Jonathan Olley—Lucasfilm Ltd.
December 15, 2016 1:09 PM EST

Felicity Jones, the first woman to have solo top billing in a Star Wars movie, said female action heroes are “absolutely the norm” now.Speaking with BBC Breakfast, the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story star said the success of actors like Jennifer Lawrence, Daisy Ridley and Sigourney Weaver proves that that women-driven action movies can be successful.

“It’s a wonderful moment for cinema and there’s a great appetite for female action hero leads,” Jones told the BBC.

Rogue One, which will be released in the United States on Friday, is a Star Wars spin-off in which a group of rebel spies attempt to steal the blueprints for the Death Star. Jones plays Jyn Erso, a young woman recruited by the Rebel Alliance with an “irreverence” that immediately attracted her to the part. She says she modeled the character after Beyoncé, citing the singer’s persona of “enormous power” without being “precious” or a “diva.” She told the BBC that she hopes both boys and girls see Rogue Oneand look up to Jyn as a role model.

“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.”

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