The stunning transformation of Daisy Ridley

The year 2015 was monumental for Daisy Ridley, as she snagged her breakout role as Rey in Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens, and the British actress' character has proven to be vital in the Star Wars universe. Can you imagine how insane it must have been to ascend to the level of fame she reached so quickly?

But despite her physical prowess and general bada** nature, Ridley wasn't actually born with a lightsaber in one hand and a blaster in the other. Rather, she came into the world the same way we all do. In Ridley's case, she was born as the daughter of an internal communications employee at a bank and a photographer, as noted by Entertainment Weekly.

So just how did Ridley go from a regular British girl to a super fierce, space-traveling Jedi warrior? And how else has she changed along the way? Scroll down to learn all about the stunning transformation of Daisy Ridley.

Daisy Ridley was a loud and feisty tomboy as a kid

Daisy Ridley was born on April 10, 1992 in London, England. In an interview with Vogue, she described her younger self as "a little tomboy," who had a lot of energy. Ridley continued to share what she was like as a kid, saying she was "loud." She continued, "Often very sassy. Insane amounts of energy. I remember asking, 'Was I shy?' And my mum laughing hysterically. She said I used to run into a room and go, 'Helloooo!'"

Daisy Ridley didn't pursue acting until her late teen years

It was her energy as a child that moved Daisy Ridley towards the performing arts. As reported by Vogue, the star went to a performing arts boarding school from ages 9 to 18. She didn't start out with acting, but with singing and gymnastics. As the star told Vogue, the reasoning was actually that she was so energetic that her parents chose that school "literally just to keep me busy, because the days were twelve hours long."

Ridley didn't land on acting specifically until age 17. It started with a girl in her drama class who told Ridley that she couldn't play Lady Macbeth because she didn't have "the right accent," as Vogue reported. Ridley's teacher heard this and gave the future star confidence to push forward. Ridley shared during the interview, "He was like, 'Who the f**k told you you couldn't do Lady Macbeth?'" His confidence helped push Ridley forward.

Daisy Ridley was fired from her first job

Even successful stars have had moments that felt like failure. During an interview with Elle, Daisy Ridley discussed the beginning of her acting career. Her first job didn't go as expected. She shared, "I was actually sacked from my first job.... It was at a workshop for a short film this poet had written, about when she used to work in a strip club. After the first week, I was told not to come back."

But more jobs came. As Ridley shared, she was in a supermarket commercial where she was "eating a pork pie in a way that has never seen anyone so happy." She then received a role in the UK television series Mr. Selfridge.

Daisy Ridley wasn't that nervous for Star Wars

In April of 2014, then-22-year-old Daisy Ridley was announced as a new cast member in Star Wars: Episode VII. Coming into a huge property like Star Wars could have been scary, but Ridley actually saw it as a positive that she was new to the process.

The celeb, who is one of several Star Wars actors who made less than you thought, shared her thoughts during an interview with Variety, saying, "I think I didn't psych myself out.... I wasn't trying to fit into a thing... it was not like I was like, 'Right, I'm the Han; I'm the Leia; I'm the Luke.' I was just like, 'Okay, I'm Rey, just trying to do me, just trying to do this scene, trying to do the right thing,' and I think that was a huge advantage because I think if not, it would've been a very different thing."

Daisy Ridley changed her lifestyle for this major role

And even though Daisy Ridley didn't want the pressure of the Star Wars property to weigh on her, she still put in the time and dedication for her role in the film. This included major shifts in eating and working out. So what was on the menu for the star? As she shared with Elle, this included "lots of fish, legumes, and spirulina shakes."

For training, the star had an intense three-month schedule of working out five hours every day, five days a week. She also was doing stunt practice outside of those hours. During the interview, Ridley spoke to this intense time. While she wasn't able to see family and friends as much, working out ended up being a nice routine for the star. She said, "It became my solace.... Because it's the only thing structured in my life right now. Training is sort of a therapy session, I guess.... It was very weird... because I went from being in the pub, being around quite a bit, to all of a sudden not being able to see anyone."

Daisy Ridley found sudden fame difficult to handle

Finding a routine became very difficult once the film came out. She was only 23-years-old at the time, and received great reviews for her work in the film — but with positive reviews also came a lot of attention for the star. With so much attention from press and fans, Daisy Ridley felt a need to go to therapy to handle the extreme change in her life. After all, it's important to learn ways to care for your mental health and many benefit from seeing a therapist. Ridley opened up about her decision to seek therapy during an interview with Vogue, saying, "I felt like I was sort of reducing myself because I was so worried that people would recognize me." But she turned around her thoughts, and continued on to say, "You know what? I want to dance through life. I don't want to scuttle."

