Daisy Ridley reveals she thought about quitting the Star Wars franchise early on during production on The Force Awakens. Since the beginning, the franchise has made a habit out of turning unknown actors into household names; the trio of Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher were largely anonymous when they were cast in the original film and are now considered Hollywood icons. When finding an ensemble for the sequel trilogy, director J.J. Abrams followed that blueprint.
Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver were established names thanks to roles in Inside Llewyn Davis and Girls (among other projects), but neither was a major star at the time they joined Star Wars. The same could be said (even more so, arguably) for John Boyega and Daisy Ridley, whose filmographies were very limited when Abrams plucked them out of obscurity. It goes without saying The Force Awakens was a tremendous opportunity for all four of them, but in Ridley's case it was an extremely overwhelming process in the beginning.
In an interview with the Happy Sad Confused podcast (hit tip CinemaBlend), Ridley shared an anecdote about how daunting she found everything at first. It got to the point where she thought about walking away:
"It was pretty horrid. It was really scary. I felt just sick and I didn’t really know anyone yet. It takes me a really long time to settle down with people. And I do remember being behind the speeder and there were loads of people there and somebody had an umbrella over me and even that, like, ‘Oh someone’s holding an umbrella over you? OK.’ And I remember thinking, ‘I can’t do it.’ Like I can’t do this, this is not right."
The Force Awakens, remember, was the first feature film of Ridley's career. Prior to Star Wars, she appeared in a number of shorts and and television series. So not only was Ridley adjusting to the world of movies, it was one of the most anticipated films of all-time. For a young actress, that had to have been an intimidating environment - especially since Abrams made sure to emphasize to Ridley Star Wars is a religion for some people. One of the more famous stories to emerge from Force Awakens production Abrams telling his star her performance was "wooden" on the first day, but fortunately things improved from there. Once Ridley settled down and got used to things, she was able to deliver a strong performance in the film. After Force Awakens, Rey became a quick fan-favorite - thanks in large part to Ridley's turn.
Ridley is now an integral part of the Star Wars legacy, but her time with the franchise is about to come to an end. This December's Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker closes out the Skywalker saga, and then the next films will be about entirely different characters and stories. For her part, Ridley has already debunked rumors she's going to be in either of the upcoming film trilogies and doesn't believe she'll play Rey again after Episode IX. She's still only 27 and has the whole rest of her career ahead of her, and will be able to use her role in Star Wars as a launching pad for a variety of parts.
Source: Happy Sad Confused (via CinemaBlend)
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019