As I mentioned yesterday, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the #1 film in the nation. Certainly, you don’t need me to tell you that. However, did you know some of the actors have PBS connections? Let’s explore a few.
Felicity Jones stars in Rogue One as Jyn Erso. Jones may not quite be a household name yet (this movie might help) but she’s been in many high-profile feature films and even garnered an Academy Award nomination for The Theory Of Everything. However, in the past decade, UNC-TV viewers will have seen her face here and there. She played Robina Redmond in the Doctor Who adventure “The Unicorn And The Wasp” but may be more recognizable for her appearances in various Masterpiece presentations. In 2009, Felicity Jones starred as Catherine Morland in Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. In 2010, Jones played Margot Frank in The Diary Of Anne Frank. The following year, she was seen as Julianne Worricker in Page Eight.
Alistair Petrie plays General Draven in the movie. While not as big a star as Felicity Jones, Petrie also has a public broadcasting presence, popping up in the likes of Midsomer Murders, Death In Paradise, Sherlock and Cranford. He may be best known to UNC-TV viewers, however, as George Forsyte on The Forsyte Saga.
Ben Daniels is General Merrick. He played Lord Kildaire on The Aristocrats, Francis Walsingham on The Virgin Queen and Tom Weston on The Paradise (all Masterpiece Theatre presentations).
Paul Kasey portrays Admiral Raddus. While I didn’t immediately recognize his face, I was impressed that imdb.com lists him with 35 appearances on Doctor Who in various roles such as Zygon, Ood Sigma, Judoon and Slitheen.
Jonathan Aris plays Senator Jebel. Aris was Sir Richard Leavis in The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard but you may know him best as forensic worker Philip Anderson on Sherlock.
Geraldine James is credited as Blue Three. James was Barbara Turney In The Last Enemy, Hilary Rees-Benson in The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard and, going back a bit, Sarah Layton in The Jewel In The Crown.
Now these are just a few names of note in a film that has a cast of hundreds in roles small and large. In full disclosure, I have not seen the blockbuster yet but I knew that a quick glance would reveal some familiar names and faces. I guess it just shows that if you want to cast talented actors you’re going to happen upon a few with ties to PBS.