Newcomer Daisy Ridley joins the Star Wars universe in The Force Awakens, out December 18, 2015. Not much is know about her character, Rey, other than she’s a scavenger whose destiny intersects with a runaway stormtrooper named Finn (John Boyega), and a Resistance fighter pilot named Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac). In an interview with Entertainment Weekly we learn more about the London born actress including an interesting connection she has with Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Entertainment Weekly: You were telling me about your school being in Avengers: Age of Ultron, so what school was that?
Daisy Ridley: I went to a school called Tring Park School for the Performing Arts. I went because initially I was very naughty, and my mom thought if I was busy, I’d be better. And I didn’t really do acting until later on in the school, with an amazing teacher. I left, went traveling, came back. And then it all kind of went from there.
EW: Where did you grow up?
Ridley: London. And somebody did ask me if me and John got on because we’re from the same place. We’re not from the same place. [Laughs.] He’s from South London, I’m from West.
EW: So there’s a rivalry?
Ridley: There’s no rivalry, but it’s completely different.
EW: Do you have brothers or sisters? Is the whole family Star Wars-obsessed now?
Ridley: I’ve got sisters. I’m the youngest of actually five. We have been watching the movies again, and my middle sister is super excited. Last year when we were filming, everyone came round and we had dinner and watched Episode IV, A New Hope, which was super cool.
EW: You’re working with all the same actors, so it must be interesting to see that generation onscreen and then work with them in real life.
Ridley: It was weird, in hindsight, going back to watching the film after having seen it, and then having worked with them, and then going to watch it again, it was a weird thing.
EW: Were your family members into performing arts at all?
Ridley: My great uncle was in Dad’s Army. And I don’t know if Americans will know that. It was a hugely popular show in England. They’re redoing it as a film. Michael Gambon, who played Dumbledore [in the Harry Potter movies], is playing who my great uncle played. Both my parents are creative. My dad did act when he was younger, but they’re both very creative.
EW: What do they do for a living?
Ridley: My mum works in internal communications at a bank, and my dad’s a photographer.
EW: I know there’s not much you’re permitted to disclose about the plot of the film. But can you say which was your personal favorite location while making The Force Awakens?
Ridley: Weirdly enough, probably Abu Dhabi, even though it was so hot, it was like you literally can’t imagine that heat. The feeling of stepping onto a real set for the first time, it genuinely was a baptism of fire. To see creatures walking around and speeders chilling in the sand, that was amazing, and because I was shooting there, it was like everything had built up to that moment. So a few days in, I was like, OK. I’m getting my groove now.
EW: This fan convention is really your big coming out party. A first chance for them to meet you, and vice versa. Carrie Fisher says she tried to brace you. Was it what you expected?
Ridley: I didn’t think of it like that until dinner last night when somebody mentioned how many people might be watching. [Laughs.] It was so cool to be part of a film that is loved so much, and then to be able to launch in that sphere with just fans and people who love what we’re doing and are so excited about what’s going to come in December, that was the best way to come out, as it were.
For the full interview click HERE