Interviews, Photoshoots

INTERVIEW – Making it and breaking it in Hollywood sometimes boils down to the next audition, the next fortuitous meeting, the next tape. A couple of years ago, Daisy Ridley was just one young actress making the rounds, paying her rent with wages made at a London pub, but then the magic happened. The west London native, youngest of five sisters, had recently wrapped a string of British TV roles when she got the chance to audition for a little sci-fi picture set in a galaxy far, far away.

From the moment news of her casting in J.J. Abrams’s Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens hit last year, the then-unknown became an object of fan obsession. And, despite the deep secrecy with which the re-ignition of George Lucas’s great saga has been treated, one gets the sense that Ridley is on the verge. What the world has seen so far of the 23-year-old, most of it in character, as Rey, a tanned warrior outfitted in desert garb, is just the beginning of the life-altering rise for the young actress.

But despite the action figures already being made in her likeness and the merchandise that promises to make her a household name, Ridley seems devoted to keeping her cool. As she tells her Force Awakens co-star, Princess Leia herself, Carrie Fisher, Ridley doesn’t know exactly what’s to come, but she’s ready.

CARRIE FISHER: We finally made it into interview mode, our destiny. Where are you?
DAISY RIDLEY: I’m in the car. I just got back from the airport in Berlin.

FISHER: Why were you in Berlin?
RIDLEY: I was doing press there, meeting all the lovely Germans.

FISHER: Are they embarrassed with the whole thing with Volkswagen? They have to recall, like, 200 million of them.
RIDLEY: I didn’t ask them about their Volkswagens. [laughs]

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Interviews, Videos

Interviews, Videos

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Interviews, Videos

Interviews, Videos

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Interviews, Videos

YAHOO – After Harrison Ford brought down the house at the Star Wars: The Force Awakens panel on Friday, he offered some words of advice to the younger members of the cast who are just embarking on their journey to a galaxy far, far away. “It’s too late for them,” said Ford (you can watch video of the interview above). “Life as they knew it is no longer possible.” He recounted a “serious conversation” he’d had with Daisy Ridley, who plays young heroine Rey (and Han Solo’s seat mate in the Millennium Falcon according to the new behind-the-scenes footage.) “I said, ‘Your life will change,” he remembered. “You’ll be by turns happy and delighted and employed. And then you’ll wonder what the hell happened every once in awhile.”

An obviously reflective Ford went on with some thoughts that seem to sum up the central challenge of his legendary career: “The natural state of the actor is to observe life around them. And now you have to figure out how to do that when all anybody’s looking at is you.”

Appearances, Interviews, Videos

Interviews, Videos

Interviews

STARWARS7NEWS – As we covered before, actress Daisy Ridley and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy visited Japan, for the very first press conference for Star Wars: The Force Awakens 2 weeks ago. It appears in one of the many interviews, Kathleen Kennedy actually revealed some really cool bits about the upcoming movies that we missed…

Special thanks to our reader TOGO from Japan who pointed us to this article. (And apologies for the sketchy translation – cobbled together from multiple sources and paraphrased by me. Keep in mind that this is not a direct translation, but an interpretation of two imperfect translations – we’re working with what we can here.)

From Kotaku.jp:

Kotaku: As we get into this epic saga, what research did you do in advance?
Kathleen Kennedy: In order to understand George Lucas’s fictional world and his method for creating it, we spent a considerable amount of time doing research onto what he made. The contents, it is his prior research, which was carried out in order of production, such as about the work that he was affected by, such as Flash Gordon and Akira Kurosawa’s movies. In addition, we looked a lot at early concept art by Ralph McQuarrie; we also went to the San Francisco Lucasfilm archive. The Death Star of the model that was actually used in the movie from the archive in San Francisco can be pulled out, and the Stormtrooper costume can be examined anew. Since the staff there are super Star Wars geeks, they fainted when we stopped by. [Laughs]

Daisy Ridley: Compared to Kathleen, I didn’t do nearly as much research! [Laughs] What I did for the movie was look into how to portray an independent character in a compelling way; what I mainly did for this was to conduct physical training. Reading the script and interpreting Rey’s thoughts and actions were also important, as I wanted to understand what I should show in the film.

Kennedy: Daisy trained with the swordfight choreographer of Game of Thrones.

Kotaku: She did a lot of training in swordfighting as well?
Kennedy: She learned the bōjutsu fighting style. Rey uses the staff she has in the trailer to fight. Daisy’s gotten to be so good at bōjutsu that even grown men on the set fear it. [Laughs]

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Interviews, Videos

VANITY FAIR – For some Star Wars fans, there’s no May the Fourth news finer than this: director J. J. Abrams revealed that he’s thought about killing off the very controversial Jar Jar Binks. Sitting in an edit bay at his Bad Robot production office and pointing to a frame of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Abrams told Vanity Fair contributing editor Bruce Handy, “I have a thought about putting Jar Jar Binks’s bones in the desert there. I’m serious! Only three people will notice, but they’ll love it.”

That’s just the beginning of the behind-the-scenes Star Wars secrets Abrams, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, and others divulged for the cover story of Vanity Fair’s June issue, available as a digital edition on Thursday, May 7, and on newsstands nationwide on Tuesday, May 12.

In addition to the blend of old and new characters on the cover, Annie Leibovitz traveled to the film’s set and photographed never-before-seen images of characters played by Adam Driver, Gwendoline Christie, and Lupita Nyong’o. The Oscar-winning actress is covered in C.G.I. tracking dots, revealing that even her most die-hard fans may not recognize her playing a purely animated character in the film.

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