The star's biggest concern was having her perception changed by fame. She said, "I worry that things start to seem normal that aren't normal.... You get rushed through airports, and you never have to queue, and you get tickets to things that you wouldn't otherwise. I think it's important to remind yourself that it's not normal. It's difficult, though, because it is my normal."

Daisy Ridley doesn't feel pressured to have a future plan

Daisy Ridley believes in timing, and this applies in her career as well. As the actress told V Magazine after Star Wars premiered, "My first lead role was ridiculous and amazing for a first film, and for a film in general. I have an amazing agent. I feel really f**king lucky." She also admited she freaked out a little when she didn't have a job lined up after the Star Wars.

She didn't have to worry for long. Shortly after, she was offered the role in the film Murder on the Orient Express. With that film having premiered in November 2017, and the next Star Wars film out in December 2017, the then-25-year-old was thinking about that perfect timing again. "There are things I want to do that I'm too scared to do currently: I really want to do a play and right now, I feel like I'm barely finding my legs doing film. So, eventually I'll do that. There is no plan. For the most part, it's just floating on the breeze."

Acting isn't Daisy Ridley's only talent

As Daisy Ridley's acting career was gaining speed and success, it couldn't be forgotten that she has other skills as well. Ridley's singing training in school eventually came to the attention of her Star Wars director J.J. Abrams.

The director spoke of the actress' talents to E! News, saying, "One day on set, she just started singing and had the most beautiful voice I ever heard."

And because Ridley is fabulous and doesn't do anything small, she showed the world her singing voice by working with the one and only Barbra Streisand. In 2016, 24-year-old Ridley recorded a track with the legend that is Streisand, and Anne Hathaway, who's had her own stunning transformation over the years, was featured on the track as well.

When Carrie Fisher died, Daisy Ridley was traumatized

When Daisy Ridley was on set with the legendary Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia, during The Force Awakens, she was able to get to know the veteran actor, and the pair became good friends. So it's not surprising that Ridley looks back on their time together with great fondness, "Oh my God, she was so sassy and had all these amazing stories," she recalled in an interview with The Guardian. Ridley continued, "She was so smart and so funny. She went through things, like wearing the gold bikini [in Return Of The Jedi], so I didn't end up having to do those things, and I'm so grateful."

Equally unsurprising is that when Fisher tragically passed away in 2016, Ridley like so many people, was crestfallen and couldn't stop crying. But she's thankful that they're using posthumous footage of Fisher in subsequent films. "It's really sad. And it's going to be really sad," she confessed in an interview with GQ. "But also, it's amazing that they have all this footage that is woven into the story in such a strange way."

Daisy Ridley's humble and doesn't want special treatment

While this star may have received great reviews from film critics and landed a singing partnership with a Broadway legend, that doesn't mean Ridley thinks she's a superstar.

Ridley spoke with USA Today about her nerves when she worked on Murder on the Orient Express, on which she worked alongside the likes of Michelle Pfeiffer and Johnny Depp. She said, "I honestly had no room for jokes in my mind that day. I was so freaking nervous.... My hands were fully shaking, I thought, I cannot do this in scene with everyone around."

And she definitely did not think she was above auditioning for any roles after Star Wars. Her desire to stay grounded still comes across. She continued, "I mean, obviously, I had done only one thing. I had to prove myself to be part of anything like this. So I was very happy to (audition).... I know I'm a real newbie."

Daisy Ridley stepped out of her comfort zone for Ophelia

After Daisy Ridley's big debut in The Force Awakens and on the heels of her turn in Murder on the Orient Express, the actress took on a role that really challenged her: She played Hamlet's ill-treated love interest in the 2018 indie film Ophelia. So what was so difficult about playing this particular part? "Well, my main thing — which is why I did Orient Express immediately afterwards — is I really like to be part of the group," she revealed in an interview with Variety. "And I've only really done one like leading thing, which was Ophelia, which was overwhelming. I like to be part of a group of people."

Unfortunately the film was panned by people when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, but Ridley's acting was widely lauded. And though Ophelia was later re-edited and much improved, it didn't get traction in the mainstream markets. "Some people have seen it," she quipped in an interview with GQ. "They were very nice. So to those three people, thank you."

