Daisy Ridley: ‘Star Wars’ Newcomer Talks About Being Cast In ‘The Force Awakens’

When we first heard of Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, not many of us knew who she was. But now that she has made her grand entrance, we are learning more about the spunky female lead.

Ridley was officially introduced to the Star Wars fandom during the opening of the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, and everyone loved her. Her enthusiasm at becoming part of this legendary franchise was apparent when J.J. Abrams brought her and co-stars, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac onstage to talk about The Force Awakens characters.

Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley, and John Boyega at the Star Wars celebration 2015

In Star Wars, Daisy Ridley’s character is called Rey, a scavenger that lives in a shipyard in the desert-like planet Jakku, which we don’t know much about, except that the Star Destroyer and an X-Wing’s remains are seen in the background. Abu Dhabi was the set used when Abrams was shooting the Jakku scenes, and Ridley says it was her favorite location.

The 23-year-old Londoner is thrilled to be on board the production and in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, she talks a little bit more about herself. Much like Star Wars creator George Lucas, Abrams has cast relative unknowns for the main roles, Ridley being one of them

Before being cast in Star Wars, Daisy Ridley played small roles on the British TV shows Youngers, Toast of London, and Silent Witness. She is a trained dancer and singer, who was enrolled in acting school because she was “very naughty” and her mom wanted her to stay busy.

Star Wars new cast members
Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley, and John Boyega in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Ridley is the youngest of five sisters and says that after being cast in Star Wars and while she was filming, they got together for dinner and watched Episode IV, A New Hope, “which was super cool.” The newcomer talked about how strange it was to work with the original cast members after watching the trilogy.

“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.”

Star Wars: The Force Awakens BB8 Rey
Director J.J. Abrams and Daisy Ridley in Abu Dhabi set (Image via Lucasfilm)

When her name was first linked to Star Wars, Daisy Ridley deleted an old reel from her website, but it wasn’t because Disney or Lucafilm told her to do so.

“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.”

While we await the release of Star Wars, Daisy Ridley is “laying low” and hoping that some good scripts with strong female leads come her way while she awaits to film Episodes VIII and IX.

[Image via Disney]