SCREEN RANT – One of the X-factors of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is Daisy Ridley, the 23-year-old British actress who plays the lead role of Rey. With just a handful of UK TV credits to her name and one previous film, Ridley was almost a complete unknown when she won the part – much in the same way that Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher were when they landed their roles in A New Hope nearly 40 years ago.

But Ridley is unknown no more. Although we don’t know much about Rey yet except that she is a scavenger who gets caught up in the great conflict between the Resistance and the First Order (and that her last name has been intentionally withheld), she has been front and center of the marketing and trailers for The Force Awakens since the very first teaser was released in late 2014. Since she is also signed to star in Episodes VIII and IX, it’s clear that Rey will play a central role in these new chapters of the Star Wars saga. Is Ridley ready to become an icon? Let’s find out…

Can you remember your reaction when you got this part?
Daisy Ridley: My reaction probably lasted about two years (laughs). No, I’m just kidding. It’s probably still going on. My initial one was like (makes gasping sound) and then there was insecurity and fear and terror and elation. It was a real amalgamation of things.

How did you keep that all in check when got to the set, coming from what you were doing before and stepping into this gigantic production?
I kind of didn’t. I was like a bit of (makes shock noise) at the beginning, as people have noted – thank you, Carrie and Peter – but being surrounded by people who make you feel like you are worthy and like you should be there and like you have a story to tell and like you have a voice, that is the most amazing thing. That (fear) kind of drops away when you’re surrounded by people, when you’re all working together to make this incredible thing, and it didn’t feel like a big thing. It felt like there was a small group of us making this incredible thing, so it didn’t feel daunting in that way. Everyone definitely made me feel relaxed and loved and supported.

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We added pictures of Daisy attending the press conference for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ in Urayasu (Japan) on December 11, 2015.

Public Appearances > 2015 > ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Press Conference (Japan)