Daisy Ridley's 'Star Wars' audition will blow your mind
By time 2015 came around, Star Wars fans had been through a lot. After the first three films in the series set up a universe moviegoers across the world fell in love with (and some obsessed over), the fanbase only grew bigger and bigger - even becoming a religion with 'Jediism'.
So when the prequel trilogy came out, expectations were high. And when that anticipation was followed by three lacklustre-to-terrible movies, it was a gut punch many weren't ready to deal with. So when Disney bought the rights to the series and decided to start up a new trilogy, as well as some spin-off movies, people were skeptical to say the least. The fact that the movie was not only good, but pretty damn great, was a huge relief for fans of the series.
One of the surprising standouts of the film was undoubtedly Daisy Ridley, who took center stage even as she starred alongside Star Wars veterans like Harrison Ford's Han Solo. Until this point, she had mostly acted in British TV shows and independent films, so being cast as the lead in the biggest movie of the year was a huge deal.
I haven't had the pleasure of seeing her star in the latest installment, The Last Jedi, yet, but one of the reasons I'm looking forward to it is to see more of her character Rey. From a scavenger abandoned by her parents on a desert planet to a burgeoning Jedi, her arc was captivating, and was greatly helped by Ridley's natural charisma in the role.
J J Abrams, the director of The Force Awakens, spoke about the process of finding the actress to play Rey, and why Daisy Ridley was the perfect choice:
"What we were looking for was someone new. This character needed to be vulnerable and tough, sweet and terrified. And to find someone that no one knew who could do all these things took a lot of looking."
"[Daisy Ridley] just blew my mind. She's reaching this depth of struggle, and tears are streaming down her face. I thought, 'This is unbelievable.'"
She was perfect from the start, it seems, as this clip from her first audition proves. In this clip, she's practicing for the scene where she is being interrogated by the Force Awakens' villain Kylo Ren, as he attempts to read her mind.
It's strange getting into the actor's process like this. Imagine auditioning to play a major role in what is possibly the biggest franchise ever, and on top of that having to start off with such an intensely emotional scene. It's tough work, and clearly what inspired the creators to cast her as Rey.
The Last Jedi came out on December 15 and has done monumentally well at the box office as expected. It exceeded expectations and made $450 million worldwide, $25 million more than what forecasters predicted. It looks like the series will be sticking around for some time yet.