[ad_1]

PASADENA, Calif. — Just as elements of destiny have circled her character Rey in Lucasfilm’s rebooted Star Wars trilogy, actress Daisy Ridley — who has played the heroine in three films — says she has always felt she was fated to play the scavenger-turned-rising-Jedi.

“My friend told me they were auditioning for it,” she says recalling how it came to be that she was first cast as the Force master in 2015’s Episode VII — The Force Awakens, “and I just had this feeling that I was going to get the role.

“I didn’t even know if they were looking for someone like me. I called my agent and I was like, ‘I have to audition’ … I just had a feeling that I was going to get it — even though I didn’t know really what it was,” she chuckles, “which is a strange thing.”

Almost overnight, Ridley, who didn’t grow up obsessing over the film franchise first dreamt up by George Lucas in 1977, went from relative anonymity in her native Britain to global fame.

She has since gone on to reprise Rey in Rian Johnson’s 2017 sequel Episode VIII — The Last Jedi and J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker, the conclusion to the Skywalker saga. In between her work on the franchise, the 27-year-old has appeared in Kenneth Branagh’s whodunit Murder on the Orient Express and the Hamlet reimagining Ophelia.


Daisy Ridley poses for a portrait while promoting the film Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in Pasadena, Calif. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Now, with her time in the Star Wars universe drawing to a close, Ridley is already looking ahead to new horizons. “I’m desperate for a musical,” she says, grinning.

Rise of Skywalker, which opens Thursday, is shrouded in secrecy. The day Ridley spoke to the Sun, she hadn’t seen the movie, which finds Rey and her friends Poe (Oscar Isaac), Finn (John Boyega), and the rest of the Resistance in a final battle against the First Order, led by the villainous Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the resurgent Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid).

As she sips tea, Ridley speaks about what’s in store for fans when the film opens this week and what her life might be like after Star Wars.

Where do we find Rey in Rise of Skywalker? The film takes place a year after the events of The Last Jedi, so what has that been like for her?

It’s funny because you meet Rey in a similar-ish emotional state because she’s still searching for answers. Training-wise, though, she’s come a long way. But there are answers that she’s seeking. There’s lots of deep emotional things she’s wrestling with and, of course, lots of fun stuff that we get to do — me, John and Oscar. You’re really meeting three friends a year in, so it’s sparky and argumentative and fun. But all that messy fun is juxtaposed with her still sort of longing to figure out her place in all of it.


Rey (Daisy Ridley) in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Emperor Palpatine was the main antagonist for the first two trilogies. What did you think of the decision to bring him back for this final film?

We needed the biggest baddie in Star Wars history to wrap up the saga. It’s explained why he’s there and how he’s there. He’s an important part of the film. Initially, I had reservations about him being back in the same way some of the audience might be feeling. But after we did it, you realize there’s just no way it could have worked otherwise.

Colin Trevorrow was originally set up to do this before J.J. returned to the fold along with his co-writer Chris Terrio. How did things change between the two stories?

There were lots of changes, but the main story stayed the same. As J.J. said, ‘Sometimes things can get a bit overly complicated.’ So I think they stripped it back to make it clearer. Someone was talking about how Empire Strikes Back is a clear story. They have to do this one thing, then another thing and another thing and that’s sort of it. So I think this was mainly getting it back to that idea of, what do we need to achieve and what do we need to go through.

How did you react when you read that last page of the script?

Star Wars has always been about hope and, I’m stealing someone else’s words, but (in this film) all these characters are in such dire straits. Still, you’re comforted because, ‘It’s Star Wars, so it’ll be OK.’ I think in this one people are pushed beyond, ‘It’s going to be OK.’ You’re really thinking, ‘Oh my God, is everything actually going to be OK?’ But there’s such an emotional resolution at the conclusion to this film — and to all nine. I really think it’s satisfying.

You have some scenes with the late Carrie Fisher, who returns as Princess Leia. What was that like?

It’s really weird … They wrote scenes around Carrie’s performance, then I shot my stuff with similar lighting against a blue screen and afterwards they cut them in together and somehow we’re there together onscreen. There are no effects. It’s Carrie’s performance, which is great. It’s a very emotional story and Leia is a really big part of that arc. The fact that there was so much footage of her that really works from The Force Awakens and they were able to do it is nuts. But, I think, people are going to be thrilled because it’s Carrie onscreen. Leia is there and she’s doing her thing.


