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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Interviews

SCREEN DAILY“It’s a really fucking scary time to be alive,” comments Star Wars’ leading lady Daisy Ridley about the first days of Donald Trump being president of the US. The actress recently attended the anti-Trump women’s march in London, calling it “an incredible show of democracy”.

Ridley is deeply passionate about tales of female empowerment; from her breakthrough role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens to the her latest film, the Bafta-nominated documentary The Eagle Huntress, which she narrates and exec produced.

Screen sat down with Ridley to discuss the doc, which is the story of a 13-year-old girl in Mongolia who is attempting to become the first female eagle hunter in her country. She also updated on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, talked having to audition for Murder On The Orient Express, and had her say on Piers Morgan’s recent spat with Ewan McGregor.

Screen: How did you get involved in The Eagle Huntress?
Daisy Ridley: Morgan Spurlock came on as a producer after Otto [Bell, director] had done the initial shoot. He got in touch with my agent and said he wanted me to watch it. I watched it, was blown away and said I’d love to be involved somehow. I came on as exec producer and then – Otto initially had title cards in it but wanted to narrate it for younger kids – so I then narrated it too.

What did being executive producer involve?
I mean it’s a glorified spokesperson. I am taking credit for something I really haven’t had much to do with. It has been my pleasure, basically, to spread the news.

Do you see yourself using your star power in the future to help out smaller films like this?
When I came on, I wasn’t like ‘Hey, let ME make this a big thing’. It would have done amazingly with or without my help. I don’t plan. If something else came along that touched me in the same way and I could be involved in it, then great.

What did you love about the film?
It was mainly the relationship between Aisholpan [the film’s subject] and her father. The world we’re living in is terrifying and [it’s great] to watch something that for an hour and a half takes you out of yourself and shows you something about somewhere that none of us really knows. It’s incredible how everything is so divisive at the moment – what colour your skin is, what religion you are – and to watch a film that’s set in the back end of Mongolia, that made me think: ‘oh my God, her dad reminds me of my dad’.

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Interviews, Videos

Interviews

EMPIRE – A new documentary is out this week, and it features a voice you may be familiar with. The Eagle Huntress tracks the story of 13-year-old Aisholpan, the first female eagle hunter in Kazakhstan, and it boasts a narration from Star Wars’ Daisy Ridley. We spoke to Ridley about how she became involved with a low-budget documentary – as well as the obligatory Star Wars questions.

How did this film first enter your radar?
I actually didn’t know how it had entered. My agent sent it to me – and it’s now been revealed that [executive producer] Morgan Spurlock sent it to my agent. I watched it and was totally blown away by it. I watched it that evening and was like [puts on crying voice] “oh my God, how can I be part of this?” So I was on a call with Morgan and Otto [Bell, The Eagle Huntress director] later that week, which was the night before the film’s Sundance premiere. Initially I just came on as executive producer, and then they wanted to edit it a bit, to make it slightly more accessible to kids – just because there’s a lot going on. Just those little…Otto describes them as “hand holds”. So I was able to narrate too!

What was it like to narrate the film? A day in the recording booth must be easier than running around with lightsabers.
You know what? It was really hard! I think I speak for like five minutes altogether, maybe less – and it took a good three, four hours. I’d already done a bit of voice stuff last year [for the English redub of anime film Only Yesterday], and I always found it really knackering. I was doing it with Otto, and it’s his whole thing. I’m such a tiny part of it, I really wanted to do justice to it. I was so nervous about doing a good job. It took a while.

As you say, you’re also credited as an executive producer. What does that involve exactly?
Essentially, it was a way for it to reach people, I guess. I really didn’t do much, and I kind of feel awful taking any credit for it. It has been great, because while I was on social media, I was able to talk about it on social media, and spread the message. That’s really all I’ve done! But I like to feel like I’m a small part of it.

Is this something you’re interested in doing in the future – using your profile to bring attention to smaller films?
It’s funny because I didn’t really think about it in those terms. I just thought, oh my God, what an amazing thing to be a part of. I guess I underestimated the whole profile thing. Yesterday I did this Q&A and it was the first time I thought, oh actually, this is great to be able to bring a bit more attention to it. But I don’t think I go into something just because of that. If I hadn’t have responded so overwhelmingly to the film, I wouldn’t have felt so passionate about becoming part of it. Being part of something like this is incredible. Plus it’s incredible for me. It’s like everyone’s a winner!

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Interviews

TIMEOUT – Did we miss something in ‘The Force Awakens’? This morning, Time Out caught up with ‘Star Wars’ actress and proud Londoner Daisy Ridley to discuss her work as a narrator on superb upcoming documentary ‘The Eagle Huntress’, but we couldn’t help slipping in a ‘Star Wars’ question at the end. Ridley has already revealed that in the as-yet-untitled Episode VIII, due in 2017, we’ll learn a lot more about her character Rey’s mysterious backstory. We asked if it’d feel good to get the secret off her chest – and her answer startled us. ‘I thought a lot was answered in “The Force Awakens”,’ she said. ‘Then after the screening I went for a drink with my agent and everyone, and we were chatting away and I realised that oh, in their minds it’s not answered at all!’

Is she messing with us? Did every audience around the world manage to miss some vital clue? Or are we just reading too much into this still-fairly-cryptic answer? Ridley seems happy to keep things ambiguous: ‘I think curiosity is a wonderful thing,’ she told us. ‘And I do find it quite funny that people keep asking about it. Just yesterday a guy asked to take a picture with me, and went “Is Luke your Dad”? And I was like, “chill out, you’ll see”!’ So does she think people are going to be surprised when they find out the truth? ‘I’d love to see the look on people’s faces,’ she says. ‘But with answers come more questions, and there’s definitely going to be enough to keep people going for another two years!’

One thing that is in no way ambiguous is Ridley’s enthusiasm for the upcoming Episode VIII: ‘It’s going to be great,’ she told us, in no uncertain terms. Fingers, tentacles and lightsabers crossed that she’s right…

Interviews

A documentary about a teenage Mongolian girl’s quest to become an eagle hunter – a skill normally passed down from father to son – is released in the UK next week.
Its narrator and executive producer is the young British actor Daisy Ridley, who shot to fame as Rey in the latest Star Wars film ‘The Force Awakens’.

Daisy told the Today programme about her experience on Star Wars and if veteran stars Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher had offered any advice.

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