Daisy Ridley Launches Her Career With ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

Daisy Ridley, who stars in this December’s highly anticipated new movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens, has become a textbook overnight sensation, as Access Hollywood explained in a recent article. The 23-year-old British actress had only made one other movie before Star Wars: The Force Awakens – an indie film directed by her college professor.

In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Daisy Ridley plays Rey, a scavenger on a desert planet. Little is known of her character thus far, although The Guardian keys on hints about the role Daisy Ridley plays.

“She’s not a superhero. She’s a normal girl thrust into extraordinary circumstances, so it’s very relatable.”

Daisy Ridley Daisy Ridley with Star Wars: The Force Awakens cast member John Boyega. [Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images]Daisy Ridley began her life in typical British fashion. She had a great uncle who was an actor, but her parents both led ordinary lives. Daisy Ridley did attend a creative school. It was at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts where a drama teacher helped her realize that acting could be a profession as well as a hobby. According to Daisy Ridley, acting had always been something she liked to do, but was hesitant to think of it as something she could excel at for a career.

“My sister asked me, ‘Why do people want to be actors?’ I had no answer. I’m not totally sure of my capabilities. I felt like a total novice compared to everyone I worked with. I went to the dentist last week and I said I was an actress, and everyone’s like, ‘Ooohhh.’ It still feels weird to me.”

After graduating from school, Daisy Ridley appeared on few episodes of British TV series, like Casualty (2013) and Mr. Selfridge (2014). After hearing that the creators of Star Wars: The Force Awakens were open to all actors, Daisy Ridley convinced her agent to get her an audition. After reading for the part with director J.J. Abrams five times, she won the role that would turn her into a household name.

Daisy Ridley J. J. Abrams Daisy Ridley and J. J. Abrams listen to Harrison Ford as crew of Star Wars: The Force Awakens speak at a summer event. [Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images]The decision to cast an unknown actor in the lead role of Star Wars: The Force Awakens stems from the original movie’s release. In an interview with Elle, J. J. Abrams wanted an unknown actress, supporting his reasoning of casting Daisy Ridley.

“That’s something I remember loving about the original trilogy: not having seen these people before. For our purposes, it was exciting but also terrifying because we knew that there was going to be a certain level of scrutiny and expectation on who these people were going to be. So they needed to be actors whom the audience could discover as these characters, not as actors they’d seen elsewhere.”

Despite not having many acting credits under her belt, Daisy Ridley seems to be a natural talent, which allowed her to win one of the most covetous roles in the film industry this year. Competing against thousands of other actresses for the Star Wars: The Force Awakens role, Daisy Ridley performed her very best for J.J. Abrams, and clearly impressed him.

“When you walked past her in the waiting room, she was just sort of alight. She was so funny and had a great spark.”

Daisy Ridley was able to demonstrate the wide range of her acting abilities despite her inexperience, a trait she shares with the diverse cast for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. While her energy was impressive, so was her emotional depth.

“I had her do a scene where she had to get pretty emotional, and she nailed it on the first take. She was born with this gift to be in a moment and make it her own. She simultaneously works from the inside out and the outside in.”

As for Daisy Ridley, she seems content with the fact that she is still an unfamiliar face to many and is rational about it, too. Until fans see Star Wars: The Force Awakens on December 18, 2015, Daisy Ridley and her character, Rey, are shrouded in mystery.

“It’s a great place to come from,” Daisy Ridley said. “Nobody has any expectations of me until they see the film.”

[Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images]