Beyond being a part of a much-loved movie franchise, the stars of Star Wars are very much incredibly skilled actors in their own right. John Boyega’s work in Attack the Block was simply spectacular, and so was Oscar Isaac’s turn on Ex Machina. However, Daisy Ridley came on as a relative newcomer, and simply stole the show (among other things like a lightsaber seriously that scene still gives me chills).
This video of Ridley’s audition, which BuzzFeed shared earlier today, displays Ridley’s immense acting prowess. You should definitely check it out over on the BuzzFeed website.
Also in the video, J.J. Abrams explains just what they were looking for in the search for Rey. He said:
This character needed to be vulnerable and tough, sweet and terrified. And to find someone that no one knew who could do all these things took a lot of looking.
Judging by the world’s reaction to Rey alone, it’s clear that Abrams and crew totally nailed it when they cast Ridley.
It turns out that the scene they had Ridley read for was one of the most powerful scenes in the entire movie: the Kylo Ren torture scene. Abrams’ choice to not visualize the struggle or the things they talk about really was what made this scene so incredibly powerful. It 100% hinges upon the acting abilities of the two people involved in it. Besides a little bit of clever sound design, and a few subtle lighting choices, the scene would live or die based on how well the two people could convincingly portray a struggle that happens entirely in the mind.
Seeing it play out so well on screen and seeing everybody’s reactions to the scene are testaments to both Ridley and Adam Driver’s talents. It’s quite striking to see how similar Ridley’s audition is compared to the actual scene in the movie–there are tears, and the delivery and expression are nearly the same. That’s how good her read-through was, and that’s how Abrams knew he had found Rey.
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