Meet Daisy Ridley In This Entertainment Weekly Interview

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Let’s be honest, here: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is going to be the biggest thing since the first Star Wars movie hit theaters in 1977. The amount of enthusiasm and excitement that has been reignited for this franchise within the past three years is almost intoxicating.

But it’s not just the fans who are making The Force Awakens such a joyous event; nor can the joy itself be distilled down solely to such nostalgic elements as the return of original trilogy cast members (though that certainly helps). It’s also the new blood, the new actors coming into the franchise. And certainly not the least among these is the lovely, fun, and witty Daisy Ridley, AKA desert scavenger Rey.

Image from collider.com

Following the JJ Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy kickoff panel at Star Wars Celebration, where Ridley was presented onstage with the other two new stars of Star Wars, Oscar Isaacs and John Boyega, Entertainment Weekly got an interview with the up-and-coming actress. Through it, we not only learned a few interesting tidbits about Daisy’s past and family, but we also learned what a gem she’s going to make as one of the new faces of Star Wars.

Here are some highlights from the interview:

"Entertainment Weekly: You were telling me about your school being in Avengers: Age of Ultron, so what school was that?Daisy Ridley: I went to a school called Tring Park School for the Performing Arts. I went because initially I was very naughty, and my mom thought if I was busy, I’d be better. And I didn’t really do acting until later on in the school, with an amazing teacher. I left, went traveling, came back. And then it all kind of went from there.EW: Where did you grow up?Ridley: London. And somebody did ask me if me and John got on because we’re from the same place. We’re not from the same place. [Laughs.] He’s from South London, I’m from West.EW: So there’s a rivalry?Ridley: There’s no rivalry, but it’s completely different."

"EW: Do you have brothers or sisters? Is the whole family Star Wars-obsessed now?Ridley: I’ve got sisters. I’m the youngest of actually five. We have been watching the movies again, and my middle sister is super excited. Last year when we were filming, everyone came round and we had dinner and watched Episode IV, A New Hope, which was super cool.EW: You’re working with all the same actors, so it must be interesting to see that generation onscreen and then work with them in real life.Ridley: It was weird, in hindsight, going back to watching the film after having seen it, and then having worked with them, and then going to watch it again, it was a weird thing.EW: When you were initially cast, people wondered, ‘Who is this actress?’ And you had a video reel of previous work on your website that immediately disappeared. Did Lucasfilm just want to keep you mysterious?Ridley: That was actually me! I wanted it to be so people could just concentrate on this. I’m so proud of what I’ve done before, but I wanted it to feel fresh. Which is what I think everyone else wanted, because everyone wanted just to see me as Rey and not as the people I’ve played before, even though the jobs I’ve done before are amazing and obviously led me to this incredible point. So here I am.EW: I know there’s not much you’re permitted to disclose about the plot of the film. But can you say which was your personal favorite location while making The Force Awakens?Ridley: Weirdly enough, probably Abu Dhabi, even though it was so hot, it was like you literally can’t imagine that heat. The feeling of stepping onto a real set for the first time, it genuinely was a baptism of fire. To see creatures walking around and speeders chilling in the sand, that was amazing, and because I was shooting there, it was like everything had built up to that moment. So a few days in, I was like, OK. I’m getting my groove now.EW: This fan convention is really your big coming out party. A first chance for them to meet you, and vice versa. Carrie Fisher says she tried to brace you. Was it what you expected?Ridley: I didn’t think of it like that until dinner last night when somebody mentioned how many people might be watching. [Laughs.] It was so cool to be part of a film that is loved so much, and then to be able to launch in that sphere with just fans and people who love what we’re doing and are so excited about what’s going to come in December, that was the best way to come out, as it were."

This last question and answer is my personal favorite:

"EW: So what are you up to now? Are you involved in anything else, or are you just lying low for a while?Ridley: I’m lying low for a while, hoping that other cool stories about cool young women come along."

You can read the full interview here.

Image from collider.com

I just have to say: I am seriously enjoying Daisy, and I haven’t even seen her performance yet. Not only does she seem laid back and humble (she’s in the biggest movie of the year, but she wants to stay out of the spotlight and wait for “other cool stories about cool young women come along”), she is clearly dedicated to and passionate about her craft.

I personally am impressed by professionalism, that sense of commitment to your career that makes you both good at what you do and smart about it. Ridley, at twenty-three, already seems to have a solid vision for how she wants to present herself to the public. I think she’s starting on the path to being a good role model for young people, in how she conducts herself and also in her enthusiasm for what she does. That makes her the perfect match for Star Wars, which is perhaps one of the most influential franchises and film series in cinematic history.

Plus, she walked around in a Bossk mask at Star Wars Celebration so she could sneak around the convention (oh, and John Boyega in Clone Trooper helmet regalia joined her). How cool can you get??

"New members of our extended family of #starwars at #starwarscelebration. Uncle Peter with Daisy and John. So good to see them again. #chewiewearehome..Posted by Peter-Angie Mayhew on Thursday, April 16, 2015"