Interviews

COLLIDER – When the first wave of toys for Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit shelves, there was one conspicuous absence: the movie’s protagonist. Indeed, Daisy Ridley’s Rey was noticeably left out of a number of Force Awakens toys in favor of John Boyega’s Finn and Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren, with the assumption that young boys wouldn’t want to play with a “girl toy.” Filmmaker J.J. Abrams expressed his frustration over the issue, specifically noting Rey’s absence from the official Force Awakens Monopoly game. After Abrams’ comments and justified anger from fans, the problem was subsequently rectified, with toy companies including Rey in the second wave of merchandise. And in an ironic twist, after the movie opened it was Rey toys that were flying off the shelves, not Kylo Ren toys. Apparently boys don’t mind playing with “girl” merchandise after all!

But when Star Wars: Episode VIII toys roll around, you can be sure Rey will be front and center. Collider’s own Steve Weintraub recently spoke with Daisy Ridley in anticipation of the release of the documentary The Eagle Huntress, which Ridley narrates and executive produced, and the actress revealed that she’s already meeting about future toys for the franchise:

“Interestingly, I had a meeting yesterday about merchandise and what’s happening going forward, so I had a lot of questions that were answered and some, you know, issues.”

Ridley admits the exclusion of Rey in the first wave of Force Awakens toys caught her off guard:

“I think when it really became a big thing is when J.J. [Abrams] talked about Monopoly. There had been conversations long before that that I was having with people because I didn’t really understand what was going on. And John Boyega in fact told me that he had written to someone and I was like, ‘huh’ because he is more of a toy person than I am. Moving forward I think what they’re planning—I’ve been told what the plan is for next year and it’s really cool, really exciting.”

And when it comes to ensuring that Rey has a strong presence in ancillary streams aside from the film itself, Ridley stresses that it’s not about responding to backlash, but about making sure an important character is given the appropriate exposure:

“My whole thing is it’s not anything about the backlash, it’s if a character is important in the story, then that should be dealt with in every platform whether it’s merchandise, whether that’s posters, anything, it needs to be dealt with in the correct way regardless of gender, regardless of color. So to be honest, how the public reacted to it was amazing, because it was a testament to the character and to what J.J. did with the casting. And yeah, it’s going to be super cool going forward.”

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Interviews

VULTURE – Star Wars actor Daisy Ridley executive produces and narrates the new documentary The Eagle Huntress, a film about a 13-year-old girl who becomes Mongolia’s first female eagle hunter. And apparently, Ridley herself has a way with animals, too. At last night’s screening, hosted by Sony Pictures Classics and the Cinema Society, Ridley told us about the time she was face-to-face with a wolf. “Fun story,” Ridley told Vulture. “I went on a moonlit hike with wolves on Sunday at a wolf sanctuary outside of L.A. We were walking with Willow, she is the very sedate one, and I went to say, ‘Hi.’ You had to be super-careful. She put her face in my face, and it was amazing. So I would like to say that animals respond well to me. Wolf whisperer — that sounds like that could be my name.”

Ridley just completed filming on Star Wars VIII, but in the meantime, she is looking forward to Rogue One, which stars Felicity Jones as the new character, Jyn. “I am just excited to see how it is, because I have heard it is so so different, and its own thing,” Ridely said. “I have no idea what happens – I know the ending, but I have no idea really what happens in it.”

In terms of her own character’s place in the Star Wars expanded universe, Ridley hasn’t been following the fan theories closely, but knows that many people are speculating about her character Rey’s lineage. When Vulture asked Ridley if Jyn was Rey’s mother, she didn’t seem to have considered the question, and worked the timeline out for herself on the spot — suggesting this is not the case, but leaving the possibility open. “I mean, I think historically it wouldn’t work, because she is … Darth Vader is there … so she would ultimately be my great-grandma; no, she would be my grandma,” Ridley said. “I mean it could happen, especially in a galaxy far, far away.”

Another possibility is that Rey is related to Obi-Wan Kenobi. This theory is supported by her Kenobi-like costume, dexterity with Jedi mind tricks, and love of solitude. What does she think about that? “We will see in a year,” Ridley said. “Just sit tight on that question.”

Interviews

PEOPLE – The highly anticipated first standalone Star Wars movie Rogue One is about to come out and star Felicity Jones‘ life is about to change – but that doesn’t mean she needs any advice.

While promoting The Eagle Huntress – a documentary she narrates and executive produces – the star of the Star Wars franchise revival Daisy Ridley had nothing but praise for the new leading lady about to fly into that famous far away galaxy.

“Felicity needs no advice – she is a phenomenal actress and a wonderful human being,” Ridley, 24, told PEOPLE at the documentary’s New York City premiere on Thursday night. “She is very graceful and poised and probably speaks far less than I do more interestingly. She’s great!”

The Force Awakens actress also opened up about hanging out with Jones recently and noted that she’s as cool as she seems.

“We hung out a couple weeks ago and it was really, really nice,” the actress admits. “She’s just a super cool person, even away from Star Wars.”

Also starring Diego Luna, Forest Whitaker and Mads Mikkelsen, Rogue One flies into theaters Dec. 16.

