The Force Awakens marketing has been thrusters on full since our last edition on October 27, 2015. On October 31, FANgirl’s post “The Force Awakens Girl Power Marketing in Full Swing” covered the ramping up on a slow burn toward bringing more women into Star Wars’ orbit. The evening of Halloween revealed plenty of young ladies inspired by Daisy Ridley’s character Rey out in Force.
— Jeremy Hunt (@DucainHIH) October 31, 2015
Girl Power Is Fashion Forward
On November 16th, Hot Topic launched their new line of higher end geek chic, similar to the Marvel line from earlier this year. While the line isn’t exclusively tied into The Force Awakens, it does offer many new ways for women to express that Star Wars is for girls. Kessel Runway has been documenting the expansion of fangirl fashion, from Irregular Choice shoes to capsule collections at Matchless London and French Fashion Institute, which featured a Rey costume on display. The Wookiee Gunner recapped Star Wars at Malaysia Fashion Week and Toronto Fashion Week.
Co-star John Boyega joined Ridley for an interview and photoshoot for the fashion site ASOS. Ridley’s go-to food is bananas and she has the music of Wicked and The Lion King on her phone. When asked what it was like to be 20-something, she answered, “for a 20-something woman especially, the opportunities are broader than they were. People’s voices can be heard easier than before. But it’s a scary time to be alive, the world is a scary place. Yet it’s also exciting, with new voices of hope in our generation, like Malala.”
Not all the featured looks modeled by Ridley are available yet. Here are a couple of my favorites.
Earlier this week, Allure posted a teaser look at Rey’s makeup for The Force Awakens, with a more in-depth look set for upcoming print issue. Amanda Knight, the film’s makeup-department head, and hair designer Lisa Tomblin describe the heroine “kicks ass” look, which included getting down and dirty. While the style is minimalistic, it isn’t cheap. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Tom Ford Traceless Foundation
- By TerryCellularose Brightening Lumi-Serum Sunny
- MAC Pigment (Tan)
- Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Kajal Liner (Black Coffee)
- Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow (Taupe)
- Kanebo Mascara
- Banana Boat Mister Sunscreen SPF 50
- Banana Boat Lip Sunscreen
The CoverGirl Jedi look, which can be seen in ads in Entertainment Weekly and Elle, offers a more affordable alternative to Rey’s make-up.
Daisy Ridley has been introduced to newsstands and grocery store check-out lines on the cover of Elle’s December issue.
The Force Awakens is not only her first multizillion-dollar tentpole studio extravaganza: It’s her first movie. Ever. And with due respect to Princess Leia and Queen Amidala, this is no damsel role, nor is it that of supportive sidekick to the guys who are really driving the Millennium Falcon. If the rampant fan speculation on the hundreds of Reddit, StarWars.com, and TheForce.net message boards—along with the whispers out of Hollywood—is true, Ridley’s character, Rey, will be the first female protagonist in the series’ four-decade history.
The print edition reveals this amazing ensemble featuring a haute couture tulle skirt paired with the stylist Simon Robbins own vintage t-shirt. The article uses quotes from Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy, director J.J Abrams, and co-stars Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher to frame the Ridley’s credibility to carry the lead. This is her first movie role, and the seasoned veterans feel they have found the right woman.
In 2015, there was no scenario in which we weren’t going to bring balance to the way we tell these stories. And Daisy had a physicality and a self-confidence that was so important to the character we were looking for. She epitomizes that optimism where anything is possible.
~ Kathleen Kennedy
“When you walked past her in the waiting room, she was just sort of alight,” [Abrams] says of Ridley, who indeed has a face that is literally captivating in its ability to go from fierce and seductive to girlish and cute in the flash of her beaming smile. Abrams saw Ridley four more times before ultimately deciding it would be her to beat out thousands of hopefuls around the globe. “She was so funny and had a great spark,” he continues. “But I had her do a scene where she had to get pretty emotional, and she nailed it on the first take. She was born with this gift to be in the moment and make it her own. She simultaneously works from the inside out and the outside in.”
I wonder if it was this moment he was talking about?
While Harrison Ford reminds Ridley of her dad – it’s the gold hoop earring – the veteran actor notes Ridley’s depth.
I always thought the key to it was creating an emotional reality in context to some very weird and imaginative stuff. Daisy rightly understands that to be a part of the challenge, giving a sense of reality in a context where you have Chewbacca walking around.
Carrie Fisher’s first impression was that Ridley was really shy, but eventually proved her wrong. It might have been in part due to the “Olympics” of acting Abrams says he put his cast through.
“The role that Daisy Ridley plays required her to be both funny and incredibly intense,” Abrams says. “It needed her to respond to the most extreme and horrific situations and also be able to be the most wondrous and joyous in the appropriate moments. It needed her to be as physically efficient as she was dramatically competent.”
How did Ridley feel about playing Rey?
“I felt like I became the best version of myself on set. When I’m playing Rey, it just feels right. It feels… fucking amazing. When I’m her, I’m like, ‘Yeah, I got this.’”
The Elle article creates a great centerpiece for the full fashion push to introduce Star Wars to an audience Lucasfilm hasn’t traditionally embraced in the past, leading more credence to there being a Girl Power angle to the overall marketing plan.
