Prepare to Fall in Love with Star Wars' Daisy Ridley

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), December 20, 2015 | Go to article overview

Prepare to Fall in Love with Star Wars' Daisy Ridley


Byline: Stephanie Merry Washington Post

If you haven't yet heard of Daisy Ridley, you're about to. The 23-year-old lead in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" isn't just a talented actress in the biggest franchise of all time, she's also a funny, frank person, who tends to curse a lot in interviews. Basically, she's the next Jennifer Lawrence, only less clumsy (at least so far).

In the movie, Ridley plays Rey, a scavenger and pilot, who has no trouble surviving alone on the desert planet of Jakku thanks to her smarts, nerve and success beating people down with a large wooden staff. And, praise be to director J.J. Abrams, she looks like a warrior, too, appropriately outfitted in dirty, earth-toned leisurewear. We've come a long way since Leia was forced to go braless.

Ridley is adorable, too, with an uncanny resemblance to Keira Knightley when she talks, but that's almost beside the point. After all, the first time we see her, she's climbing a wall looking like a mummified acrobat. (Fingers crossed this get-up replaces Anna and Elsa from "Frozen" as the go-to costume for little girls during Halloween 2016.)

But back to Ridley. She's flawless in "The Force Awakens." During one of her many self-effacing interviews, she claims that Abrams told her, on the first day of filming, that her acting was wooden.

"I honestly wanted to die," she told Glamour UK. "I thought I was gonna cry, I couldn't breathe. And there was so many crew there, because obviously all the creatures (had stand-ins), and there were loads of extra crew making sure everyone was safe 'cause it was so hot. It was awful."

If Abrams' critique is true, there's no lingering trace of stiffness in her performance. Not only does she have great chemistry with co-star John Boyega, who plays Finn, but she conveys a whole spectrum of emotions, especially during the scene in which she first realizes she can use the Force. …

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