Daisy Ridley became a household name after being cast in the billion-dollar Star Wars sequel trilogy. But the months following her casting proved to be challenging in a number of ways. At one point, she started feeling her Star Wars casting was similar to a pregnancy.
Daisy Ridley didn’t get the call that she was cast in ‘Star Wars’ because her phone was broken
Ridley was virtually an unknown before clinching the role of a lifetime in Star Wars. She’d starred in a handful of short films, and made her feature debut with the supernatural thriller Scrawl. Ridley had only decided to pursue her Star Wars role after she’d heard a new movie was in the works.
The Chaos Walking star e-mailed her agent about the opportunity and managed to win an audition. But her first audition was a nerve-racking experience.
“So, for the first audition I was an hour early. Literally pacing up and down outside,” Ridley once told The Quint. “I’d never been nervous like that before for something. It was the first time in an audition process that I felt everyone was rooting, not for me, but for the idea of an unknown person getting the part.”
Her worries were soon eased after a couple more auditions. Soon she was confident she’d get the role. But even after getting the part, The Force Awakens director J. J. Abrahms couldn’t deliver the good news.
“My last audition was really amazing. A few days later, I knew I’d hear from JJ, and my phone was broken. I didn’t get the call. I didn’t know what was going on. I finally got through to him and he told me I’d be starring in Star Wars,” she said.
Why Daisy Ridley compared being cast in ‘Star Wars’ to being pregnant
Ridley felt her life had changed after getting the lead in the hit sci-fi franchise. For a while, she had to keep her casting a secret, with only the people closest to her knowing she’d gotten the job.
“I couldn’t call anyone. I sat on the tube going home thinking, – oh my God. Not able to tell anyone for an hour. Then, finally, I could tell my mom and sister. But, it didn’t really kick in for months,” she said.
There was a long waiting period between being cast and announcing that casting to the world that felt odd to Ridley.
“I was thinking about it as if I were pregnant, like I couldn’t tell anyone until the three-month mark. It was originally a month, and it kept extending,” she said. “My birthday was really hard. I sat with all my friends, and it was really hard not to say anything. As time went on, it got easier. My mom, dad and sister knew, so I had that.”
Daisy Ridley considered quitting the franchise while filming ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’
Being a part of the Star Wars franchise took a bit of an adjustment for the young star. When she officially began shooting the first film in the sequel trilogy, it was a difficult process early on.
“It was really scary,” she once said on the Happy Sad Confused podcast. “I felt just sick and I didn’t really know anyone yet. It takes me a really long time to settle down with people.”
There was one action sequence in particular where she briefly considered walking away from the franchise.
“And I do remember being behind the speeder and there were loads of people there and somebody had an umbrella over me. Even that, [I was] like, ‘Oh someone’s holding an umbrella over you? OK.’ And I remember thinking, ‘I can’t do it. I can’t do this, this is not right,'” she said.