Interviews

YAHOO – The two biggest action heroes in the rebooted Star Wars universe have connected. Daisy Ridley, who became a worldwide star for her fierce portrayal of Rey in The Force Awakens, was in Los Angeles Tuesday promoting the new documentary The Eagle Huntress (which she executive produced and narrates) when Yahoo Movies asked her thoughts about the saga’s upcoming spin-off, Rogue One, starring Felicity Jones.

“I’m very excited to see it,” Ridley said before volunteering the following, voice rising in excitement. “I had a drink with Felicity a few weeks ago, she’s super cool!”

Ridley, whose Force Awakens PR tour found her globetrotting everywhere from Seoul to Mexico City, said she met her fellow Brit, appropriately enough, for a cup of tea. And Ridley admitted there’s a hint of envy in seeing Jones (who plays the rebel leader Jyn Erso in Rogue One) prepare to embark on her own Star Wars adventure.

“It was weird, I’ve talked so much retrospectively about what was going on [in the lead-up to Force Awakens]. It was so odd to be reliving it. And she gets to go talk about this film that she’s part of in all these amazing places. I feel like ‘jealous’ is the wrong word, but I had such a good time in the run-up to the film, and it was all so exciting. Knowing that she’s experiencing that is so great. Plus the film’s meant to be amazing, so it’s a fantastic continuation of the Star Wars world.”

Ridley, 24, however, felt no need to dole out advice to the Oscar-nominated Jones (The Theory of Everything), 33. “Oh God, I didn’t give her tips,” she said. “She’s like a proper human being. She’s got everything nailed… We just talked about our filmmaking experiences. And I’ve been a huge fan of hers for a long time. Have you ever met her? She’s so great. So just to chill was really nice.”

Asked if she sees any similarities between Jyn Erso and Rey, whom fans and media have speculated could be mother and daughter, Ridley said little to support that hypothesis. “I don’t know. That’ll be interesting when I see [Rogue One]. But I don’t watch things and think in that way. So I think I’m just gonna watch it and be blown away.”

Look for Yahoo Movies’ full interview with Ridley about The Eagle Huntress and more the week of the film’s Nov. 2 opening.

Interviews, Videos

MTV – When the trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story dropped earlier this week, it inspired a slew of new fan theories, but the one that’s garnered the most attention is the connection between Felicity Jones’s Jyn Erso and Daisy Ridley’s Rey. Does the key to Rey’s parentage lie in rebel fighter Jyn? Or are they just two strong women who coincidentally share the same color hair?

According to Ridley, rumors of Jyn and Rey’s familial connection have been greatly exaggerated. “I’m not being funny you guys, but just because she’s white and got brown hair… it doesn’t mean she’s my mom,” Ridley told MTV’s Josh Horowitz backstage at the MTV Movie Awards.

And besides, Ridley already knows who Rey’s parents are — and she doesn’t think it’s that big of a deal. “I think the amazing thing about [Episode VII] is that Finn and Rey don’t come from anywhere, and they find a place,” Ridley, who’s currently filming Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII, said. “So to me, it’s funny that people think it’s so important because I don’t really think it is.”

It’s unclear if Episode VIII will delve into Rey’s backstory, but we do know the film will pick up right where The Force Awakens left off: with Rey handing over Luke’s lightsaber to the fallen Jedi on that island on Ahch-To. Ridley describes the film as “darker” than Episode VII, and when asked about Rey’s future as a Jedi, she gave this very intriguing response: “I don’t know if I am a Jedi… I don’t think I am.”

“We’ve had this debate as to whether Leia is because she uses her Force powers,” she continued. “Just because she’s not like, oh I’m going on an adventure like Luke doesn’t make her any less Forceful.”

It’s official: 2017 has never seemed further away.

Interviews

MTV – Nearly four decades after the world was introduced to Luke Skywalker, savior of the galaxy, a new Jedi awakened — and young girls finally got the hero they’ve been looking for in Rey, a lightsaber-swinging badass from Jakku.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens shattered box office records, but perhaps its greatest contribution to pop culture was giving young people a hero they could root for, and emulate, in Daisy Ridley’s Rey. Ridley is effervescent in Star Wars, whether the scenes call for action, comedy, or more emotional weight. Needless to say, Ridley’s Breakthrough Performance win at this year’s MTV Movie Awards seemed fated in a galaxy far, far away.

Ridley accepted her Golden Popcorn true to fashion: that is, adorably. “It feels especially amazing to be part of a film that represents all genders, all races, and all ages in a positive way,” she said, all smiles and positivity and sunshine. The Force is indeed strong in this one.

Interviews, Movies, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Videos

Interviews

STRIPLV – THE NEW WOMEN OF STAR WARS

It’s been the dawn of a new age of women in the Star Wars film franchise, thanks to Lucasfilm President, Kathleen Kennedy, who championed the addition of more female characters in the newest installment, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And not just random, female roles—but strong roles of substance.

We sat with two of the strong lead females from the record-breaking blockbuster, The Force Awakens—the heroine: “Rey” (Daisy Ridley) and the villain: “Captain Phasma” (Gwendoline Christie).

