Who Is Daisy Ridley?
Born on April 10, 1992, in London, England, Daisy Ridley attended a performing arts school before earning roles in a variety of screen projects. After auditioning several times, she landed one of the lead parts in the highly awaited Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). The blockbuster broke a bevy of box office records, and the young actress reprised her starring role of Rey in Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017).
Background and Education
Daisy Ridley was born on April 10, 1992, in London, England, having four older siblings that included both biological sisters and stepsisters. Ridley's family is immersed in the world of media and the arts: Her mother is involved in bank communications and her father works as a photographer, while her great-uncle was the well-known actor and writer Arnold Ridley.
Ridley attended Hertfordshire’s Tring Park School for the Performing Arts, her enrollment there largely considered a way to channel her energy after mischievous bouts in primary school. She did develop a deeper interest in acting upon receiving mentorship from her drama teacher, and also went on to hone her abilities as a jazz and cabaret singer.
In 2012, Ridley was brought on board to work as an actress in an animated production that would become 2015’s Scrawl. In 2013, in addition to an appearance in a music video for the grime artist Wiley, she surfaced in the shorts Lifesaver and Blue Season, as well as on episodes of the British TV shows Casualty, Youngers and Toast of London. The following year saw Ridley appear in two more television projects—the department store drama Mr. Selfridge and the forensic crime series Silent Witness.
'Star Wars' Casting and Global Fame
Ridley had taken on work at a pub to make ends meet when it was announced that J.J. Abrams would helm the next installment of Star Wars. Upon hearing that the director was looking for fresh faces, Ridley pushed via her agent to read for a part. After approximately five auditions, Ridley received a call from Abrams stating she’d landed a role, not realizing that she would be playing one of the film’s lead characters. Eventually she discovered she was given the part of Rey, a desert-based scavenger who becomes embroiled in galactic intrigue upon finding information that could lead to missing Jedi warrior Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill).
She and another fellow newcomer to the Star Wars franchise, actor John Boyega, have developed a sturdy friendship while being seen as heralds of diversity to the series. Featuring old favorites from earlier installments such as Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), Star Wars: The Force Awakens opened on December 18, 2015; it immediately became a global phenomenon, earning almost $530 million worldwide during its opening weekend and breaking an array of box office records.
Ridley, Boyega, Hamill and the rest of the cast, including Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac and Lupita Nyong'o, soon got back to work for the next chapter of the franchise, Star Wars: The Last Jedi. With Abrams taking a back seat as executive producer, the fate of Rey, Skywalker and their friends was placed in the hands of writer and director Rian Johnson. Slated for widespread release on December 15, 2017, The Last Jedi enjoyed a festive premiere in Los Angeles a week earlier, with Ridley appropriately dressed for the occasion in a star-speckled gown.
Although much of her energy has been consumed by Star Wars-related endeavors, Ridley has found time for other projects. She produced and narrated the 2016 documentary The Eagle Huntress, and that year also supplied voice work for the English-language translation of the Japanese animated film Only Yesterday. In 2017, she joined the star-studded cast of Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel Murder on the Orient Express.
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