Daisy Ridley, who portrayed Rey in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, gained worldwide recognition for her role. Ridley got the role after director J. J. Abrams, like George Lucas, wanted to cast relatively unknown actors. The Ophelia actress’s role in The Force Awakens was praised by critics as a breakout performance. Trained by Luke Skywalker himself, Rey later became the last Jedi following Skywalker’s sacrifice.
After much speculation about her character’s background, the final reveal in The Rise of Skywalker received mixed responses from franchise fans. In Star Wars Celebration IV 2023, it was announced that Ridley would lead another Star Wars film directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. However, Ridley’s globally famous role almost didn’t happen due to this star kid.
Daisy Ridley Almost Lost Her Role To Carrie Fisher’s Daughter
Carrie Fisher, like Daisy Ridley, was a relatively unknown actress when she was cast as Princess Leia Organa in Star Wars. When the sequel trilogy was announced, fans were excited about the news that the original trio of heroes would be part of the movies. However, after the release of The Force Awakens, Fisher passed away in December 2016.
Interestingly, Fisher’s daughter with talent agent Bryan Lourd, Billie Lourd, was one of the initial choices for the role of Rey. Initially, Lourd’s parents did not want to pursue acting, as they both worked in the industry and knew how difficult it could be. During an appearance on The Ellen Show, Lourd shared that J. J. Abrams actually called her in for an audition for Rey. Lourd told Ellen DeGeneres:
“J. J. Abrams called me to come in for Star Wars because he couldn’t find someone for the lead. I went in and he ended up giving me this tiny role with a couple lines and I was super excited. I didn’t know what was going to happen, ended up going and fell in love with it — was weirdly singing Jersey Boys on set, really comfortable.”
The Booksmart actress also shared that once Fisher realized that her daughter was really comfortable in one of the most difficult movie productions in the world, she approved of Lourd’s acting pursuit. Her acting passion is not surprising, considering she had legendary female actresses to mentor her throughout her life – her mother, her grandmother Debbie Reynolds, and her godmother Meryl Streep.
Despite Losing Rey To Daisy Ridley, Billie Lourd Was Excited About Her Small Role
While Daisy Ridley got the lead role, Billie Lourd’s small role was very special to her. Lourd shared her happiness in getting the opportunity to share the screen with her mother before she passed away. Lourd believed that the movie happened to her for this exact reason. It was an incredible experience for Lourd to work with her mother, especially in the franchise that launched her career. Lourd shared with Ellen DeGeneres:
“It was incredible. I’m a big believer in things happening for a reason and I think I ended up in that movie for a reason. It was really incredible for us to have that experience together.”
Lourd played Lieutenant Kaydel Ko Connix, a junior controller in the Resistance, and she went on to play the role in all three films of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. She also served as a body double for her mother’s character Leia’s flashback sequences in The Rise of Skywalker. Apart from Star Wars, Lourd also played various roles in the anthology horror series, American Horror Story.
Following Star Wars, Daisy Ridley also landed several major projects. She starred alongside her husband, Tom Bateman, in Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express. Her upcoming projects include The Marsh King’s Daughter, Young Woman and the Sea, and Magpie, the latter of which was conceived by the actress herself.
All the films in the Star Wars franchise are now available for streaming on Disney+.
Source: TheEllenShow – YouTube