Daisy Ridley – born the youngest of five daughters to Louise Fawkner-Corbett and Chris Ridley of London, England, hit Hollywood with a bang in her powerful lead role as Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But this talented actress is no stranger to the fine arts, whose great-uncle was Arnold Ridley: actor, playwright, appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), and who was best known for authoring the play, The Ghost Train, as well as his role in the popular seventies WWII British television sitcom, “Dad’s Army”. Initially sent by her parents to Tring Park School for the Performing Arts in response to the preteen’s somewhat naughty behavior in primary school, the young budding performer would become a triple-threat as an actress, dancer and mezzo-soprano with a strength in jazz and cabaret-style singing. And the new Star Wars’ sensation must have some pipes—hitting social media last month, saying that she had recorded a duet with none other than the legendary singer, Barbra Streisand, posting a photo on Instagram of the two of them together, teasing “…more details to come.” Director J.J. Abrams has stated his love for Ridley’s singing voice—so who knows what he has up his sleeve?

What we do know is that Ridley turns 24 with her birthday this month, (April 10) and that we will enjoy much more from the talented actress, as she is slated to reprise her role in the next of the franchise’s sequels. She took out a moment from the media storm to share her excitement in taking on the heroic character and to tell some stories about how incredible it was to work with legendary actors, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill.

DAISY RIDLEY
STAR WARS’ HEROINE “REY”

STRIPLV: Did you enjoy playing such a strong, heroic character, and if so, why?
RIDLEY: I did, but I also enjoyed that she’s not just those things. Rey is kind of a simple, young woman, and she kind of just gets swept onto this incredible journey. So to play a role that was so nuanced, and an incredibly emotional role, was thrilling, because it wasn’t what I expected. I don’t think it is going to be what people expect. And that is incredibly exciting.

STRIPLV: What do you want girls to take away from the movie?
RIDLEY: I would love firstly, girls to enjoy it as a whole, and secondly, from Rey, I hope they feel uplifted and hopeful, and perhaps see themselves in her, somewhere, and feel joyful.

STRIPLV: What does it feel like to be a star in a movie franchise that has such a following? And do you feel a responsibility to the fans?
RIDLEY: I think [director] J.J. [Abrams] and [producer] Kathy [Kennedy] probably feel more of a responsibility than I do (smiles) because I’m just saying the words—trying to do a good job. But of course, we all hope that everyone is going to enjoy it, but there are a lot of people to please. There are the old fans who have certain expectations, and there are new fans who will hopefully come on board, who perhaps haven’t been so immersed in Star Wars before. And I think with J.J. at the helm, and Larry writing the story they have, combining the old and the new so brilliantly, I think it will appeal to many, many people.

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Interviews

MASHABLE – In honor of the DVD release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the galaxy’s most famous scavenger, Rey — a.k.a. actress Daisy Ridley — answered fan questions on Facebook about her experience with the film and how it changed her life.

Here’s the best stuff we learned:

This is her favorite thing about Rey
“I like best that Rey is very hopeful,” Ridley said. “Even though she’s been alone for such a long time, and even though the journey is quite difficult, she just keeps going, and she’s just trying to do the right thing.

And it’s funny because when people talk about her being a hero and everything, in my mind that’s never what she was, because she’s just trying to carry on and help the people around her.”

Who was the biggest troublemaker on set?
The Star Wars team was a big, loving family. And though they didn’t lean toward playing pranks, there was still someone there causing a stir: Gary Fisher, a.k.a. Carrie Fisher’s French bulldog.

“Always around, getting in people’s way, causing a ruckus,” Ridley said. “Adam Driver jumps out at people and shouts things; that’s terrifying. But pranks…no, just fun.”

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Interviews

GAMESPOT – Appearing today on a Facebook livestream, Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley, who played Rey in The Force Awakens, was asked to compare her experiences filming the 2015 blockbuster and the currently-in-production Episode VIII. The actress said they are two different animals–for a number of reasons. She also mentions she’s not sure just yet if she’ll even be in Episode IX.

“They are two very different things,” she said. “Episode VII was like the beginning of the whole thing, and it was terrifying and incredibly rewarding, and I felt like I pushed myself beyond boundaries I thought I had. And now [on Episode VIII], I feel more together and I feel more present.”

Given the strong reaction to Rey, Ridley says she now sees herself as the “custodian” of the character.

“Now [on Episode VIII], I look at things and think, ‘How are people going to react to that’ because of the way that people have responded to Rey. [Princess Leia actress Carrie Fisher] calls herself the custodian of Leia. And now I feel like the custodian of Rey.

“I understand what people loved in Episode VII and so I feel like I’m carrying that responsibility with me, which is nice because I feel like I’m more part of it.”

Overall, Ridley said she couldn’t say which movie, Episode VII or Episode VIII, she’s enjoyed making more. Instead, she sees the overall new trilogy–spanning Episodes VII through IX, as an “incredible journey.” Also, interestingly, she said she’s not completely sure that she will be in Episode IX.

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