In search of Rey—the young Jedi in the making who’s job it’ll be to carry the Star Wars franchise into the future—J.J. Abrams saw thousands of actresses, some famous, others not so much. Well, as we all know, Abrams settled on a completely unknown actress named Daisy Ridley, and in a new clip from a behind-the-scenes documentary to be included on the upcoming The Force Awakens Blu-ray, the director explains why.
“What we were looking for was someone new,” Abrams said. “This character needed to be vulnerable and tough, sweet and terrified. And to find someone that no one knew who could do all these things took a lot of looking.”
The clip includes footage from Ridley’s audition, in which she reads lines from the interrogation scene between Rey and Kylo Ren. One glimpse at the anguish, anger, and resolve on her face, and it’s easy to see how Abrams decided to cast an actress with no major credits in one of the most coveted roles of all time.
“She just blew my mind. She’s reaching this depth of struggle, and tears are streaming down her face,” Abrams explained. “I thought, ‘This is unbelievable.’”
Discover more backstage secrets when Star Wars: The Force Awakens comes out on Blu-ray and DVD April 5.