Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do
What is cooler than one multibillion-dollar box-office hit? Two multibillion-dollar box-office hits.
British actor Daisy Ridley is about to have both to her name as she returns as Rey in the next instalment of Star Wars. Emma Brockes meets her as she prepares for superstardom. — ELLE UK, December 2017
A few weeks after the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey – Jakku scavenger, desert-planet survivor and feminist hero – went on holiday to an island off Croatia with friends from the crew. The actor, who was 23 at the time, had been warned that after the release of the movie – number seven in a franchise that has made more than $42bn (£33bn) – her life would dramatically change, and she was terrified. This was, after all, her first big-screen role.
In restaurants, she scrutinised waiters to see if they were being too nice to her; she wondered if she’d ever be able to use the tube again. On holiday, her friends started calling her Linda, ‘as a jokey alias’, she says, ‘and then they started calling me Paranoid Linda’ when she became convinced a man was following them around and wondered if he was a private detective employed by the studio.
Two years later, 25-year-old Daisy is sitting opposite me at a restaurant in downtown Manhattan, dressed in a shirt and capri pants in clashing blue-and-white prints, her hair still wet from the shower. She’s brimming with the kind of enthusiasm that reads on screen as charisma, and that helps to explain her meteoric rise from stage-school graduate with a few TV credits to her name to one of the most recognisable young stars on the planet. Paranoid Linda still makes an occasional appearance, she says, but mostly she has managed to adjust to life after two Star Wars movies.