the orient express

Driving Miss Daisy

Star Wars’s Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver dish on the epic franchise and beyond in V Magazine.

“I had no sense of what I was getting into. No sense of what was really going to happen,” confesses Daisy Ridley of her first-ever role as Rey in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Currently, Ridley is on location in a remote forest a few hours outside of Montreal for Chaos Walking, a 2019 sci-fi release costarring Tom Holland. But it’s this December’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the follow-up to The Force Awakens, that is shining a blinding light-saber-tinged spotlight on Ridley. The Force Awakens was the first movie since 1997’s Titanic to sell more than 100 million tickets in the U.S. 

It isn’t typical for a young actress’s breakthrough film to have the biggest domestic opening weekend in history, raking in $238 million, but Ridley isn’t all that typical herself. As the face of the nearly $10 billion franchise, Ridley has ushered in a new era of Star Wars. Following Carrie Fisher’s untimely passing last year, Ridley’s character, a fiercely independent heroine, serves as a particularly strong female voice in a galaxy far, far away. However, a far- flung galaxy isn’t Ridley’s only on-screen locale this season. 

In November, Ridley appears opposite Johnny Depp and an all-star cast in Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express. The suspenseful tale follows 13 passengers, played by the likes of Penélope Cruz, Judi Dench, and Willem Dafoe, stranded on an opulent passenger train with a murderer on the loose. Aside from blockbuster films, Ridley also produced and narrated the documentary The Eagle Huntress, which follows a teenage girl in the mountains of Mongolia as she becomes the first female eagle huntress in the sport’s 2,000-year history. 

Ahead of The Last Jedi’s release, Ridley catches up with her Star Wars costar (and “bestie”), Adam Driver. 


Daisy Ridley Hey Adam, it’s been so long.

Adam Driver Hey Daisy, how are you? When is the last time that I saw you?

DR Well, I don’t know because you don’t come to all the fun things that I go to. [laughs] Last July? It’s been like a year!

AD Oh, yeah, I guess. I’m much taller now.

DR How has your life changed? [laughs]

AD Oh, just in little ways. So, where are you now?

DR I’m in Canada, two hours outside of Montreal in these creepy woods. We feel like we’re going to be killed at any moment in this cabin. We’re shooting a film, Chaos Walking, with Doug Liman, Tom Holland, and Demián Bichir. It’s fucking cool.

AD Did you guys have time to meet each other before? Or did you just kind of jump right in?

DR I had met Tom Holland twice very briefly—for, like, 30 seconds—and I had met Doug Liman once and we spoke a bit, but it was very much feet first, it was super quick.

AD So, is it hard for you to meet people and just kind of go? Or do you prefer it?

DR [laughs] I mean, as we discovered, Adam, we became besties last year, but we had met some years before. It really takes me a while to relax with people. I don’t think I’m very good at meeting people: I feel awfully uncomfortable. So, I find meeting people very stressful. But it gets easier, and I think I’m getting better at being okay with that, you know?

AD Yeah, you always seemed very open, but I feel the same as you. When I meet people, I don’t know how to small talk very well, so it’s always like two back-and-forths of like, “Hey, how are you? How’s the weather?” And then five seconds later, I’m like, “So, what’s your relationship like with your mother?” It always goes really deep really quickly.

DR [laughs] I think you’re really good at it.

AD Oh, thank you. So, this is about Star Wars: If Rey was a color…I’m kidding.

DR No, oh my God. [laughs]

AD What were your initial conversations with J.J. [Abrams] about your character? Did you know the character’s name was Rey?

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joshgad: In honour of #maythe4thbewithyou here are out-takes from my #starwars with #daisyridley who despite what you’ve been led to believe, cannot keep a straight face. Neither can I for that matter. Lmao.

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Murder on the Orient Express is coming to a theater near you in November 2017

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“I was also drawn to the moral ambiguity of the story. We meet a character at the beginning that says ‘there is right, there is wrong, and nothing in between’ and there is a journey that suggests that maybe there is a lot in between. All that knotty moral positioning lies underneath a story that continues to be a page turner.” - Kenneth Branagh on Murder on the Orient Express