ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY – William Shakespeare sure loved a doomed heroine. Some of the Bard’s most famous women — Juliet, Desdemona, Lady Macbeth — all met with a grisly fate, but few are as iconic as Hamlet’s Ophelia, who goes mad with heartbreak and drowns herself in a river. While Hamlet’s insanity and demise have been explored countless times since the play’s publication in 1603, much of Ophelia’s story happens off stage. Claire McCarthy’s new film Ophelia, led by Star Wars’ Daisy Ridley, aims to change that — and reimagine the character as a bold, complicated young heroine.

It’s a radical reinvention for a woman who’s most frequently portrayed in art and literature as a docile, waif-like beauty, driven mad by love and passively accepting her watery death.

“That’s often how women have been portrayed in storytelling — as the damsel in the distress,” says Naomi Watts, who plays Hamlet’s mother, Queen Gertrude. “If their mind is powerful, it must be madness. And now there’s this shift that’s taking place, and that’s reflected in this storytelling.”

Based on Lisa Klein’s novel and premiering this month at the Sundance Film Festival, Ophelia follows its lowborn protagonist as she becomes the most trusted lady-in-waiting for Gertrude and strikes up a relationship with her son, Hamlet (George MacKay). Along the way, Ophelia gets caught up in the court’s deadliest betrayals and secrets, all while trying to find her own path. “We wanted her to feel a lot more empowered and a lot more visceral than the original Ophelia, who is really only in a handful of scenes,” McCarthy (The Waiting City) says. In other words, this Ophelia is more concerned with her own destiny than Hamlet’s emo mopiness. Ophelia’s new direction also gives the 400-year-old play new relevance in 2018. “There’s real currency in the fact that Ophelia was the victim, and now she’s been recast as the hero,” Watts says.

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First of all, Happy New Year! We hope that you spent some quality times with your family and friends and of course thank you for your support!

Daisy graces the cover of Grazia China (January). The gallery has been updated with two covers and outtakes from the very first photoshoot of 2018. Check back later for digital scans. Enjoy!

GALLERY LINKS
Magazine Scans > 2018 > Grazia China (January)
Studio Photoshoots > Outtakes & Sessions > 2018 > Session 001

Daisy, alongside Mark Hamill and Rian Johnson, attended the premiere and press conference for ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ on December 20, 2017 in Shanghai.


GALLERY LINKS
Public Appearances > 2017 > ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Press Conference (Shanghai)
Public Appearances > 2017 > ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Shanghai Premiere

On December 12, Daisy walked the red carpet to attend the premiere of ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ in London. She wore a Calvin Klein Spring 2018 nylon dress with custom Christian Louboutin “Rey” sandals. We’ve updated the gallery with many many high quality pictures from the event!

STYLIST – Daisy Ridley is talking about her favourite washing powder.

“It has got to be Fairy Non-Bio, for sensitive skin. A little touch of fabric conditioner,” she tells me, happily. “God, I love washing my clothes.” Not the conversation I imagined as I flew to LA to hang out with the protagonist of the biggest movie franchise in the galaxy ahead of the anticipated arrival of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. But I’m happy to be immersed in it. The conversation sums up the actress: a normal 25-year-old woman thrust into an extraordinary world. A woman who’s a bit jittery from drinking strong coffee, she confesses.

The Last Jedi is steeped in secrecy. All Ridley can do is reassure me that “the question everyone is asking will be answered” (she is referring to the parentage of Rey, her Star Wars character). But what we do know is this: Ridley will be front and centre again.

The Force Awakens (2015) saw Rey, an orphan and scavenger on a desert planet, discover the Force and fight the First Order. The Last Jedi sees the young warrior develop her Jedi powers, with guidance from Luke Skywalker, and continue to seek her place in the world.

Rey was – is – important because she is not defined by the men around her. She is a talented pilot and combatant. She has been granted proper protagonist status; not just a cipher for plot development. Her costume is one she can move in. She is a survivor. There was an outcry – and a hashtag, #wheresrey – last year over the lack of female characters in the just-released Star Wars merchandise, which has since been addressed – but it is a sign that progress can be slow. Coincidentally, it’s the first time Ridley has seen the Rey mug we took to LA for our shoot.

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