Ridley has been performing since she was young. In her early years, she won a scholarship to Tring Park School for the Performing Arts in Hertfordshire, which she attended between the ages of 9 and 18.
Footage from one of Ridley’s auditions recently made its way to the Internet, and it’s clear that the process for nabbing the coveted part of Rey wasn’t a walk in the park. In the footage, Ridley had to act out an intense scene that required her to cry on demand — multiple times in a row.
Making your feature film debut in a huge blockbuster like Star Wars isn’t easy, as Ridley recalled to Glamour in January. On her very first day of filming, she says, she was almost reduced to tears by the film’s director, J.J. Abrams, after he called her acting “wooden.” “I was petrified. I thought I was gonna have a panic attack on the first day,” Ridley said. Clearly, she was able to get over her nerves and went on to nail it.
When asked what she would be if she weren’t an actress, Ridley told The Hollywood Reportershe’d be a psychologist or counselor. “I’ve just signed up for a degree next year, and I’m starting with social sciences. I always felt interested in it,” she said at the time, adding, “To touch someone who’s going through something would be very fulfilling.” Sounds like a good backup plan — although we’re guessing Ridley’s schedule these days is a little busy for psychology class.
Daisy Ridley makes a point of reaching out to her fans whenever she can. Case in point: When Davidson student Kevin Carlock invited her to his formal in a viral video, Ridley issued a thoughtful public response to his request with the above photo.
Ridley has garnered nominations for Breakthrough Artist in various film association awards. In February, she was also honored at the U.S.-Ireland Alliance’s 11th annual Oscar Wilde Awards, where she was introduced by Abrams.
Ridley is rumored to be in a relationship with English actor Charlie Hamblett. The two have been dating since before her Star Wars fame and have been photographed out and about in London in recent months.
In addition to acting, Ridley can also sing and dance. She shows off her vocal chops in an adorable Instagram video in which she sings a Christmas duet with Star Wars co-star Oscar Isaac. In February, it was also revealed that Ridley is recording a song with “a massive superstar,” although it’s unclear who that superstar is.
Who could forget the short clip she posted of her own reaction to seeing the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer for the first time? She burst into tears of joy and the moment (captured on camera by her friend) was so sweet, it quickly went viral online.
Following a star-making turn in Star Wars, Ridley’s reportedly in line to take on another iconic franchise: Tomb Raider. According to Deadline, Ridley is on the short list of actresses being eyed to play Lara Croft — the action role originated by Jolie — in the upcoming Warner Bros. reboot. Though talks have reportedly already taken place, it’s still early on, and no official offers have been made just yet.