Interviews, Videos

Daisy took part in a special Star Wars-themed “Would you rather?” game during her cover shoot with Glamour!

Interviews, Videos

Interviews, Videos

Interviews, Magazine Scans

PEOPLE – Lucky for the galaxy, Daisy Ridley did not give in to her fear playing new hero Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Fear, of course, is the path to the Dark Side.

“Because I hadn’t made a film before, the whole thing was scary,” Ridley says in PEOPLE’s Star Wars special issue. “I had to get over the overwhelming fear of it. That was the hardest thing.”

After all, the 23-year-old British actress went from a 15-second character in one episode of a little-seen PBS TV show, Mr. Selfridge, to a central character in the globally anticipated Star Wars sequel.

Ridley has since been prominent in The Force Awakens trailers, TV spots, posters, toys and more. Fan speculation is rampant that her character, whom Ridley has described as “solitary” but “not a princess,” is connected to the Skywalker family tree. The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams has deliberately kept Rey’s full name secret until the movie’s Dec. 18 premiere.

What is known, as reported by Entertainment Weekly, is that Rey was abandoned by her family on the junkyard planet Jakku when she was only 5 years old. That’s of course much different from Ridley’s childhood.

“I actually wanted to be a zookeeper when I was 5,” she says. “I was somewhat naughty as a child. My parents found a performing-arts school, and it kept me really busy. I loved the drama classes.”

Ridley will become a galactic star when the movie premieres on Dec. 18, and she’s not afraid of that or what comes next. “I don’t have a dream role after this,” she says. “I’m just going to plod through life and see what comes my way.”

See exclusive photos, get a first look at new characters and learn more secrets from the cast and crew of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in PEOPLE’s Star Wars collector’s edition, on newsstands Dec. 9.

Interviews, Videos

Interviews, Movies, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

ROLLING STONE – It is a bleak time for the Republic. It is a period of great struggle for the entire planet, and not only is the dark side winning, it’s no longer clear any other side even exists. Seriously, you guys – Earth is messed up. Just ask a polar bear, or an almond farmer, or a GOP debate moderator. Or maybe check in with Luke Skywalker.

“The world is so horrible,” says Mark Hamill, Luke’s closest earthly representative, sitting in the shadow of swaying trees in his rather pleasant Malibu yard. At 64, Hamill is older than Alec Guinness was in the first Star Wars, and is in the process of regrowing a distinctly Obi-Wan-ish beard. “Between the Middle East and gun violence and global warming and racism, it’s just horrible. And people need this. It’s therapeutic.”

The “this” in question is Star Wars: The Force Awakens, out on December 18th and directed by geek hero J.J. Abrams, fresh from rebooting the Star Trek franchise. It is the seventh Star Wars movie, and the first not under the control of the saga’s gnomic creator, George Lucas, who let it all go in 2012, selling Lucasfilm and its franchise to Disney for $4 billion. The Force Awakens will return to the Star Wars galaxy three decades after the events of 1983’s Return of the Jedi, launching what Disney intends to be an endless series of movies.

Jedi ended with what appeared to be a total defeat for the evil Empire, capped with what Harrison Ford called a “teddy-bear picnic” of dancing Ewoks, complete with smiley Jedi ghosts at the sidelines. The Rebel Alliance might as well have pinned a “Mission Accomplished” banner to a tree on the forest moon of Endor.

“With any movie that ends with going off in the sunset and a celebratory moment, you can ask, ‘Well, what happened the day after?'” says Abrams. “Then decades go past. We were literally asking, ‘Well, what happened to the disbanded Empire? What happened to the Republic?'”

Continue Reading (…)

Interviews, Videos


Interviews

THE NATIONAL – “Who are you?” asks a mysterious figure as a desert scavenger walks towards golden dunes. “I’m no one,” is the whispered reply.

