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Creator / Daisy Ridley

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"Your life goes on, and then your life goes on plus Star Wars. It's just been an incredible time."

Daisy Jazz Isobel Ridley (born 10 April 1992 in Westminster, London) is an English actress.

She played small roles in short films and TV series until she became a star practically overnight as Rey, an orphan Force-sensitive scavenger and the central protagonist of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, which debuted with The Force Awakens in December 2015.

She is the grandniece of playwright and actor Arnold Ridley, who played Private Godfrey in Dad's Army, and is married to actor Tom Bateman.

Filmography and roles:

Tropes in her works:

  • Acting in the Dark: A partially unintentional example. Rey's parentage/family history is kept a mystery for most of the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy from both the audience and Rey herself, until the final movie reveals she's the paternal granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine. Ridley herself later revealed in an interview that she didn't know what the final answer was for much of filming, due to the fact the writers hadn't come up with a definitive answer and kept changing their minds between movies; Ridley stated that even during the filming of the final movie J. J. Abrams still hadn't settled on whether to make her Palpatine's granddaughter or not.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: In most of her roles, including her most famous role as Rey, she has her natural brunette hair, though she also played a redhead as the titular character in Ophelia (wearing a wig) and she's a blonde as Viola in Chaos Walking (again wearing a wig).
  • Creator Backlash: A mild example followed after Ophelia's premiere. Ridley admitted she was initially upset by the film's lukewarm reception and didn't much care for the cut of the film shown at the Sundance Film Festival, especially as it was her first leading role after Star Wars ("In Star Wars, Rey has an important story but it's not like it's Rey's film. This is like I'm playing Ophelia in Ophelia."). However, she had a much more positive reaction to the film's final cut.
  • Creator Couple: In May 2022, it was announced that Ridley would be co-producing and starring in thriller film Magpie, with her husband Tom Bateman as screenwriter and fellow producer (Ridley also came up with the original story).
  • Dark Horse Casting: Daisy was the only cast member of The Force Awakens who was a total unknown prior to being announced; her previous roles were composed of mostly extras or bit-part characters in TV series and short films.
  • Dawson Casting: In a few of her more prominent roles, she's played characters much younger than her.
    • She was 22 years old when she first played Rey, who according to supplementary material is 19 years old in The Force Awakens, largely averting Dawson Casting. It's more significant in The Last Jedi; it's an Immediate Sequel, so Rey is still 19, while during filming Ridley was 23/24, four-to-five years older. The Rise of Skywalker is set a year later, making Rey 20 years old now, while Ridley was 26 when filming began.
    • Ophelia is implied to be in her late teens (her exact age isn't given), while Ridley was 25 during principal production.
    • Viola in Chaos Walking is one of the most extreme examples. Ridley was 24 when she was first cast and 25 when filming started. She was 27 when the 2019 reshoots took place and nearly 29 when the movie finally came out. In the book, Viola is around 13 years old, well over a decade younger than Ridley; Viola does apparently receive an Age Lift in the film that puts her in her late teens, though in this case Ridley was still around a decade older than the character.
    • Magda, the character she voiced in Baba Yaga, is 10, while Ridley was 28 during recording.
  • Deleted Role: She originally had a role in The Inbetweeners 2, but it ended up being cut entirely after her commitments to The Force Awakens tied up her schedule and made it impossible for her to do reshoots.
  • Fake American:
    • She played an American as Roxy in Mr Selfridge, complete with accent.
    • Her character in the video game Twelve Minutes is American and she pulls the accent off very convincingly, to the point her voice sounds almost unrecognizable without her usual British accent.
    • She stars as Helena Pelletier in The Marsh King's Daughter, who was born and raised in the marshlands of Michigan.
    • She is set to portray American champion swimmer Gertrude Erderle in an upcoming biopic.
  • Fake Nationality:
    • She plays a Dane as the title character in Ophelia.
    • She voices a French royal as Marguerite de Nevarre in The Inventor.
  • No Stunt Double: Although she did have a double on-hand for especially tricky and/or dangerous stunts, Ridley did a lot of her own stunts and fights scenes as Rey; for The Rise of Skywalker in particular she reportedly did 95% of Rey's stunts herself.
  • Playing Against Type: Ironically, her debut film role is this compared to her later roles. Ridley primarily plays heroic (or at least sympathetic) plucky girls, while her role as Hannah in Scrawl is significantly more sinister and villainous. The closest she's come to a similar performance since is Rey's evil doppelganger in The Rise of Skywalker.
  • Playing with Character Type:
    • On the surface, Mary Debenham from Murder on the Orient Express is rather like many of Ridley's other roles; a modest, kind-hearted woman who still speaks up against injustice. However, she's revealed to have a darker side when it turns out she helped kill the murder victim and attempted to conceal this from Poirot. That said, the man she helped kill was an utter scumbag and she agreed to take part because he abducted and murdered a little girl she cared for as a governess; she's also willing to be arrested for her crime rather than kill Poirot to escape.
    • The Wife in Twelve Minutes appears to be a normal woman who adores her husband and is excited to be expecting a child with him. However, she's then accused of murdering her father and despite her initial denials, it turns out she did seemingly kill him, though unbeknownst to her she only wounded him and someone else finished the job; it was also more of an Accidental Murder. As with Mary Debenham, the incident was prompted by a personal grievance; the Wife's father cheated on her mother, causing her to fall into a deep depression and die prematurely. When the Wife confronted him about this, things got out of hand.
  • Reclusive Artist: After some bad experiences on social media and instances of personal information about her family getting out, she deleted all of her accounts and doesn’t talk about her personal life anymore. She eventually went back to Instagram in 2022, though this was after six years of not being on social media.
  • Romance on the Set: She began dating actor Tom Bateman in 2017, after they met on the set of Murder on the Orient Express. She revealed in January 2023 that they had gotten married.
  • Star-Making Role: Her career skyrocketed the very day The Force Awakens came out; she was considered for the title role in the Tomb Raider reboot (losing out to Alicia Vikander), gave her voice to the English dub of Only Yesterday, and also became an executive producer and narrator of the documentary movie The Eagle Huntress. She was also quickly cast in the lead roles of two YA film adaptations (Ophelia and Chaos Walking) and was cast in a major role in the 2017 adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express all within a few years of The Force Awakens's release.
  • Typecasting: Following the release of The Force Awakens, Ridley has a tendency to be cast as tough yet kind-hearted women, often with some kind of Dark and Troubled Past.
  • Underage Casting: In Twelve Minutes, the character Ridley voices, the Wife, is revealed to be slightly older than her husband, as the Husband is actually her half-brother, the result of their father having an affair with the Wife's nanny. However, in real life Ridley is thirteen years younger than James McAvoy, who voices the Husband.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Her voice is surprisingly deep and smooth compared to her doe-eyed appearance. This results in some of her characters being portrayed as having a Tomboyish Voice and/or being a Contralto of Strength.
  • What Could Have Been: It was reported that she was considered for the role of Lara Croft in the 2018 Tomb Raider reboot, with Alicia Vikander eventually winning the role (although Ridley herself stated she was never directly approached about it). Funnily enough, Vikander was the original casting choice for the lead role in the film adaptation of The Marsh King's Daughter, but dropped out and was replaced by Ridley.