Daisy Jazz Isobel Ridley (born 10 April 1992) is an English actress who rose to international prominence through playing the role of Rey in the Star Wars sequel trilogy: The Force Awakens (2015), The Last Jedi (2017), and The Rise of Skywalker (2019).
Daisy Jazz Isobel Ridley
10 April 1992
|Education||Tring Park School for the Performing Arts|
|Partner(s)||Tom Bateman (2017–present)|
|Relatives||Arnold Ridley (great-uncle)|
She has also featured as the title character of the romantic drama Ophelia (2018), appeared in the mystery film Murder on the Orient Express (2017), and lent her voice to the animated Peter Rabbit (2018).
Daisy Jazz Isobel Ridley was born on 10 April 1992 in the London borough of Westminster, and grew up in Maida Vale. She is the youngest of three daughters born to Louise Fawkner-Corbett, a banker, and Christopher Ridley, a photographer. She has two older sisters, Kika Rose and Poppy Sophia, as well as two older half-sisters. Her mother's family, the Fawkner-Corbetts, were landed gentry with a military and medical background. Her paternal great-uncle, Arnold Ridley, also served in the military, and separately forged a career as a playwright and actor (notably playing Private Godfrey in the sitcom Dad's Army); his brother, Daisy's grandfather, John Harry Dunn Ridley, OBE, was head of the Engineering Secretariat at the BBC from 1950 to 1965.
Ridley has stated that while growing up, her favourite film was Matilda (1996), an adaptation of Roald Dahl's children's story, naming the title character (played by Mara Wilson in the film) as a role model. While not a particularly strong Star Wars fan as a youth, she dedicatedly followed the Harry Potter series.
Ridley won a scholarship to Tring Park School for the Performing Arts in Hertfordshire, which she attended from ages nine to 18. She then began reading classical civilisation at Birkbeck, University of London, before dropping out to focus on her acting career. Prior to being cast in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Ridley worked as a barmaid in two different pubs in London for nearly two years. In 2016, she began studying for a Bachelor of Arts in social science through online courses with the Open University.
2013–2015: Early roles and Star Wars breakthrough
Ridley began her career with minor roles in the television programmes Youngers, Toast of London, Silent Witness, Mr Selfridge, and Casualty. She appeared in the short film Blue Season, which was entered into the Sci-Fi-London 48-Hour Film Challenge. Ridley played the lead in film three of Lifesaver, an interactive film which was nominated for a BAFTA Award. She also appeared in the music video for Wiley's song "Lights On", playing the character of Kim. Ridley made her film debut in the 2015 British independent horror film Scrawl, after her scenes from the British comedy film The Inbetweeners 2 were removed in the final cut.
In April 2014, the casting of Ridley as Rey, one of the lead characters in The Force Awakens, was announced. She was cast for the film in February 2014. At the time of her casting she was, according to Rolling Stone, a "total unknown." Her choice by director J. J. Abrams was seen as a repeat of George Lucas' move of casting relatively unknown actors for the lead roles in the first Star Wars film in 1977.
Ridley began filming her scenes in May 2014 at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, and prior to the film's release in December 2015, she appeared at the launch of a set of Star Wars postage stamps issued by the UK postal service Royal Mail, with her character Rey featuring on a stamp along with the droid BB-8. With international revenues of over $2 billion, The Force Awakens was a major box-office hit and the highest-grossing film of 2015. Her performance received critical acclaim, with Richard Roeper describing her portrayal as "a breakout performance" and adding "Ford has a terrific father figure chemistry [shared] with Ridley and [John] Boyega".
2016–present: Continuing career
Ridley became executive producer of the documentary The Eagle Huntress in January 2016, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on 24 January 2016; she also recorded narration for the film's wide release. Ridley was one of several actors featured on Barbra Streisand's 2016 album Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway. Along with Anne Hathaway, Ridley and Streisand perform the song "At the Ballet" from A Chorus Line, with Ridley performing the role of Bebe, one of a trio of dancers hoping to be cast in a forthcoming show.
In 2017, Ridley portrayed Mary Debenham in Murder on the Orient Express, an adaptation of Agatha Christie's detective novel of the same name. Directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh, production began in London in November 2016. She also reprised her role as Rey, opposite Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which was released in December 2017.
In January 2018, Ridley starred in the titular role in Ophelia, a reimagining of the Hamlet tale, alongside Naomi Watts and Clive Owen. The project was filmed from April to July 2017 and debuted at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. In February 2018, Ridley voiced the role of Cottontail in Peter Rabbit, an adaptation of the children's stories of the same name by Beatrix Potter.
