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Spotlight on actress Daisy Ridley
The actress is grateful to be working again. The past few years have been tough, she admits, and Covid didn’t help
STRUGGLING AFTER STAR WARS The 29-year-old was born in London and landed her big break in 2015, playing Rey in the Star Wars sequel trilogy.
Daisy says after The Rise of Skywalker, the final film in the series, premiered in December 2019, job offers dried up and she feared she’d never work again.
“The hilarious thing is that even Judi Dench, who’s literally one of the greatest actresses living, said she still gets those moments of, ‘Oh my God! Am I ever going to work?’” Daisy said.
Her fears were exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic that brought the world to a standstill.
Last year she lent her voice to the video game 12 Minutes, opposite X-Men actor James McAvoy, and appeared in Islanders, an audio play.
But things are picking up for Daisy who’ll be starring in a psychological thriller – The Marsh King’s Daughter – later this year as well as appearing in a biopic about Gertrude “Trudy” Ederle, the first woman to swim the English Channel. It’ll be her first time back on set in years.
“I’m really nervous, but I’m equal parts excited,” she said of being back on a movie set. “The actual thought of being on a set is so strange. So, I can’t wait. But I also know I’m basically not going to be able to sleep the night before.”
CHAOS WALKING In the new movie, Daisy stars opposite Tom Holland (Spider-Man Far from Home). She plays Viola, a woman who crash-lands on a planet populated only by men. A mysterious force called Noise causes the men’s thoughts to be on display in a colourful shroud around their heads. Holland plays Todd Hewitt, a boy raised by a gay couple after the death of his mother.
“Even though he’s been told all this stuff [about his town], he’s willing to question that and he’s willing to go on a journey with a young woman because he thinks it’s the right thing to do,” Daisy explains of their characters.
Not everything was smooth sailing on the production of the film, which was filmed four years ago. After filming wrapped, the earliest cut was deemed unreleasable and they were forced to reshoot a lot of it.
“I think people wanted it to be something it wasn’t,” Daisy said of the movie, adding that she thought there was room for improvement after seeing an early cut of it.
SCRAPPING SOCIAL MEDIA She used to be active on Instagram and in 2016 revealed she’d been diagnosed with endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome at 15. The condition left her with severe acne and abdominal pain, and Daisy was praised for opening up about something which affects countless women. Months later she came under fire after posting about gun violence and was accused of hypocrisy by critics who said the Star Wars films were violent. The backlash saw her delete her Instagram profile and vow never to return to social media. “I honestly think now with social media and stuff it’s great to have freedom of expression, but I do feel like people think opinions have so much weight.”