There was a point, long before she ended up appearing in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, where Jessica Henwick was vying for a major role in the iconic cosmic franchise. While she eventually ended up appearing on-screen as X-Wing pilot Jessika Pava, Henwick was initially in the running to play Rey, a role that eventually went to Daisy Ridley. In a recent profile with NME, Henwick admits getting passed on for the role was something difficult for her to come to terms with, especially after a "very long, very arduous" process that took upwards of six months.
“It was very hard for me when I didn’t get it,” the upcoming actor says in the extensive profile. “But I see why – Daisy did such an incredible job and it was 100 per cent her journey to make. It wasn’t meant for me – my life would have been completely different!”
In addition to an on-screen role in The Force Awakens, Pava has become a favorite amongst fans of Star Wars comics, as she managed to land a starring role in the initial Poe Dameron comic series.
Henwick first revealed she was in the running for the position earlier this year, right around the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. "Oh my God, dude," Henwick recalled at the time. "That was f-cking six months. That was a long one. I was auditioning for a different character, actually, so I spent six months auditioning for that character."
"And then, at the end, J.J. said, 'I want you to be in the film, but I want to write a character for you,'" the actor continued. "That’s how Jess Pava was created. So, it was a very, very long experience. It’s hard because I’ve been doing this long enough to know that you go in, audition, put it to the back of your mind, don’t think about it and don’t get emotionally invested."
After landing the appearance in The Force Awakens, Henwick went on to star in HBO's Game of Thrones, Marvel TV's Iron Fist, and is now an upcoming action star. She recently appeared alongside Dylan O'Brien in Love and Monsters and before long, she'll enter The Matrix, starring alongside the likes of Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Ann Moss in The Matrix 4, a movie currently in production.
The entire Star Wars Skywalker Saga is now streaming on Disney+.