Daisy Ridley


Making it and breaking it in Hollywood sometimes boils down to the next audition, the next fortuitous meeting, the next tape. A couple of years ago, Daisy Ridley was just one young actress making the rounds, paying her rent with wages made at a London pub, but then the magic happened. The west London native, youngest of five sisters, had recently wrapped a string of British TV roles when she got the chance to audition for a little sci-fi picture set in a galaxy far, far away.

From the moment news of her casting in J.J. Abrams's Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens hit last year, the then-unknown became an object of fan obsession. And, despite the deep secrecy with which the re-ignition of George Lucas's great saga has been treated, one gets the sense that Ridley is on the verge. What the world has seen so far of the 23-year-old, most of it in character, as Rey, a tanned warrior outfitted in desert garb, is just the beginning of the life-altering rise for the young actress.

But despite the action figures already being made in her likeness and the merchandise that promises to make her a household name, Ridley seems devoted to keeping her cool. As she tells her Force Awakens co-star, Princess Leia herself, Carrie Fisher, Ridley doesn't know exactly what's to come, but she's ready.

CARRIE FISHER: We finally made it into interview mode, our destiny. Where are you?

DAISY RIDLEY: I'm in the car. I just got back from the airport in Berlin.

FISHER: Why were you in Berlin?

RIDLEY: I was doing press there, meeting all the lovely Germans.

FISHER: Are they embarrassed with the whole thing with Volkswagen? They have to recall, like, 200 million of them.

RIDLEY: I didn't ask them about their Volkswagens. [laughs]

FISHER: I think you should. This is what I can teach you. This is how I make friends in foreign countries: Ask them about the biggest scandal since Fascism. Well, all right. I'm going to ask you questions, as the older person. Who were your role models as a child?

RIDLEY: Acting ones, or just people?

FISHER: I'll go with both. I feel like we're on Password.

RIDLEY: Well, my favorite film was Matilda [1996]. So I'm going to say the little girl [Mara Wilson] in that. I aspired to be like her. [laughs] I wanted to be a girl who could make a jug of water tip into a glass.

FISHER: Did you see old movies?

RIDLEY: My film knowledge is pretty shocking. I'm trying to correct that.

FISHER: I can help you with that. Not that that's what you really want from me ... [laughs] I actually did a show called On the Lot. I was supposed to be someone who knew about film, and I knew about two directors, and spent about three months watching every foreign film.

RIDLEY: Send the list of films you watched, and I'll spend three months watching them all.

FISHER: So what actors do you like now? Besides me, of course.

RIDLEY: Of course you. Carey Mulligan and Felicity Jones are two of my favorites. I'm not so much younger than them. I like that. It's kind of aspirational.

FISHER: And males? Any crushes?

RIDLEY: Not really! I've never been one for crushing on famous people.

FISHER: Cary Grant! Do you know who that is?

RIDLEY: Maybe I could appreciate the old-school film stars more.

FISHER: Because they were glamorous.

RIDLEY: Exactly. And mysterious.

FISHER: Actors today need to be too accessible. Who can have a crush on someone accessible? [laughs] The origin of the word romance is "not founded in reality."

RIDLEY: People have been asking me about crushes out of the original film, and I say you every time. They were like, "Is there anyone you particularly look up to?" And I'm like, "Well, Carrie, obviously."

FISHER: That's good. You didn't like Mark [Hamill] or Harrison [Ford]? This is the only time we'd ever have this conversation. [laughs]

RIDLEY: Of course, I like them both! But you're a kick-ass woman.

FISHER: I'm your predecessor, I think.

RIDLEY: Exactly. You paved the way for all the girls.

FISHER: It was my gravel! Girl gravel! Girl-vel! So what did they ask you in Berlin?

RIDLEY: Mainly I'm asked how I got the role, did I like Star Wars before, and am I ready for what's to come.

FISHER: And what do you say? Yes, yes, yes?

RIDLEY: I say, "I auditioned for the role because everyone did. I was there at the right time."

FISHER: You were telling me about it! You auditioned five times or something?

RIDLEY: Yeah. I liked Star Wars, but I wasn't an überfan like many people are. Which I didn't realize, actually, until this year. I don't know if I can prepare for what's to come because I don't know what will.

FISHER: How would you not be ready? How can you prepare for what's to come in life? You should ask them back. I would be interested in that answer.

RIDLEY: I mean, I don't know what's to come. They also ask if you guys gave us any advice. You didn't. Except for—

FISHER: Wait a minute! You said I didn't? You fucker! We were at that first party, that horrifying thing that I was always late to ...

