How Daisy Ridley Deals with Star Wars Fame: Therapy and Calls with Her Mom – Vanity Fair
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is barely two months away, and if the hype surrounding the latest trailer wasn’t enough evidence of the promotional machine roaring to life, the latest cover of Vogue certainly is. Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey, the dirt-encrusted scavenger turned hero, is the face of Vogue’s November issue, where she spoke of going from relative nobody to one of the most recognized faces in the galaxy.
Ridley was a virtual unknown when she landed the role of Rey in 2014, but being rocketed to fame as part of a Star Wars film wasn’t the only hard part. She told Vogue’s Gaby Wood about the pressure to give a sophomore performance that meets or exceeds her much-praised one in The Force Awakens, and how starring in one of longest-running and beloved franchises in American film history compounded that pressure. “Everything was so confusing,” she told Vogue. “People were recognizing me—I still don’t know how to handle it. My skin got really bad because I was stressed. It was crippling. I just felt so seen and so self-conscious.”
It didn’t help that fans would literally show up on her doorstep, asking for autographs. “I literally went, ‘No fuckin’ way,’” she said, and admitted that she had a monthly phone call with her mother in which she told her “‘I’m not equipped to deal with this!’” while in “hysterical tears.”
Soon, she found therapy. “I felt like I was sort of reducing myself because I was so worried that people would recognize me,” the actress said, and realized, “You know what? I want to dance through life. I don’t want to scuttle.”
Ridley also made a splash in August last year when she quit Instagram without much fanfare. After a reflective post on gun violence, her comment section filled up with arguments both for gun control and against and, inevitably, attacking her. Twenty-five-year-old Ridley says now she realized she had “a lot of growing up to do” and would rather do some of it outside the public eye’s range.
There was one thing she has learned and learned it quick: never talk about your dating life. The late Carrie Fisher delivered that bit of advice direct to her (Fisher died last December). It’s hard to date once you’re a big Star Wars star “because you don’t want to give people the ability to say, ‘I had sex with Princess Leia,’” Fisher once told her. Ridley has taken it to heart. She refused to even discuss romance or rumors, and only offered this promise when asked if she was currently seeing anyone: “I’m not saying.”