She isn’t no one, of course. She is Rey, played by 23-year-old unknown British actor Daisy Ridley, one of the new, young characters in what is the most eagerly awaited film of the year – and possibly all time – Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

But the irony of Rey’s response is not lost on Ridley.

“Obviously there are a lot of people saying, ‘Who is this girl and why was she chosen?’” she says. “But with Star Wars, well, you feel like you’re standing on the shoulders of giants.

“I was terrified before we started filming and it was a wonderful thing to work with people at the top of their game.”

In a way, Ridley’s journey is the story of the new Star Wars film in microcosm. When director JJ Abrams announced that original stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill would appear, there was the fear that the seventh instalment of this iconic space opera would be a nostalgia trip into homage.

But, in the same way he successfully revitalised the other bg global sci-fi franchise, Star Trek, he seems to have avoided the pitfalls of tired rehashes by melding convincing new characters with the established Jedi vs Dark Side mythology of Star Wars, all while maintaining a sense of earthy reality.

It doesn’t look, if the trailers are anything to go by, like a story made on computers, populated by overpaid Hollywood stars.

The film was partly filmed in Abu Dhabi last year – with the sand dunes standing in for the desert planet of Jakku, a world not previously seen in the saga – and this, says Ridley, really helped to achieve that organic feel.

“This was a place that had everything people said they wanted from this Star Wars – the desert has this real, tangible dirt and grit and dust,” she says. “Pardon the pun, but for me it was like a baptism of fire, the perfect place to begin telling this story – not least because Abu Dhabi represents Jakku, which is Rey’s home planet.

“In the trailers you will have seen us running away from explosions in the desert. Those explosions were real, it was 50 degrees and we were running after a truck with a camera on it.”

The “we” she refers to includes fellow Brit John Boyega, who plays Finn, a stormtrooper that the trailers suggest is reformed and in search of redemption.

“Yes, it was boiling hot” in Abu Dhabi, he says. “But it did really help with the scenes, in terms of getting across the intensity and the fear of the character – you’re in the same environment, rather than a studio with hot lights.”

Continue Reading (…)

Interviews, Videos

In this interview for MovieManiacsDE, Daisy talks about her role as Rey in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ and about working with John Boyega.

Interviews

THE GUARDIAN – Daisy Ridley made her first feature film three years ago, a project by the film-maker Peter Hearn and his students at Andover College, where he is a lecturer. Ridley, like the handful of other professionals working with the students, was paid expenses for her role as a comic book drawing come to life, but that was about it.

Daisy Ridley’s second feature film is Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the seventh in the multibillion-dollar series. And if internet rumours are anything to go by (they’re not normally, of course, but Star Wars fans tend to be an obsessively analytical and keen-eyed bunch), Ridley’s character Rey, a staff-wielding scavenger picking through the wreckage of battles, is the film’s lead. “She’s not a superhero,” the British actor has said. “She’s a normal girl thrust into extraordinary circumstances, so it’s very relatable.”

Ridley’s leap from bit parts in British TV dramas to the biggest film franchise in the world is a legitimate overnight success. “It’s a great place to come from,” she said in an interview with Vogue in September. “Nobody has any expectations of me until they see the film.”

Ridley had heard that the film-makers were seeing not just famous actors and she lobbied her agent to get her an audition. She auditioned five times for the film’s director, JJ Abrams.

Casting an unknown was entirely deliberate, Abrams said recently. “That’s something I remember loving about the original trilogy: not having seen these people before,” he told Elle magazine. “It was exciting but also terrifying because we knew that there was going to be a certain level of scrutiny and expectation on who these people were going to be. So they needed to be actors whom the audience could discover as these characters, not as actors they’d seen elsewhere. Ideally, it needed to be people like Daisy – somewhat experienced, but mostly new to the game.”

Ridley, 23, grew up in west London with four older sisters. Her mother works in communications for a bank and her father is a photographer. A great uncle was the actor Arnold Ridley, who appeared as Private Godfrey in the classic TV comedy Dad’s Army.

Continue Reading (…)