J.J. Abrams knew the Force was strong with Daisy Ridley as soon as he saw her in action.
In a new behind-the-scenes video for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the director recalls the search for the perfect actress to play the scavenger heroine Rey. “What we were looking for was someone new,” Abrams says. “And 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.”
They stopped looking when they found Ridley.
“She just blew my mind,” Abrams says of the British actress’ first audition, the scene in which Rey resists interrogation from the evil Kylo Ren. “She’s reaching this depth of struggle and tears are streaming down her face. I thought, ‘This is unbelievable.'”
Check out a clip from Ridley’s audition above. Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits Digital HD today and will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on April 5.