The actress who rose to fame after her debut as Rey in The Force Awakens spoke with British GQ about the highs and lows that have come with being a part of the massively successful franchise. And while coming together with the series’s cast for the filming of the final movie was one of the highs, Ridley explained that it was a “difficult” experience after Fisher, who famously played Princess Leia, passed away in December 2016. For Ridley, in particular, it was an emotional experience as she had the additional challenge of filming scenes with footage that director JJ Abrams unearthed from Fisher’s appearance in The Force Awakens.
“It was definitely difficult,” she said. “It was emotional doing it, because you’re also weirdly picturing her. You’re not picturing how the scene is going to be.”
While she was faced with that challenge, however, Ridley said that she didn’t breach the topic of Fisher’s death with her co-star Mark Hamill, who had known Fisher for 40 years. Although Ridley did reach out to the late actress’s daughter, Billie Lourd, on set to check in on how she was doing.
Ridley also acknowledged that the scenes won’t just be emotional for the cast. She anticipates that Fisher’s appearance will be sad for anyone watching.
“It’s really sad. And it’s going to be really sad,” she said. “But also, it’s amazing that they have all this footage that is woven into the story in such a strange way.”
Still, the most emotional Ridley was on set was while filming the final scene of the shoot, which wrapped up her own trilogy in addition to the movie’s 40-year history.
“The scene was me being very sad,” Ridley said, adding that her tears didn’t stop when Abrams called cut. “Let’s just say it was not hard to be upset in that scene.”
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens Friday. Tickets now on sale via Fandango.
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