December 11, 2015 / 6:00 PM / 4 years ago

Actress Daisy Ridley on major 'Star Wars' role: 'it's very odd'

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - When the much-anticipated “Star Wars” film opens next week, little-known British actress Daisy Ridley will undoubtedly become one of the most recognized faces in the world.

Cast member Daisy Ridley waves as she walks into a news conference for her upcoming movie "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" in Urayasu, Chiba prefecture, the suburbs of Tokyo, Japan, December 11, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

The 23-year-old plays scavenger Rey in “The Force Awakens”, a central character in the sci-fi movie. The reality of getting such a coveted role has not yet sunk in for the actress, whose past credits include a few television series appearances.

“It’s not ever something I pictured so it’s a very odd thing, very odd,” Ridley told Reuters in an interview.

“When I first got cast, no one could know, so it’s three months of me going ‘alright I can deal with this, this is me’,” she said. “And then everyone else knew, and it was like ‘OK, there’s a few more people to deal with now’.”

“The Force Awakens”, the first “Star Wars” film in 10 years, also stars the saga’s old hands Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill as well as newcomers John Boyega and Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.

“I started auditioning two years ago ... and it took like seven months and five auditions and then I got cast,” Ridley said. “I think they were just seeing many, many girls because obviously, if they weren’t, then I would never have been seen.”

Details have been kept secret ahead of the film’s premiere in Los Angeles on Monday except for a few outlines about the characters.

“It’s incredibly funny but touching and the story obviously is character-led, so there’s all of the fun stuff,” Ridley said. “And then there’s just a wonderful human story at the center of it.”

Ridley is one of the few people who has seen the film ahead of its premiere. She said her reaction after was unexpected.

“I pretended that I was fine for about an hour and then got in the car and wept the whole way to the airport,” she said. “Many, many tears.”

Reporting By Rollo Ross in Los Angeles; Writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian in London; Editing by Tom Heneghan

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