The newcomer who plays Jakku’s most famous scavenger,
Does Rey have an equivalent character in the original trilogy?
I never thought about where she would fit into. I didn’t feel like, “Oh, because I’m a woman I need to be like Princess Leia,” or “Oh, because I’m a scavenger I need to be like Han Solo because I’m off doing my own thing.” In terms of story, I guess the one I would compare her to most is Luke because he starts off kind of not knowing his own strength and goes off on this emotional journey and finds out who he is. But again, he starts with the family and Rey begins alone. Princess Leia’s born into privilege, so that’s a totally different thing. There’s no one really… I think she’s a great new person representing all of the good things to come.
How have you dealt with all the secrecy around the movie?
not being able to tell my best friend [I had the role] was difficult because I was gaining some serious muscle mass, and he was like,
“Where are your guns coming from? Why are you always busy when you were literally unemployed a month ago?” But in terms of the film I think the reason everyone’s keeping it a secret is for the best reason possible. you know to a certain extent what to expect – there’s going to be droids, there’s going to be creatures. But the emotional story, I think, will be a surprise, and that’s the best thing possible.
We know Rey shares scenes with Han Solo. How do they come together?
Well, you know, we go on a journey together, and he’s part of this journey. But the whole film is a journey of many people who come and go and contribute. That’s why I think it’s so good because it never feels like any one person’s really on their own. And it always feels like an ensemble, and it always felt like a family, which is what people really connected to [on the original movies]. I really think pretty much every character in the film influences the others.
Have you read the script for Episode VIII yet?
yes… which is weird, seeing as there are bits of Episode VII I literally cannot remember, and then every now and again I’m like, “Oh! That thing happens with that person.” So it’s weird I haven’t even seen Episode VII and I’ve read
Episode VIII. But Episode VIII is very cool. We start principal photography in January.
Just two years ago she had a small role in Casualty!