Interviews

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY – Perhaps the only thing more unsettling than meeting your enemy is coming face-to-face with your hero.

That’s where the Star Wars saga left us at the end of The Force Awakens, with Daisy Ridley’s Rey standing atop a craggy, windswept island, holding out Luke Skywalker’s long-lost family lightsaber to the man she knew only as a legend. But in The Last Jedi, she actually has much further to go to find the warrior who inspired all those old stories.

This isn’t the Luke she’s heard about. It’s not the one we know either.

This is a broken man. One who would have preferred to stay lost. And he feels the same way about that lightsaber.

“The fact that Luke says, ‘I only know one truth. It’s time for the Jedi to end…’ I mean, that’s a pretty amazing statement for someone who was the symbol of hope and optimism in the original films,” Mark Hamill tells EW as part of our new cover story on the Dec. 15 film.

“When I first read it, my jaw dropped,” the actor says. “What would make someone that alienated from his original convictions? That’s not something that you can just make up in an afternoon, and I really struggled with this thing.”

Luke definitely does not give Rey the warm welcome he received when he went in search of Alec Guinness’ Ben Kenobi in 1977’s original Star Wars. She is warned. She is given an explanation. Nevertheless …

“She’s so hopeful to everything,” Ridley says. “And obviously there’s a hint of, ‘What the hell?’”

This rejection hits Rey’s abandonment issues. Hard.

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Interviews, Movies, Murder on the Orient Express

GALLERY LINKS
Film Productions > Murder On The Orient Express (2017) > Production Stills

DAILY MAIL – Daisy Ridley was sandwiched between Penelope Cruz and Willem Dafoe. Kenneth Branagh was directing. And Judi Dench and Olivia Colman were just out of eyeshot..but not earshot.

‘So no pressure,’ the actress guffawed, as she told me about the first scene she shot for Branagh’s all-star film version of Agatha Christie’s Murder On The Orient Express. Daisy said she’s always nervous during shooting — but she managed just fine in two Star Wars pictures (in which she plays young heroine Rey).

‘Before a scene my heart is pounding, every time,’ she admits. ‘But my first scene on Orient had to be in front of everyone, didn’t it? I couldn’t hold a cup, because it was rattling. But I got through it.’

The scene involved a confrontation with Dafoe, and it’s clear from footage Branagh showed me that Ridley’s nerves didn’t get in the way of her performance as governess Mary Debenham, the film’s moral compass.

At 25, the actress was one of the youngest in a cast that also included Derek Jacobi, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Josh Gad and Lucy Boynton.

She auditioned for the part and was surprised to get it (touchingly, she still can’t fathom why she’s sent every script going). She deserves her luck, though, because I know how much graft she puts in before going for any audition or job.

I also know (and like) how she often turns up (without fanfare) when her friends are in a stage show. She’d love to do a play and has spoken to directors — but it won’t be until everything has been played out in that galaxy far, far away.

Murder On The Orient Express opens on November 3; The Last Jedi on December 15.

Interviews, Videos

Interviews, Videos

The stars and director of ‘Murder On The Orient Express’ share details on their characters, the mystery at the heart of the film, and the challenges (and delights) or working with a huge stellar ensemble.

Interviews, Movies, Murder on the Orient Express, Videos

Interviews, Movies, Murder on the Orient Express, Videos

Interviews

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY – Daisy Ridley played a big part in relaunching the Star Wars franchise with 2015’s The Force Awakens and then reprised her role of Rey in the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi. With those experiences under her belt, one might assume that portraying governess Mary Debenham in the actress’ third major project, director Kenneth Branagh’s period thriller Murder on the Orient Express (out Nov. 22), would have held few fears. Wrong!

“I remember finishing my first-ever film [and thinking], ‘Oh my God, this is so great, how could this ever be topped?’” she says. “And then I did my second film, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is so great, how could this ever be topped?’ And then Murder was kind of my first foray into non-spacey films. I was petrified. And we just had the best time. Truly the best time. It was the most wonderful group of people. I felt overwhelmingly lucky to be there and to be able to work with Ken and all the other actors. It was just glorious.”