In December 2019, Ridley appeared as Rey in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the last film in the sequel trilogy. She is not expected to reprise her role again after this film, and is quoted as saying, "I don't think anything could top [The Rise of Skywalker] for this character." However, she does show interest in returning as the character if needed, saying "[...] never say never. I’m always open to a revisit. But also the beautiful thing is it’s this wonderful, huge universe with all of these stories that have yet to be told. I think there’s a lot of cool things to be made before any potential revisit." She also reflected on her co-star Boyega's opinion that if more films were made without her involvement, she would feel left out.
In 2021, Ridley co-starred in the film Chaos Walking, an adaption of the young-adult novel by Patrick Ness. She played Viola Eade, opposite Tom Holland who played Todd Hewitt. The film was released on March 5, 2021. The film had been delayed occasionally due to poor test screenings that followed the film's reshoots, and later due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It received negative reviews and was a box-office flop.
In 2016, Ridley revealed she had been diagnosed with endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome at age 15, requiring her to undergo multiple laparoscopic surgery procedures. She states that her endometriosis left her feeling low in self-confidence due to acne that followed.
Following the 2016 Teen Choice Awards, which paid tribute to victims of gun violence, Ridley posted on both Instagram and Facebook an anti-gun violence message. Her post prompted backlash from the public, with critics accusing the actress of hypocrisy in reference to the violence depicted in Star Wars. Ridley has since quit social media in response to the harassment, though she briefly returned to Instagram, claiming the reason behind the deletion was because she had "a busy few months ahead [and] so wanted less distractions". She reiterated this statement in 2017, saying that social media is "highly unhealthy for people's mental health," including hers. Ridley further commented on the topic in a 2019 interview, vowing never to return to social media. She stated:
- "I honestly think now with social media and stuff...it's great to have freedom of expression, but I do feel like people think opinions have so much weight... I don't really think bad vibes should have the sun shone on them. [...] It's dangerous. [...] It's great in that respect for people who are in serious and dire situations to be able to be communicating, but for the most part I think — no, no, no."
Ridley is a vegan.
|Blue Season||Sarah||Short film|
|100% BEEF||Girl||Short film|
|Crossed Wires||Her||Short film|
|Star Wars: The Force Awakens||Rey|
|2016||Only Yesterday||Taeko Okajima||Voice; English dub|
|The Eagle Huntress||Narrator||Documentary; also executive producer|
|2017||Murder on the Orient Express||Mary Debenham|
|Star Wars: The Last Jedi||Rey|
|Peter Rabbit||Cottontail Rabbit||Voice|
|2019||Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker||Rey|
|2021||Chaos Walking||Viola Eade|
|TBA||The Marsh King's Daughter||Helena Petterier||Filming|
|2013||Casualty||Fran Bedingfield||Episode: "And the Walls Come Tumbling Down"|
|Youngers||Jessie||Episode: "A to B and the Apology"|
|Toast of London||Charlotte||Episode: "Vanity Project"|
|2014||Silent Witness||Hannah Kennedy||Episode: "Fraternity" (2 parts)|
|Mr Selfridge||Roxy Starlet||Episode 2.8|
|2017–2018||Star Wars Forces of Destiny||Rey||Voice; 7 episodes|
|2021||The Great Celebrity Bake off For Stand Up to Cancer||Herself as contestant||Series 4; Episode 1|
|27th Screen Actors Guild Awards||Herself||Presenter for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role|
|2010||The Boy Friend||Nancy||Musical|
|2015||Disney Infinity 3.0||Rey||Star Wars: The Force Awakens playset|
|2016||Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens|
|2017||Star Wars Battlefront II|
|2020||The Dawn of Art||Guide|
Theme park attractions
|2019||Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance||Rey||Disney's Hollywood Studios|
Awards and nominations
|2015||Zed Fest Film Festival||Outstanding Acting Performance||
|Florida Film Critics Circle||FCC Breakout Award||Won|
|2016||Central Ohio Film Critics Association||Breakthrough Film Artist||Nominated|
|Georgia Film Critics Association||Breakthrough Award||Nominated|
|EDA Awards||Best Female Action Star||Nominated|
|Best Breakthrough Performance||Nominated|
|Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite Movie Actress||Nominated|
|Empire Awards||Best Female Newcomer||Won|
|MTV Movie Awards||Best Female Performance||Nominated|
|Best Breakthrough Performance||Won|
|Best Fight (with Adam Driver)||Nominated|
|Saturn Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Actress – Sci-Fi/Fantasy||Nominated|
|Choice Movie: Chemistry (with John Boyega)||Nominated|
|Choice Movie: Breakout Star||Won|
|2018||Empire Awards||Best Actress||Won|
|Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite Movie Actress||Nominated|
|MTV Movie Awards||Best Performance in a Movie||Nominated|
|Saturn Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Fantasy Movie Actress||Nominated|
|Choice Drama Movie Actress||
Murder on the Orient Express
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