I hope that Daisy Ridley enjoyed the beginning of this week because following the announcement that she was the lone new female joining J.J. Abrams cast for Star Wars: Episode VII, her life will never be the same again. We continue our Star Wars Day celebration of getting to know the new cast by introducing you to Daisy Ridley.
Of all the news faces, Ridley’s is the least known having only appeared in a handful of guest spots in a few British TV series. She is a real unknown quantity and as the lone female (so far apparently) attention has turned to her to live out the dreams and aspirations of females around the world. So who is Daisy Ridley?
The 21-year-old British actress grew up in and around London. She attended Tring Park Theatre School in Hertfordshire, a performing arts school for 8-18 year olds, whose alumni include Downton Abbey’s Jessica Brown Findlay and Lily James. A statement on the school’s website, states that:
Daisy was a pupil at Tring Park from 2001 when she joined in the Prep Department and started in the Dance Department before joining the Performance Foundation Course and then her final two years on the Musical Theatre Course.
The School’s Marketing Director, Miriam Juviler spoke to the Daily Mail following the announcement saying, “Daisy was here for five years and left in 2010. She actually specialised in musical theatre… She is a hard-working, bright young girl and very talented”. Her last role at the school was playing Nancy, one of the female leads, in the musical The Boy Friend.
After she left the performing arts school, she has appeared in small guest roles in Silent Witness, ITV’s period drama Mr Selfridge, Casualty, Youngers and Toast of London. She makes her feature film debut later this year as Alicia in The Inbetweeners 2. The film opens in the UK on August 6.
Her role in the series, like that of all the other new cast members, has not been released. However, speculation is rife that she will be playing the daughter Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford’s characters, Princess Leia and Han Solo. Not only does she look the part with the dark flowing locks, piercing hazel eyes and porcelain skin, but in the photo released from the cast reading on Tuesday, she was seated between Fisher and Ford.
In the Expanded Universe, this character was named Jaina. If she is intend to play a Solo offspring, whether or not she is to be named Jaina is still up in the air following the statement on the official Star Wars page last week that “Star Wars Episodes VII-IX will not tell the same story told in the post-Return of the Jedi Expanded Universe.”
If you’re interested in checking out Ridley in action, SlashFilm has uncovered a short film that was involved in as part of last year’s Sci-Fi London 48-Hour Film Challenge. The film, Blue Season is a thriller with Ridley starring as Sarah, a trapped prisoner who receives a phone call from an older man, who can apparently help her escape her imprisonment. The 5 minute short can be viewed below:
Following the announcement of her casting, Ridley reportedly tweeted: “Overwhelmed by all the support. This is the greatest day of my life. I’m told I can’t say who I’m playing yet, but it’s exciting!” However, this account was only set up the day of the announcement and has subsequently been suspended so as far as we know, she is currently not on Twitter.
Ridley is represented by Jonathan Arun. Included in her skills listed on her profile page is being highly skilled in London and the RP accent, jazz dancing and singing, and tap, and swimming. Will she soon be adding lightsaber fighting and piloting the Millennium Falcon? We’re sure to find out December next year when Episode VII is released. In the meantime, here’s a few images of Ridley from previous roles.
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