“This Is A Religion For People”: Daisy Ridley Reveals J.J. Abrams’ Advice On Star Wars


  • Daisy Ridley received advice from J.J. Abrams about the passionate and obsessive nature of Star Wars fans, causing her to feel isolated and under pressure while playing Rey.
  • Despite facing harassment and backlash from toxic fans online, Ridley has also felt embraced and supported by the majority of the fanbase.
  • Ridley’s return to the Star Wars franchise in an upcoming movie brings hope for a better experience and showcases her optimism for the project and the wider fanbase’s reactions.

Daisy Ridley reveals the key piece of advice director J.J. Abrams gave her ahead of portraying Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Ridley joined the Lucasfilm franchise in the 2015 movie, playing the junkyard scavenger who discovers her powerful heritage across the three movies of the sequel trilogy. While 2019’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker saw Rey finally find her place in the galaxy, the star is set to reprise her role in an upcoming movie centering on her leading a New Jedi Order.

While Ridley is set to return in Sharmeen Obad-Chinoy’s upcoming Star Wars movie, the actor has opened up to Inverse about the pressures the franchise brought when discussing her upcoming feature Sometimes I Think About Dying. Ridley revealed that Abrams warned her about how passionately certain fans treated the franchise and how it would propel her into the limelight, a situation that left her feeling isolated from those around her and left her under so much pressure that she developed holes in her stomach wall between wrapping The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. Check out Ridley’s full explanation below:

“Understand the scale. This is not a role in a movie. This is a religion for people. It changes things on a level that is inconceivable.” When all of the craziness was going on, I was like, “I’m good. I’m good. I’m coping fine. Everything’s fine.” And I was fine, for the most part. But I think what I was really grappling with was that it was my normal, but it was not normal to other people. For friends and family, or any people who see something in a slightly different way than you do, there’s this projection of you, and you in that world, and how it feels to do this and that. And you’re like, “Well, actually, I’m just a human being, separate from that.” It’s quite this wrestle, of the reality and the fantasy that’s often projected onto you.

Star Wars Carried An Immense Emotional Cost For Daisy Ridley

Rey in The Last Jedi

For Ridley, Star Wars helped launch her career into new heights but also brought along with it many unfortunate situations. Following the release of The Force Awakens, a certain subset of the fanbase left displeased with the film out of toxic fandom and bigotry targeted Ridley and other members of the cast on their social media accounts, launching waves of harassment on the actor and her co-stars. The extent of the harassment proved too much, and Ridley stepped away from her online presence in 2016.


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While Ridley stated that she had come to view social media as unhealthy through her experiences, the Star Wars star returned to her Instagram account in 2022 in what she referred to as her “Year of Yes“. Ridley has also shown optimism for her return to the galaxy far, far away on both a creative level through the movie’s outline and the wider fanbase’s reactions. Despite past incidents, Ridley opened up about her positive Star Wars interactions with fans, stating that she has also felt embraced and supported by the majority of fans.

With Ridley having been the face of the Star Wars franchise across the sequel trilogy’s release, the star faced the brunt of much of the backlash from toxic elements of the fanbase. As such, it is understandable how leading the franchise left a negative impact on her mental and physical health, especially at such an early point in her career. However, with Ridley’s positivity for Obad-Chinoy’s feature, many viewers may hope that her return to the franchise provides her with a better experience.

While no clear release window has been given for Ridley’s Star Wars return, Sometimes I Think About Dying releases on January 26 in theaters.

Source: Inverse

Star Wars 10 Poster

Star Wars: New Jedi Order

The tenth mainline installment in the Star Wars franchise is the first movie to follow the sequel trilogy, where Mark Hamill’s Luke, Carrie Fisher’s Leia, and Harrison Ford’s Han Solo gave their final farewell. After the release of The Rise of Skywalker, development on a direct sequel had become dormant as Disney shifted focus on other parts of the galaxy, namely, Disney+ shows such as The Mandalorian, Andor, and Ahsoka. However, a movie starring Daisy Ridley as Rey Skywalker was officially announced at Star Wars Celebration 2023.

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

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