FRESH AS A DAISY
Harper's Bazaar Malaysia|March 2020
With her breakout role as Rey in the latest ‘Star Wars’ saga, British actress Daisy Ridley is hailed as the generation’s feminist icon, and with good reason. Having gone from working on a minimum wage in a London pub, to one of science fiction’s greatest heroines, to producing BAFTA-nominated documentaries, the 27-year-old actress is indeed a force to be reckoned with.
Amy Yasmine
Imagine waking up to an e-mail sent by none other than Daisy Ridley (she of J.J. Abrams's most recent Star Wars epic saga) at 7.30am, all blurry-eyed while your iPhone’s face recognition tried to detect a sense of familiarity through its 12MP lens. As surreal as it seems, that’s exactly what happened to me as I fell asleep not too long ago while our team in London wrapped up this March issue’s cover shoot. Call it the plight of a trans-continental collaborative effort, but such is the beauty of a borderless world these days.

While it had only been a few months since Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker had showed in cinemas, the British actress’s portrayal of Rey has long left an indelible mark on the film industry. As the first Jedi heroine in the cult franchise, the 27-year-old actress has propelled herself into superstardom, as well as becoming the new face of feminism in the 21st century. For yours truly, it’s even more dream-like considering the fact that I had grown up watching the sci-fiepic as a child, but left many questions unanswered. Among them: “why were there hardly any female Jedis around?” It was a debate that legions of Star Wars female fans discussed, but it wasn’t until the arrival of Rey which changed that perception.

Cast from complete obscurity, Daisy Jazz Isobel Ridley, the youngest of five sisters, had suddenly been thrust into the spotlight, leaving her former days as a young actress making the rounds at a London pub (on minimum wage, no less) in a galaxy far, far away. After several years traversing the cosmos, the London native had proven to be more than just a lightsaber-wielding paladin—going on to star in the Claire McCarthy-directed Ophelia as the film’s titular role, as well as Mary Debenham in 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express by award-winning director, Kenneth Branagh.

It’s a testament to Daisy’s own multifaceted talent, of which she had evidently honed since childhood, I came to discover. In this exclusive interview, “The Talented Miss Ridley” shared (over the glorious invention that is the Internet) her most challenging obstacle on set, working alongside the late icon Carrie Fisher, abstinence from social media, and finally coming to terms with life after Star Wars.

Your breakout role as Rey in Star Wars, has hailed you as a feminist icon in the realm of cinema. What do you think about that, and how you’ve become an inspiration to other girls around the world?

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