[Interview] Daisy Ridley discusses the taxing demands of ‘STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER’

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Courtney Howard // Film Critic

Now almost three films into the new STAR WARS trilogy, we’ve seen beloved breakout character Rey (played by Daisy Ridley) put to the test. In THE FORCE AWAKENS, she uncovered latent powers within herself to help defend against evil forces threatening to overtake a galaxy far, far away. In THE LAST JEDI, under strict tutelage from Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), she learned to hone her inner power – the force growing inside her. Rey, more than likely, will be once again thrown into the fray in THE RISE OF SKYWALKER – at least that’s the hint we were given.

At the recent Los Angeles press conference, Ridley said she was taxed by the emotional weight of her scenes in this latest chapter, rather than the physical demands.

With the physical stuff, you train and train and train and the adrenaline helps you on the day to do the thing. The stamina obviously needs to be there for you to that thing. But I would say, I was more tired emotionally. There really wasn’t a day where I was like, ‘Oh it’s just a quick scene.’

The affable actress also found the script’s levity to be difficult to wrap her head around.

Coming from the last [film], which was quite heavy, even the joyous scenes I found very strange to do. There’s a lot of other stuff going on.

Rey’s physical and emotional journey over the course of these three films proved to be a complicated component – one she enlisted the help of her director J.J. Abrams. But even that led to some confusion as to her approach to Rey’s current headspace. She explained,

It’s also tricky understanding what J.J. was asking from me. ‘I know what you’re asking. I just can’t get there quite yet.’ Sustaining that emotion and there’s more of a singular tension that was tiring. Even in the emotional scenes, there’s a physical containment that is tiring.

STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER opens on December 20.

About author

Courtney Howard

Courtney Howard is a LAFCA, OFCS and AWFJ member, as well as a Rotten Tomatometer-approved film critic. Her work has been published on Variety, She Knows and Awards Circuit.