For every working actor trying to make it in the business, there are countless more who will never see a big break. So it goes without saying that nabbing a role in a Star Wars movie is like hitting the jackpot.
It almost never happened for Daisy Ridley, as director J.J. Abrams revealed she almost quit acting before she landed the role of Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
“At the beginning she was claiming she was almost done with acting—she’d been working at a pub,” said Abrams in a profile for Vogue.
Before being cast as the mysterious Force-wielding orphan in the new Star Wars trilogy, Ridley only had a few minor roles in British television series to her name. Now she’s one of the most recognized actors in the world thanks to the success of The Force Awakens.
“Like Rey, she has this extraordinary talent, that has seemingly come out of nowhere, and I think Daisy’s just starting to scratch the surface of her skills,” said Rian Johnson, director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Johnson will help shepherd Ridley’s on-screen journey in the next Star Wars movie, which will further explore the character’s mysterious origins in the galaxy far, far away.
The new trailer, released earlier this week on Monday Night Football, features some intriguing imagery that could hint at a turn to the Dark Side for Rey. After making fans fall in love with her character two years ago, she just might be making them hate her when the movie opens in December.
And for an actor who almost considered quitting the business just a few years prior, there are few roles that an actor could ask for that compare to the complexities of navigating the Star Wars galaxy.
We’ll get to see Ridley continue charting Rey’s journey when Star Wars: The Last Jedi premieres in theaters on December 15.