When The Last Jedi opened, Daisy Ridley wasn't in good shape

Despite the fact that by 2017 Daisy Ridley was extremely successful and world-famous, she wasn't doing very well. Thanks to her sudden and intense fame, she was constantly anxious and exhausted by the constant scrutiny that came with it. "I saw a picture of me at the London premiere and I was so skinny and my skin was terrible," she lamented in an interview with GQ. "My body was just f**ked up."

As it turned out, Ridley had literal holes in the wall of her gut because of all of the stress. "I got tests done and it turned out my body was taking in no nutrients," she continued. "I was just like a little skeleton and I was just so tired. I was becoming a ghost."

Fortunately that didn't last forever, and Ridley was eventually able to recover herself.

Although she's world famous now, Daisy Ridley struggles to like herself

It's no doubt intimidating to be thrust at the center of a franchise that is pretty much worshiped by millions of hardcore fans. That's something Daisy Ridley has struggled with a bit, much like her sudden fame, as she sometimes wondered what she was doing as part of the project. "I really am working on liking myself and feeling like I am where I need to be," she shared in an interview with Variety. "And it has been helped by working with people that made me feel good and in a really safe working environment. So I feel like I can do my best work and work with a group of people that I really love."

That support from the Star Wars family has helped Ridley to take it all in, and truly enjoy the ride for all that it is. "I've stopped trying to apologize for doing this because I know how lucky I am," she continued. "I'm having a great time."

Daisy Ridley felt much better on the set of The Rise of Skywalker

Things had turned around for Daisy Ridley by the time she stepped on the set of The Rise of Skywalker. Unlike the previous film in the franchise, this time she was once again part of group scenes, instead of shooting mostly one-on-ones — which made her really happy. "I was so healthy. I was so there. I was just enjoying it," she gushed in an interview with GQ. "With this one, I had such a great time."

Part of that good feeling was due to the fact that director J.J. Abrams had the cast shoot scenes without dialogue, which quickly became a source of great amusement for everyone. "Then it became a joke, because we would just wet ourselves laughing," she continued. "I said to JJ, 'You have to do a bloopers reel,' because I couldn't keep my s**t together at all." Those scenes must be totally hilarious!

Daisy Ridley is prepared to say goodbye to Star Wars

If you weren't already aware of it, The Rise of Skywalker is the last film in the rebooted Star Wars Skywalker franchise. That means that Daisy Ridley is done playing Rey, at least for now, something that she's certainly going to miss. "It feels strange when we're in a group doing things and people ask us how it feels," she explained in an interview with Variety. "Because then you're like [as if in pain] Oh! And we genuinely all really do get along. So that's sad."

At the same time, however, Ridley is ready to say goodbye to both her character and the cast and crew, thanks in part to how the end was written. "But also, I think this story, from what we filmed, [screenwriter] Chris [Terrio] and J.J. [Abrams] have done such an amazing job at wrapping it up, it feels like the right time to say goodbye," she continued. "So even though it's sad, it feels right." 

Daisy Ridley is open to doing horror movies in the future

Since Star Wars wrapped in 2019, you may wonder what's next for Daisy Ridley and what kind of work she's looking for. Interestingly enough, she's not opposed to making the leap to more frightening venues, and that includes horror films. "I'm terrified of horror films, but I like them. So I'd like to be in one," she revealed in an interview with Variety. "But I think it would also, like, screw me up a bit. I feel like you'd have to be living with your family to exorcise the bad juju when you left set." Sounds about right!

Conversely, there is one genre in which Ridley feels like she might struggle, unless she played a specific kind of character. "The one thing I can't see myself doing is comedy because I don't think I'm a funny person," she continued. "But I could be the straight person."

Daisy Ridley isn't shy about her political beliefs

When it comes to discussing her personal life, Daisy Ridley is mum on some topics, such as her love life, which she keeps very private. However, there are some subjects that Ridley is fine talking about, and that includes her political beliefs. "I don't feel I have to edit what I say — the things that make me angry are the things that make everyone angry," she shared in an interview with The Guardian. "Everyone is annoyed with [Boris Johnson]. Everyone has an issue with Trump — every sane person anyway."

That being said, Ridley doesn't consider herself an expert on politics, so she's not one to harp on the topic all that often. But that isn't because she's afraid to speak her mind, or scared to let people know how she really feels. "It's not that I don't talk about this stuff," she continued. "But other people are so much more articulate than me and say it better." Fair enough, Daisy!