Daisy Ridley has taken overnight fame with almost effortless style and grace. And with 2018’s schedule again putting her up in lights – including for new film Ophelia, which gets its first airing next month at the Sundance Film Festival – you might think that a tad of the A-list diva would creep into the Hertfordshire-born actress’s mannerisms. But as we discover, the opposite is true…
Q: You’ve made a mark, playing strong female characters. Are you proud of this and was it intentional?
DAISY: I think it’s often what you’re drawn to, as a person. Yes, it’s important that more films are made where women are shown telling their own stories and that neither the female character nor her story is dependent on the male character. And we need to have more films where you have the female lead responsible for her own journey, and where you see the story told more from her perspective, but intentional? I don’t think so.
Q: There has been lots in the news about the empowerment of women in the industry. Do you feel that?
DAISY: I do feel it, and there is something special happening at the moment, but I’m not going to delve too far into that because, right here and now, I’m just trying to make good movies.
I want to push everything forward, but for myself, and done with honesty.
Q: On that note, you’ve been very down to Earth about your beauty regime in the past. Why is that?
DAISY: I’ve always said it’s very important to push realism – in shapes and sizes, and also our skin and hair as well. I don’t think the secret to looking after yourself is anything new or anything special, so there’s no need to lie about it, but I certainly would never want to present myself as this impossible figure to aspire to, because that’s just not me. And I don’t want to set bad examples to girls or women.
Q: Has your world started to feel different given the incredible success you have had?
DAISY: The reality is I’ve been able to meet a lot of very talented and interesting people and I’ve enjoyed getting to visit a lot of different cities recently. But I can still ride the bus and train and nobody recognises me or stares at me. Things have started to change, but not to the point where life is impossible. I’ve said it before, but look at someone like Carey Mulligan – she’s done an awful, awful lot, and the roles she’s taken are absolutely incredible. And her life is still private.
Q: Did your upbringing suggest acting could be on the cards?
DAISY: Well I went to a school called Tring Park School for the Performing Arts. I went because initially I was very naughty, and my mother, Louise, thought if I was busy, I’d be better. As a child I was very active and boisterous. I didn’t like studying – I preferred to run and roll around in the sand instead of playing with dolls.
I ended up having an incredible drama teacher, so he was probably the first person that made me think I could do it as a profession. But even after I left school, I went traveling. I went to India for a few months and then I started auditioning. My sister asked me, ‘Why do people want to be actors?’ I had no answer. I’m not totally sure of my capabilities. I felt like a total novice compared to everyone I worked with… It still feels weird to me.
Q: You’ve spoken before about following in the footsteps of your Great Uncle (Arnold), who was in Dad’s Army. Does that feel important?
DAISY: I wouldn’t say it feels ‘important’ in the traditional sense of the word – it’s more important I do my own thing and follow my own path. But of course, as a tribute to him, and to my dad, who also acted when he was younger, it feels very special to ensure this ‘thing’, if you can call it that, keeps going. It’s because something of a family tradition, I guess, and those are always special.
Well, we certainly agree with that. Find out what Helena Christensen told us about the most beautiful people in the world often being ugly on the inside, here’s what Olympian Rebecca Adlington revealed about her thoughts on body image and this is Eva Longoria’s look good, feel fantastic routine.