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Felicity Jones on Her Latest Roles: Clé de Peau Face and Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The Oscar-nominated actress, the new global face of Clé de Peau, discusses her beauty philosophy and her latest role as the Supreme Court justice.

British actress Felicity Jones, who earned an Oscar nomination for her role as Jane Hawking in “The Theory of Everything,” will be taking on two very different roles in 2018: the global face of Shiseido-owned Clé de Peau and the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the upcoming film “The Basis of Sex.”

The former launches today in the U.S., as the David Sims-shot ads featuring Jones will make their debut at a party honoring her at the Hotel Bel-Air. The latter, which costars Armie Hammer and Ginsburg’s husband Marty, will hit theaters at the end of this year.

Jones sat down with WWD in a suite at The Beverly Hills Hotel, where she was doing global press to support her new campaign, which also marks the cosmetics and skin-care line’s relaunch.

“I knew their concealer very well because it’s in every makeup artist’s kit and it’s fantastic,” she said. “So I knew the products, but in working with the brand I got to know them very well and how they work, and I’ve been impressed by their precision, their attention to detail and their love of quality. They do everything incredibly carefully.”

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With her porcelain skin, rosy cheeks and dark blue eyes, the 34-year-old Jones is an ideal poster girl for a beauty brand, though perhaps not the most obvious choice. Those who have met Jones tout her warmth and intelligence, and Clé de Peau cited her personality as a major factor in choosing her. She possesses that oft-cited but elusive quality — authenticity.

“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through. I love to do yoga and Pilates and swimming and walking and running and I do prefer being active rather than sitting in front of my computer,” she said. She does however, love makeup.

“I’ve been obsessed with it since I was a teenager and obviously through my work, where so much of a character is about the way that they apply makeup or don’t apply it, it’s such a good tool for being an actor. It’s always been great fun and I love the process of sitting down and — it’s quite meditative — applying makeup. I love the artistry of it and how it can change the way you feel,” she said.

Her daily routine involves playing up her eyes with black eyeliner and mascara and “brushing the old eyebrows,” and she favors a “pinky blush and lip.”

Clé de Peau's lip gloss.
Clé de Peau’s lip gloss. Courtesy Photo

So far, her experience as a global beauty face has been a pleasant one. “The difference between when you’re getting up at four in the morning and going to set and doing 12-hour days, this is the really luxurious, lovely side of the profession, definitely. You get treated very nicely,” she enthused.

She also said the job has satisfied her creative yearnings. “Clé de Peau have been incredibly collaborative, incredibly open. The whole ethos very much has been about having input myself. We went to Croatia and shot one of the videos and it was very exploratory, we were given time and a chance to really explore and find something interesting. Obviously it’s nonverbal, but it’s about creating an incredible image and a story through the makeup. The filmmaking aspect has been really special,” she said.

Just before the holiday, Jones’ wrapped filming of “The Basis of Sex” in Montreal. “Ruth Bader Ginsburg who is one of the most phenomenal women I’ve ever met and had an absolutely fantastic time making that. I went to her home and spoke to her very candidly and privately. She was wonderful she was very open,” she said of the Supreme Court justice.

“It’s an incredible story about her and her husband changing the architecture of gender rights in the U.S. She is someone who is obviously extraordinarily intelligent and also has such empathy and understanding, someone who has stuck by their ideologies through their work. I don’t think many know about the battles she had to go through. It’s obviously very pertinent at the moment in terms of women in society, but Ruth was someone who was fighting head on from the beginning of not being accepted as a lawyer because she was female, and someone who just continually overcame these obstacles through sheer determination,” said Jones, who studied Ginsburg’s speeches, audio recordings of court proceedings and videos in order to emulate her.

Jones has proved adept at playing historical figures as well as action heroines (see: “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”) and her next job, “The Aeronauts” which reunites her with “Theory of Everything” star Eddie Redmayne, “is an imaginative, fantasy epic story about these two people who go up in a hot air balloon and go on an adventure.”

She plans to take some of her new Clé de Peau products home to London, where she will be filming. “The whole feel of the [brand] aesthetic is about being very easy. Particularly women now are working, you don’t have a lot of time in your day for applying makeup. I feel like the brand really reflects that it’s the best products that you can use most effectively that are very efficient and good at what they do.”

Clé de Peau's products.
Clé de Peau’s products. Courtesy Photo