With her latest film, The Aeronauts, Felicity Jones is back in action-heroine mode. To stay so calm and cool amid the chaos, she gives herself a face massage and hits the yoga mat.
It’s not yet 7 p.m. in London, and the sky outside is dark. “Pitch black, really.” This won’t stop Felicity Jones from getting her run in. “I have my running trainers on already,” she says while driving home from the set of a romantic drama she’s filming. “I have a route that’s quite well lit.” She’ll wash off the movie makeup and hit the pavement.
The truth is, Felicity’s life is nonstop right now.
When filming wraps on the love story project, she’ll go straight into production on a post-apocalyptic flick with George Clooney while her current big-screen release, The Aeronauts, shows in theaters. This adventure story is set in 1862 Victorian England, when the daredevils were the boundary breakers taking flight in hot-air balloons—and it’s a nail-biter. (No spoilers, but you might not want to settle in with your popcorn until after that storm cloud passes in the opening scenes.) In the film, based loosely on the history-making ascent of early meteorologist James Glaisher (played by Eddie Redmayne), Felicity, 36, transforms herself into fearless pilot Amelia Wren.
To give you a sense, picture Felicity perched midair at 3,000 feet—more than twice the height of the Empire State Building in New York—on the floating hoop between basket and balloon. “I like doing as many stunts as possible myself,” she says. “I even have to be held back a little.”
Perhaps it’s not what you would expect from an Oscar-nominated British actor with an Oxford education, but Felicity is all in when it comes to action roles. For her 2016 part as Jyn Erso in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, she ran in combat boots on the treadmill to prep for running on the boiling sand of the Maldives. For Aeronauts, she learned trapeze and how to climb silks Cirque du Soleil style, and she nearly missed garroting herself doing wirework for one climactic sequence.
Not that you would have seen or heard any of this on her Instagram account. Felicity doesn’t have one. “I think if it’s the right time and it feels right, then I’ll go for it,” she says with a shrug. “I just haven’t yet.” (Related: What It’s Like to Have Social Anxiety As an Instagram Influencer)
Unplugging is, in fact, Felicity’s idea of a luxury in the perpetual motion of modern stardom. “It’s such a gypsy job,” she says. “Not having to leave the house is a real treat.” This includes staying in and making dinner with her husband of just over a year, movie director Charles Guard. “We’re both real foodies, so we get enormous pleasure from cooking together.” (These cooking celebs will inspire you to skip take-out and make your own dinner tonight.)
Here, Felicity shares her go-to soup recipe and the everyday moves that help her stay grounded even at 3,000 feet.
I Light a Candle Every Morning
“Sometimes I feel like a headless chicken when I’m running from one thing to another. I’m probably not breathing properly. I have a little space where I put down a yoga mat and I light the candle—Diptyque in scent No.34 (Buy It, $80, nordstrom.com), which is almost unisex, with a spiciness to it. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes, I have a stretch. Then I feel a little more centered and ready for the day.” (Related: 10 Morning Yoga Poses to Start Your Day)
I Don’t Have Any Eating Rules
“I think my rule would be balance if I was going to have a rule. It’s so connected to fitness: The more fitness you do, the more you have a better, healthier diet. I make a pretty mean tomato-vegetable soup, which is fresh tomatoes and every vegetable you can think of: courgettes—you call them zucchini—capers, carrots, onions. I’ll put in as many vegetables as possible to get a massive vitamin hit. When I’m shooting and the days are long, I try to have dried fruit and snacks like that to keep my energy up. And I think you have to treat yourself sometimes; otherwise you’ll go crazy.”
I Love the Ritual of Skin Care
“I’m using a face roller daily. Clé de Peau Beauté has a fantastic serum (Buy It, Clé de Peau Beauté Concentrated Brightening Serum, $205, nordstrom.com), and I put that on and give my face a wake-up massage in the morning and get everything going. I’ll often exfoliate twice a week and do a facial mask—as well as a hair mask—once a week. And it’s really important to take your makeup off properly before going to bed. That’s what my mom taught me, and it has stayed with me. I like locking myself in the bathroom and doing a proper pampering session when I have time.”
I Crave the Outdoors
“I’m not terribly good at being stuck in a gym. I prefer long walks and being outside and going for runs. I grew up very tomboyish, playing sports with my older brother. I loved hockey, field hockey, netball [similar to basketball], and tennis. So I think it’s become an extension of having that experience of being in nature and not feeling daunted by a challenge. For instance, learning to climb silks for this role seemed terribly complicated: I wrapped my foot in all sorts of strange ways to lead myself up the silks 20 to 30 feet. But I got an enormous satisfaction when I realized I could do it. I couldn’t think about anything else because I was just thinking about survival, which is weirdly quite relaxing.” (Other stars get their sweat on at these must-try fitness classes.)
I Get Confidence from Having Time and Balance
“I like to know what I’m doing and have everything in its right place. When I feel organized and I feel prepared and on top of things, then I’m most calm and most happy. But confidence grows as you get older. You’re not quite as hard on yourself, and you don’t need to have all the answers all the time. That’s something I’ve learned: It’s OK to ask questions.”