Hollywood’s Rising Star
Ridley and Boyega met Hollywood legend John Williams and listened to the scoring session for their new themes. (via ET)
While Ridley opens up about her own self-doubt as a young actress, she shows confidence in her final audition for Rey, her training regimen, and her intention to pursue a degree. Her role models are Carey Mulligan and Kate Winslet. She speaks about her love of singing and expresses interest in doing a musical. Ridley implies we will learn about Rey’s parents, but the biggest clues about the character come when she talks about her favorite movie:
Matilda. Oh my God, one of our camera guys worked on it, and I was bugging him all day. It almost felt like her journey is similar [to Rey’s] in that Matilda starts with so much she doesn’t really want to be and finds out something about herself that’s special. It’s that thing of a child or a young person or even an older person not feeling happy about what’s going on, feeling like there’s no way to change it, and then suddenly something happens and the possibilities seem endless. It’s about using what you have, what everyone has within them, all the special things about themselves, to make a good life for themselves and those around them.
Boyega and Ridley confess to stealing Harrison Ford’s co-star golf cart. Their friendship is infectious and the press junkets should rival those of The Hunger Games with these two hamming it up.
The One Day in Hollywood video gives an inside glimpse at the photoshoot for The Hollywood Reporter.
In his Wired interview, director J.J. Abrams briefly touches on casting the movie and her interaction with co-star Harrison Ford.
We knew we weren’t just casting one movie—we were casting at least three. That, to me, was the biggest challenge. When we met Daisy Ridley, when we found John Boyega, and then Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver came aboard, we got really excited. And yes, Daisy and John could work together, but what happens when Harrison’s in the mix? What will that feel like? If it doesn’t spark, it’s a fucking disaster. …seeing the sweetness between Han and Rey or the tension and comedy between Han and Finn. It was really exciting to say, “These scenes are working!” We worked really hard to cast and to write and to put it all together, but you just don’t know until you start shooting. Then all of a sudden, you’re on-set watching it and you know. It’s a little bit like having a party and having friends from your new school meet friends from your old school, and you think, “What’s going to happen?”
Entertainment Weekly dropped a Death Star sized load of information in their double issue, including several new images of Rey in their photo gallery. The piece on Daisy Ridley and John Boyega highlights how the young stars are changing Hollywood. Likely Rey, as the female lead in a Star Wars movie will help reinvent the way Hollywood thinks about what type of character can sit in the driver’s seat of a movie, but Ridley won’t have paved the way for female action leads in a genre mega-franchise. She has Jennifer Lawrence’s shoulders to stand on, and hopefully an ear to turn to for advice.
Truly, though, Ridley’s own words in the EW piece suggest she is going to be just fine.
“What we’ve seen of Rey, she looks like she can handle her stuff,” Ridley says. “So most of the comments I get are from parents who say how wonderful it is that their little girls can see this character.”
During filming, Ridley said she and Boyega braced themselves for the public discussion that would eventually come from their casting. “John and I had a conversation last year and we both knew that was how it was going to be. He was going to be the black guy and I was going to be the girl,” she says. “I think neither of those things could ever be a bad thing.”
“My main thing is that people connect with her, regardless of gender, color, age,” says Ridley, who bristles at the word “hero.”
“For me, the idea of her being called a ‘hero’ or a ‘heroine,’ I think that’s almost wrong, because the whole thing is she’s a normal girl going on a journey,” she says. “There’s so much talk about gender, still, and the wage gap, and opportunity for women around the world in different sectors, so to be one of the facial representations of a positive progression is incredible. It’s not a burden… It just seems to me like it’s so simple, and obviously the difficulty then is when you look at other films and go, ‘Oh my god how did you screw up so badly? Why is your cast so white and male?’”
Trailers, Footage, and So Much More!
IGN gave us a glimpse of the beautiful theatrical banner featuring heroine Rey. But how about all that new footage we have seen the past week?
The international trailer, subtitled in Japanese, isn’t quite the thing of beauty as the first official trailer, but it packs some story notes for non-American audiences, who don’t understand Star Wars as a movie genre. We see Rey doing more, in moments of shared danger and solo. Probably most striking shot is Kylo Ren bringing his blade to her neck, a visual that is reminiscent of samurai, and appears to be one of those intense, horrific moments that Abrams mentioned in the Elle piece.
TV spot #1
TV spot #2
Plus the behind the scene look from Disney Channel:
Season of the Force kicked off at Disneyland. Collider has a picture of the blaster we see Han hand to Rey in the new trailers. It is on display with other movie props in Launch Bay.
Speaking of guns, Ridley has been hard at work training for Episode VIII.
— Renaud Roche (@caaalef) November 17, 2015
We’ll be back with more cosplay, fan art, and Daisy Ridley in the next roundup. Don’t forget, you can see Daisy Ridley on Jimmy Kimmel Live next Monday, November 23rd. For now, let’s close this post with the stunning IMAX poster. As of today, The Force Awakens is 30 DAYS AWAY!
Tricia Barr's novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library's successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena's Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.
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