The Sunday Times Magazine: Barmaid Daisy goes galactic in Star Wars

01_NH13FOR_1199389kSHE will soon be on a million lunchboxes, but for four more days she is still the girl next door. Daisy Ridley, the new heroine of Star Wars, has described how she is trying to stay grounded like any young actor in London — despite her role in the most eagerly awaited film of all time.

The leading woman in what could be the world’s first $3bn (£2bn) movie says she would rather stay in to watch The Great British Bake Off than go out partying and thinks she can continue her anonymous life. She has even signed up for an Open University degree in social sciences, taking courses in classics and psychology.

“I don’t look like this every day,” she said in an interview with The Sunday Times. “I’m usually going to the gym on the bus . . . sadly, when I go home, my clothes are crap.”

Told that she looks like Keira Knightley, she said: “I’m just Daisy — I’m not the young anyone.”

Reality is about to hit her. If the Force is not with you, it soon will be. Star Wars: The Force Awakens has set a record for the number of pre-booked tickets in UK cinemas and the three biggest chains have had screens selling out.

Odeon, Europe’s biggest cinema group, says advance bookings are double those for the latest James Bond film, Spectre, and quadruple those of Fifty Shades of Grey.

By next weekend the film in which Ridley stars will have been rolled out across the world, its release compressed into three days to limit demand for pirate copies.

“Odeon is to become a 24-hour operation ahead of the launch of Star Wars: The Force Awakens — which we expect to become the biggest film of all time,” said Andy Edge, commercial director at Odeon UK & Ireland.

Almost all Odeon cinemas will open at a minute past midnight on Thursday and show the film through the night. The seventh Star Wars film is the highest pre-booked film since records began for Vue Entertainment, another of the top three chains. Cineworld has seen tickets for the opening midnight shows and the opening weekend sell out.


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