Name: Daisy Jazz Isobel Ridley
Hometown: London, England
She might be a mere 23 years old, but Daisy Ridley is fast becoming a household name all over the galaxy. A fresh new face in ‘Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens’, Daisy Ridley plays Rey, a staff-wielding inhabitant of a distant planet. “She’s cool and smart and she can look after herself,” says Daisy of her character. Sounds like a girl after our own hearts…
So Rey is a bit of a ‘Katniss Everdeen’ type, then: part of a new breed of female leads on page and screen who shun the ‘damsel in distress / sidekick’ stereotype. With some big names in the film industry tipping Rey to become the Star Wars franchise’s next Luke Skywalker, it looks like London girl Daisy’s star is just going to keep on rising.
Something that might surprise you is that the Star Wars job is Daisy’s first big screen role. Yep, you did read that correctly: this is Daisy’s first film. Just let that fun fact sink in for a moment…
Previous to this, Daisy could be spotted in the occasional episode of British dramas and sit-coms like ‘Casualty’ and ‘Mr Selfridge’, but the actress was largely an unknown when she auditioned for the role. After five auditions over seven months, Daisy finally got the call that changed her life. Admittedly not a Star Wars ‘uberfan’ fan at first, she had to keep her new role a secret from pretty much everyone she knew, apart from her immediate family.
Preparations for the physically demanding role – hint: there are lots of combat scenes – involved a punishing regime of five-hour training sessions, five times a week. Much of the film’s plot hinges on Rey’s insane martial arts skills, and lightly mocks the characters who rush to her defence before realising that Rey has totally got this.
A couple of our fave Rey quotes from the movie:
“I know how to run without you holding my hand.”
(A few moments later…) “Stop taking my hand!”
It’s all a far cry from Princess Leia’s: “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.”
In a recent interview, Daisy Ridley explained that: “young girls can look at her and know that they can wear trousers if they want to,” going on to explain that, “they don’t have to show off their bodies.”
She goes on to say:
“I hope Rey will be something of a girl power figure…She’s brave and she’s vulnerable… It just so happens she’s a woman, but she transcends gender. She’s going to speak to men and women.”
Hurray for Rey, and hurray for Daisy Ridley!