her incredible popularity and outspoken stances on feminism and racism.

The Theory of Everything star explains she feels the increase in the number of action roles available for women signals Hollywood has breached an important watershed.

"It's a wonderful moment for cinema and there's a great appetite for female action hero leads," she said, adding that the tradition goes back to Sigourney Weaver's heroic role in Alien.

In addition to fellow Brit Daisy Ridley's lead role as Rey in last year's (15) re-entry in the Star Wars franchise, The Force Awakens, the last few years have seen several actresses lead major action franchises, most notably Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games.

Felicity, who says she also channeled Han Solo, Harrison Ford's hero in the original Star Wars trilogy, hopes that her character appeals to both boys and girls.

"I hope absolutely that young boys go and see the film, and young girls see the film, 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."

Directed by Godzilla filmmaker Gareth Edwards, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in cinemas on Thursday (15Dec16).

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