RIDLEY: And you talked about stalkers?

I don't know if I can prepare for what's to come because I don't know what will.  —Daisy Ridley

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FISHER: I said, "fans." I didn't just say "stalkers"! Fans are awesome.

RIDLEY: Oh, yeah. I have talked about that.

FISHER: The fan thing is amazing! It's quite a spectrum. What else did I say?

RIDLEY: I remember you saying that when you take pictures with people, you can feel their heart racing, and it humanizes them.

FISHER: Aw. I also said it's hard to date once you're a big Star Wars star because you don't want to give people the ability to say, "I had sex with Princess Leia." 

RIDLEY: [laughs] Now I remember.

FISHER: Ah! I thought I shocked you. [both laugh]

RIDLEY: Someone asked me if I found it easier to date now because I'm in the film. I was like, "What the hell?"

FISHER: What a stupid question.

RIDLEY: Oh my God. I'm in the car right now next to a Jedi robe in a Star Wars shop. It's next to McDonald's and a kebab shop. How weird is that?

FISHER: So it's McStar Wars. I didn't know there was a Star Wars shop. I haven't seen myself as a wax figure. I guess you haven't either, so I'll be able to go do that, and then I'll give you advice. Like, "Bring a match." Or something.

RIDLEY: [laughs] Oh my God.

FISHER: That's good advice! Did you know they've come out with Star Wars Band-Aids?

RIDLEY: Are there?

FISHER: Yes, I just saw them. They sent me a Star Wars suitcase ... Daisy, will you do me a favor?

RIDLEY: Of course. What can I do?

FISHER: I want you and I to go to Vegas with all the swag and act like we're normal people carrying Star Wars suitcases that they just sent me-hats, dresses ... We will be put in a mental asylum, but it will be a very popular one after we get there. Will you consider that?

RIDLEY: [laughs] That sounds like the best plan, actually. I'm down.

FISHER: You think that's a joke! It's going along with being merchandized. You can't just merchandize us; we'll merchandize you right back! Have they shown you any little dolls of you yet?

RIDLEY: Yeah! I got sent some.

FISHER: How many are there?

RIDLEY: Someone said today there were four, but I'm not sure.

FISHER: Do they come with outfits and stuff?

RIDLEY: No, there's just one.

FISHER: Oh my God, you're going to be a Halloween costume. How do you feel about that?

RIDLEY: I've seen some really cute kids dressed as Rey. I love that.

FISHER: My favorite is when you see, like, a month-old kid dressed as you, so that it looks like the mother swallowed your outfit when she was pregnant, and the baby came out like that. Now I get to have someone to talk about it with—you!

RIDLEY: We can just go to Vegas with all of our Star Wars swag and a one-month-old baby.

FISHER: We'll have the best rooms in that fucking asylum. And we'll have the best doctors.

RIDLEY: [laughs] I can't wait.

FISHER: Oh, you're going to have people have fantasies about you! That will make you uncomfortable, I'm guessing.

RIDLEY: Yeah, a bit.

FISHER: Have you been asked that?

RIDLEY: No, they always talk about how you're a sex symbol, and how do I feel about that. [Fisher sighs] I'm not a sex symbol! [laughs]

FISHER: Listen! I am not a sex symbol, so that's an opinion of someone. I don't share that.

RIDLEY: I don't think that's the right—

FISHER: Word for it? Well, you should fight for your outfit. Don't be a slave like I was.

RIDLEY: All right, I'll fight.

FISHER: You keep fighting against that slave outfit.

RIDLEY: I will.

FISHER: I'm looking forward to your space kiss.

RIDLEY: My space kiss?

FISHER: You're going to have to have one. Every girl does.

RIDLEY: [laughs] At this point, we'll wait and see, I guess.

FISHER: This is what we'll really talk about in Vegas. Is your mom excited? Are your sisters?

RIDLEY: I think so. My sister loves the movies.

FISHER: She looks a lot like you, doesn't she?

RIDLEY: Yeah. People are going to think she's me.

FISHER: Oh my God. And Keira Knightley. You just ruined her career. [laughs] Oh! I just got handed some pajamas that neither one of us is on. I think we should really get upset about certain things like this. It's not sexist, but space-ist.

RIDLEY: When we're in Vegas, we should also do a campaign about the space-ist Star Wars films.

FISHER: Totally! Wow, we've got a big trip planned.

RIDLEY: We'll have a big billboard. It's going to take a while.





Oh my God.I'm in the car right now next to a Jedi robe in a Star Wars shop. It's next to McDonald's and a kebab shop. How weird is that?  daisy ridley



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