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.
Filmography and roles:
- Casualty (2013) as Fran Bedingfield
- Toast of London (2013) as Charlotte
- Silent Witness (2014) as Hannah Kennedy
- Mr Selfridge (2014) as Roxy Starlet
- The Inbetweeners 2 (2014, Deleted Role)
- Scrawl (2015)note as Hannah
- Star Wars as Rey
- Only Yesterday (2016 English dub) as Taeko Okajima
- The Eagle Huntress (2016 documentary) - Executive producer and narrator
- Murder on the Orient Express (2017) as Mary Debenham
- Ophelia (2019)note as Ophelia
- Peter Rabbit (2018) as Cottontail
- Chaos Walking (2021) as Viola Eade
- The Marsh King's Daughter (TBA) as Helena Pelletier
Tropes in her works:
- 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).
- 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 the most extreme example. 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.
- 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 Nationality: She plays a Dane as the title character in Ophelia.
- 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.
- Reclusive Artist: After some bad experiences on social media and personal information about her family got out, she deleted all of her accounts and doesnt talk about her personal life anymore.
- Romance on the Set: She began dating actor Tom Bateman in 2017, after they met on the set of Murder on the Orient Express (2017).
- Star-Making Role: Her career has 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), has given her voice to the English dub of Only Yesterday, and also became an executive producer to the 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 a new adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express, all within a few years of The Force Awakens's release.
- 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.