General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

What was the last scene that you filmed like?

That was sad. … I was just crying. I was just so sad because other people had wrapped and so I was already upset. But it worked because I had to be upset in the scene. When you watch it … those are real tears that are coming. That is some real sadness.

Fans have a lot of questions. Are they going to get all the answers they are looking for or are there some dangling threads?

I think so. I think it’s really wrapped up. Obviously, there’s probably Chester from Alaska who will be questioning something that happened with Han and the Falcon (from one of the earlier films), but the big questions that have been posed by Force Awakens and (Last) Jedi, for sure, are answered in this one.

I loved Benicio del Toro’s DJ in The Last Jedi. Does he come back?

Oh, I don’t think so. He did his stuttering thing and … disappeared. But he taught us a good lesson — bad guys and good guys are buying ammunition.

What’s your favourite Star Wars scene?

Well, the one that comes to mind is Harrison (Ford) and Adam from Force Awakens. I remember at the premiere how my heart was pounding because I knew what was coming between them. I think a lot of other people in the crowd felt it too. It was just such a heartwrenching scene between the two of them.


Adam Driver is Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

How about a character? Who do you like best?

Well, you know what? We’re selling this film, so I’ll say Rey. I think, in this very divisive time, you see individuals who aren’t doing things alone, but are part of smaller groups that are f—ing rising up against oppressive forces in a really big, great way. Yes it’s a film, but we need to see that because it’s a scary f—ing time. So to play someone who’s part of fighting the good fight? I’m into that in a big way.

You’re a kid of the ’90s. Were you a big Star Wars fan?

I was not a fan. It just passed me by, really. I wasn’t a big film person, to be honest. I just watched The Goonies last week. If we went to the cinema with my parents, we went to French films because they were like, ‘C’mon, let’s see something in another language.’ I was more of a book person. But despite all that, I am a fan of Star Wars now.

If you weren’t into films, what made you want to be an actor?

I couldn’t tell you. … Really, with the acting, it just happened.

After 2005’s Episode III — Revenge of the Sith, I think most Star Wars fans thought the franchise was done. Are you really finished with Rey after The Rise of Skywalker?

I think it would just have to be something so extraordinary. The stuff I’ve been able to do in this film, I just don’t know how that would be topped. I don’t think someone could come to me and say, ‘This is better than what you got to do in The Rise of Skywalker.’ It would be so shocking. But … John made the good point that if a new trilogy came out with a new trio, I would be very jealous. (Then) I might be like, ‘You know what Disney, I will take your call. Let’s talk. I want to be part of this.’ Realistically, though, I don’t know. I think it will make more sense when the film comes out. For me, personally, it’s not often that you get to do something that’s physically nuts and just so emotional. … And I just got to do so much in this one that I don’t think anything could top it for this character.

Why do you think Star Wars endured all these years?

There’s always been something for everyone … if you want to go see a high-octane action-adventure, it satisfies. But, also, if you want to see a super emotional story, it delivers there too. The whole thing is really about good and evil … and sometimes fighting to the death.

I loved your rap on Jimmy Fallon and after that I figured you must have a pretty interesting taste in music. So if we were going to ship you have somewhere in the galaxy, far, far away, what five albums would you take with you?

You know I’ve actually thought about that. OK, Fleetwood Mac, Rumours. Songs About Jane, Maroon 5. Dire Straits’ debut. I would take a recording of the soundtrack to Chicago, because I would probably want some of that Catherine Zeta-Jones/ Renee Zellweger vibe. Lastly, I would take a classical variety album.

Now that Star Wars is over, what’s next for you?

My rap career.

Maybe a musical?

I auditioned for a musical a couple of months ago and didn’t get it. I’m basically unemployed. I’m like, ‘Someone, give me a job.’ I keep selling myself on TV in the hope that someone’s going to say, ‘Let’s give her a job.’

I think you’ll get that musical. In fact, I guarantee it.

(Laughs) Thank you for your faith.

[ad_2]

Source link