Daisy Ridley, a previously unknown actress, nailed Rey’s torture scene for her audition for The Force Awakens.
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Buzzfeed has the exclusive video showing Daisy Ridley’s audition for the role of Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, from the upcoming Blu Ray edition of the film. The scene Daisy reads in the video is the torture sequence in which Kylo Ren is trying to extract the map to Luke Skywalker from Rey’s thoughts. Tears stream down Daisy’s face, her teeth are gritted, and the raw emotion in her delivery of the line, “Get out of my head!” is palpable. It sounds and looks just like the performance she gives in the movie.
“She just blew my mind,” Abrams said. “She’s reaching this depth of struggle, and tears are streaming down her face, I thought, ‘This is unbelievable.’”
The mission to find an actress to pay Rey was a crucial one. It felt like an insurmountable task, discovering a new talent who could convey the complexity of Rey’s character. “This character needed to be vulnerable and tough, sweet and terrified,” said Abrams. “And to find someone that no one knew who could do all these things took a lot of looking.”
When they found Daisy Ridley, there was no need to search further. You can see it in the audition, she’s perfect for the role. The fact that she was able to bring so much passion to bear in just an audition, multiple times over, is incredible to me. Granted, I’m not an actress, nor am I familiar with how auditions work and how much emotion actors are expected to convey. But it’s clear that Daisy destroyed that torture scene, and going all out like that for just an audition seems like a guarantee that she’ll nail it again once the cameras start rolling.
Seeing her perform again makes me excited for what she’ll bring to Rey’s character in Episode VIII. The second installments of the prequel and original trilogies are known for being more fraught with emotions and difficult, heartbreaking decisions than their predecessors. Episode VIII, in which we hope to see Rey begin training under Luke Skywalker to become a Jedi, may blow Attack of the Clones and The Empire Strikes Back away with Daisy Ridley at the fore. Let’s just hope she doesn’t lose an arm, or another mentor.