One of our STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS exclusive interview was with the amazing Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey in the new film. Daisy graciously sat down with us and we enjoyed everything she had to say, from Rey-centered toys to empowering women with her role, and what color lightsaber she would love to have.
There is a focus on Rey being the new role model for little girls. I think ALL women need to add Daisy Ridley as someone to look up to. She was so open and honest, genuine and grounded. But, once you read her answers to these questions, I’m sure you’ll feel the same way.
When we were talking to Kathleen Kennedy earlier today, she referred Rey as the new generation’s Luke Skywalker. How do you feel about that and what do you think it means to girls coming up in this generation that are going to see the film maybe for the first time?
Well it’s weird. I wasn’t really thinking about myself in those terms when I was doing it, because I think that might have been slightly overwhelming. But now, I can kind of see all of them in her. She’s a pilot so there’s Han. And she’s a kick-ass woman, so there’s Leia. But definitely the humble beginnings and an incredible story is the same as Luke. Obviously it’s very exciting that I’m a girl and that more people hopefully will be able to relate to this story because of that.
I wasn’t a huge Star Wars fan before, so I’m hoping that with the fact that I’m as excited as I am, I hope that other people can feel that. And perhaps feel like this is something that they can now come on board to if they haven’t already felt that.
When Daisy was asked what other female roles inspired her interpretation of Rey, she had something wonderful to say about one of my favorite stories of all time:
Daisy: Matilda is my favorite film. Matilda’s obviously in a family that doesn’t [appreciate] her and Rey has no one. But to go on a journey of self discovery, and push yourself beyond limits, and meet people who bring the best out of you. I can definitely see those parallels.
photo credit: MomStart.com
James from The Rock Father strategically placed a Rey action figure in front of Daisy’s chair, right before out interview. He has a great question for her about the line of Rey-centered toys that are being released. Daisy, and apparently her sister, has a great experience with her first full suitcase of action figures.
What’s it like to see yourself as an action figure?
Daisy: It’s cool, I haven’t seen this one with the rucksack. I’ve got this suitcase of stuff sent to me and I received it when I was alone. I Instagrammed my reaction. I kind of put everything away in the suitcase, and then I came back the next day and there were figures everywhere. Me and my sister live together, I was like, what are you doing? Put them away, that is so weird. [LAUGHTER]. Then I moved out and she was like, ‘Oh my God, I can make the flat a shrine to you!’
Don’t you just love how weird sisters are? Ha!
Can you tell us a little about your audition process?
Daisy: My audition process was very long. I’ve never been as nervous for an audition as I was for it, I turned up an hour early.
I can’t be an hour early, so I went to a coffee shop to sit and chill. I went in half an hour early, they said, no you need to come back because you’re still too early. But it was great. Obviously it was just over in a flash. You put so much pressure on yourself when you think about it so much. Even before I started auditioning I was like, I’ve got a really weird sense of something that was going to come from it.
In my last audition, I really felt like I did a good job. And I was really pleased. Even if I don’t [get the part], I’m really glad that I’ve shown [J.J.] what I can do. And then luckily I got the role. So that was a good ending.
What characteristics of Rey do you see in yourself?
Daisy: Obviously I see a lot of myself in her. Because it’s me playing her. I quite like myself as a person. I think everyone can be hard on themselves, but all too often people are far too hard on themselves and it’s not celebrated enough that people can actually enjoy themselves.
I like to think I’m kind of brave, but she’s far braver. I like to think I try and do the right thing, but she far exceeds that. She’s not polished and she’s nuanced, and I think that’s why she’s so brilliant and so relatable. She’s far more of anything I think I could ever be.
photo credit: MomStart.com
You play a very strong female lead in the movie. Do you have a good takeaway for young girls?
Daisy: I think I’ve been very lucky to be able to look up to incredible women. Me and my mom have an amazing relationship. She is really an amazing woman. And my Gram.
I remember when I was auditioning, I met Kathy and I didn’t really understand who she was at that point. That’s obviously embarrassing now. But, she asked me who I looked up to and I remember talking about them. Now I look at Kathy and think ‘she’s another woman I look up to.’
They’re wiser. They have far more life experience. But Rey in her way has lived a life and she has wisdom beyond her years. And [I love] the thought of girls being able to relate to a character in a film, when girls can’t find in films what they can physically see in themselves. They can’t follow a story sometimes if there’s nothing that’s representing them in the film. So to be part of that is incredible.
I’m just an actress, I’m not changing the world. But to be part of something that is groundbreaking, and to be part of a movement of women, not just in film, [but] all over the world and all different sectors. That is an incredible thing.
Our last question was a truly awesome one from Leanette of FUNtastic Life:
If you had a light saber, what color would it be? Be honest.
Daisy: I feel like it would be a disco ball. And it wouldn’t do any harm. I really don’t condone violence. It wouldn’t do any harm but it would just really get the party started.
Three things I love about that last answer: anything disco is always great. Daisy doesn’t condone violence, but I’m sure she’s going to kick a little booty in STAR WARS: The Force Awakens. She likes to get the party started. So do I, girl.
Tomorrow, our exclusive interview with John Boyega will go live, so be sure to come back. Spoiler alert: he’s hilarious.
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STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS arrives in theaters everywhere on December 18th!