Despite her newfound fame in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Daisy Ridley says she was still required to audition in person for director Kenneth Branagh's Murder on the Orient Express. Ridley, of course, catapulted to worldwide superstardom in 2015 with the lead role of Rey in The Force Awakens, a character that fans will see her reprise next month with Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
In between, though, she's kept a relatively low profile with other films, having only done narration for the 2016 documentary The Eagle Huntress. Her next big feature film happens Friday when filmgoers board the latest big screen telling of legendary author Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express, where Ridley is featured among a star-studded ensemble cast that includes Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench, Willem Dafoe, Leslie Odom Jr., Derek Jacobi, Penelope Cruz, Olivia Colman, and Branagh - who, in addition to serving as director, plays Christie's famed detective, Hercule Poirot.
Still, Ridley, who was a virtual unknown before she landed the coveted role of Rey in the new Star Wars trilogy, says she's happy that the being a major part of one of the biggest films in movie history doesn't automatically guarantee her roles. In an interview with USA Today, Ridley says she was asked to audition for Branagh in-person before winning the role of the governess, Miss Mary Debenham:
"I mean, obviously, I had done only one thing. I had to prove myself to be part of anything like this. So I was very happy to (audition). I know I’m a real newbie."
It's refreshing to hear that despite her meteoric success, Ridley doesn't feel that she should get any role she wants just for the asking. Instead, she appears to be choosing her projects very carefully and not grasping for paychecks to be in Hollywood's next zany romantic comedy role, and staying on course to work by doing work with accomplished filmmakers like Branagh – all with the understanding that she has to audition for roles just like everyone else.
Fortunately for fans of Ridley, there'll be more of her on the big screen in the two years, between The Last Jedi and Star Wars: Episode IX. In 2018, Ridley will be starring in the title role in Ophelia – a re-imagining of Shakespeare's Hamlet, but told from Ophelia's point of view; and after that, she'll star in the big screen adaptation of the hit YA sci-fi novel Chaos Walking opposite Spider-Man: Homecoming star Tom Holland, which is due in theaters in March of 2019.
Source: USA Today
- Murder on the Orient Express (2017) release date: Nov 10, 2017