Daisy Ridley and John Boyega discuss preparing for Star Wars stardom
While it's incredibly cool that we'll be seeing Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) once more, it's a testament to the marketing campaign, and the actors themselves of course, that I'm just as excited, if not more so, to finally see Finn, Rey, Poe, Kylo Ren, and all the other new characters on the big screen. It's likely that STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS will be making stars out of John Boyega (Finn) and Daisy Ridley (Rey), and our brand new Star Wars heroes spoke with THR where they discussed auditioning, secrecy, their characters, and preparing for the stardom which STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS will be bringing their way.
Daisy Ridley on auditioning for Rey:
I had heard about the role quite a while before I auditioned, and I emailed my agent that I have this really weird feeling; I really feel like I need to audition. Then months went by and the same people were reading for it. But I still really had this feeling of needing to read for it. So I emailed my agent again for an audition. I had four or five auditions over seven months, and it was a very emotional time. My first few auditions really didn't feel good, but my last audition suddenly felt like something clicked. You're so desperate to get a role, but I felt like even if I didn't get it, I did a good job, I'd done myself proud.
John Boyega on whether he's worried about the effects, be they positive or negative, that the film will have on his career:
None of it. I am all about opportunity. I'm all about story. When J.J. signed on as director I was very much interested to come and read for him. It was just a matter of whether or not I could do the job, and apparently I could. For me, it's just all about making sure that this is a really cool film. That [Finn] the best character I can make him. In terms of it being a failure for some actors and all that stuff, it's been a long time since the last Star Wars movie came out. I haven't been scared with the risks and all that stuff. As an actor I wanted to do a great, great piece. As a fan as well.
On the development of Finn:
I think I'm always interested in characters that start off one way and end another. I find it very boring to have to read a script where the character always knows what to do, knows who they are, has a blueprint for their lives. I just feel that sort of character is painted for a perfect story. What has always interested me, and what has interested a lot of people, are the characters that are unlikely. The characters that don't necessarily fit or match the status quo. Finn isn't a guy you would expect to be involved in this story. The fact that he's a Stormtrooper. We don't [usually] go into [Stormtroopers'] pasts or lives much: how the dynamics work for them, how they were recruited — we don't ever really see much about the past there. It was interesting to me to have that kind of character.
Daisy Ridley on keeping her casting a secret:
I got home and told my mum and dad and sister, but then I couldn't tell anyone for three months, knowing that something monumental had happened in my life. The day before they were going to do the announcement, I was talking to my mum, and I said, "I've wanted to tell everyone for ages and now I don't want to." And she said it was like being pregnant, when you're desperate for the baby to come out and then the baby's there and you're like, "Go away, go away. I can't handle it." Once everyone knew it was a whole other thing.
On the similarities and differences between Rey and herself:
The main difference is that she didn't have a family and I have a family that I'm close to. Otherwise I'd say the way we deal with things is similar. She faces a lot of challenges throughout the film, and the way she reacts to things I think is kind of the way anyone would. That's why I think she's so universal and brilliant: She's frightened but she faces up to what she needs to. And she's brave and smart, and you see an entire emotional spectrum of her throughout the film. She's not a superhero. She's a normal girl thrust into extraordinary circumstances, so it's very relatable. It's an emotional story about a girl on a journey, but the story is a lot more than that.
John Boyega on the most surreal part of being part of STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, so far:
I think just watching the trailers, for me. That's surreal. It doesn't get realer than that. We went to Comic-Con, met the fans, but watching the actual content is ridiculous. I've never seen myself in that kind of format before — in a movie that is probably the biggest movie of all time. It's a culture. It's like a religion for some people. It's like, it's so crazy to see yourself heavily involved in it.
Daisy Ridley on her worst on-set habit:
Once J.J. bet me that I couldn't go a full day without singing — and I almost finished the day and I started singing again! When I feel comfortable, I just like to sing and hum, and I don't even know I'm doing it. But sometimes someone will come over to me like, "I love that song you were singing, but it's distracting."
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS finally arrives on December 18, 2015.
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