Scoring the first major role of your career as one of the main characters in a brand new Star Wars trilogy is a daunting proposition, especially when the franchise had been absent from the big screen for a decade. Daisy Ridley was plucked from obscurity and cast as Rey in The Force Awakens as one of the four new leads alongside John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver, but by the time The Last Jedi rolled around, the orphan from Jakku had firmly been placed at the forefront of the narrative.
A lot of fans were left disappointed when Finn and Poe Dameron were sidelined for Episodes VIII and IX in favor of the intertwined fates of Rey and Kylo Ren, but that was hardly Ridley’s fault. And while The Rise of Skywalker was easily one of the most heavily hyped blockbusters in history as the conclusion to a nine-film arc that George Lucas had launched over 40 years previously, it would be an understatement to say that it was the second divisive Star Wars movie in a row.
Despite the backlash and underwhelming box office returns, though, with a haul of over a billion dollars still viewed internally by Disney and Lucasfilm as a disappointment, Star Wars has kicked down many doors in regard to Ridley’s future career, as well as setting her up for life financially.
In a new interview, the actress reflected on her time making the film and admitted that when J.J. Abrams called it a wrap on The Rise of Skywalker and drew a defining chapter of her career to a close, she spent the entire day crying.
“When we wrapped, I wept all day. I felt like I was going to pop a vein because I was crying so much. Obviously not to say that it was like grieving, but it was grieving something. I’ll always have it, and we’re all bonded by this incredible thing.”
The next step is for the 28 year-old to establish herself outside of Star Wars, and her next big screen appearance will be in troubled YA adaptation Chaos Walking opposite Tom Holland, which was shot a year before The Rise of Skywalker but is still sitting on the shelf.