Ridley’s costars include Branagh — who plays novelist Agatha Christie’s famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot — Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Josh Gad, Willem Dafoe, Penélope Cruz, Dame Judi Dench, and Olivia Colman. So, who was the actress most starstruck to meet?

“When I first met Ken, I was super nervous, because I was auditioning,” she says. “It was this whole thing of auditioning and meeting him. But when I met Judi and Olivia, they’re like aspirational for me. It’s not starstruck: ‘Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god.’ That’s what I what I want to be. With Olivia, to get a few years down the line and be even a patch on what she is, I would be so happy. And with Judi, it’s kind of an extension of that. And with those two working together, it was the most f—ing amazing combination.”

Interviews, Magazine Scans

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY – All aboard! And we mean all aboard!

It is no exaggeration to say that a goodly portion of planet Earth’s most famous residents have gathered today at Longcross Studios outside London to shoot a scene set at Stamboul (now Istanbul) train station for director Sir Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express (out Nov. 22). Branagh, who also plays Christie’s famous Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, is present and properly dressed in 1930s-era attire. So too are Star Wars heroine Daisy Ridley, Michelle Pfeiffer, Willem Dafoe, Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr., and British acting royalty Dame Judi Dench and Sir Derek Jacobi. But wait, there’s more. In one corner of the soundstage, Josh Gad and Olivia Colman (Broadchurch) are discussing the Police Academy franchise; Penélope Cruz is gliding past the re-creation of a vintage train talking on her phone in Spanish; and Johnny Depp is ruminating to your reporter about the likelihood of his character’s long brown coat being made out of leather. “I’m feeling like it’s fake,” he says — incorrectly, as the film’s Oscar-winning costume designer, Alexandra Byrne (Elizabeth: The Golden Age), will later attest. However the most eye-catching sight is not a person but a thing: the fake mustache sported by Branagh. The item is so extravagantly outsize it almost seems more alien face-hugger than facial fuzz. “When I saw it I was like, Holy moly!” says Ridley. “But this is a larger-than-life story, so why not make the mustache larger, too?”

Poirot is always well-groomed, whether on the page or the screen. The Belgian’s care over his appearance reflects an obsessively meticulous nature, which enables him to investigate the most complex and horrific of crimes, including the brutal attack at the center of Murder on the Orient Express. First published in 1934, and inspired by Christie’s journeys on the real-life luxury locomotive which then ran between Istanbul and Paris, the book finds Poirot investigating a fatal stabbing. With the Orient Express marooned in a snowdrift and the murderer trapped on the train, Poirot interrogates a dozen or so suspects before gathering them together to hear him solve the case. The book’s large number of supporting characters allowed Branagh to cast stars keen to take roles that were chunkier than cameos but did not demand too much of their time. Even so, putting together a schedule capable of catering to the collective calendars of Depp, Pfeiffer, Cruz, et al. was no easy feat. “It was a ton of planning, I’ll tell you,” the director concedes. “A delicate web of availability.”

Murder on the Orient Express may squeeze about as many famous folks as is physically possible into a single movie. But the cover story on Branagh’s film is just the start of starry shenanigans you’ll find in this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly. Elsewhere, Ridley Scott looks back on his career; Zoe Saldana looks forward to making four Avatar sequels; and Tituss Burgess looks at life through the bottom of a wine glass as EW writer Bill Keith spends a very happy hour with the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star. Plus!!! To commemorate Mother’s Day, John Waters, and Kathleen Turner recall the making of comedy classic Serial Mom.

Interviews, Videos

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Appearances, Interviews, Videos

Last night (February 12), Daisy attended the EE British Academy Film Awards and presented the Special Visual Effects award with Luke Evans. She wore a Roland Mouret “Baldersby” floral-embroidered gown. Head over to our gallery to find many high quality pictures from the event!


GALLERY LINKS
Public Appearances > 2017 > EE British Academy Film Awards
Public Appearances > 2017 > EE British Academy Film Awards – Backstage
Public Appearances > 2017 > EE British Academy Film Awards – Show
Public Appearances > 2017 > EE British Academy Film Awards – Press Room


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