Eagle-eyed viewers of Star Wars: The Force Awakens will have caught Billie Lourd’s role as a Resistance fighter, sporting the same bun hairstyle that once made her mother, the late Carrie Fisher, so famous as Princess Leia. But apparently, Lourd originally had her sights set slightly higher, as she told Ellen DeGeneres in a new interview.
“J.J. Abrams called me to come in for Star Wars because he couldn’t find someone for the lead,” Lourd told DeGeneres. “He ended up finding Daisy Ridley, who’s an incredible actress — so talented! But I went in and he ended up giving me this tiny role with a couple lines. I was super excited.”
Ridley, of course, will have her work cut out for her in the upcoming sequel Star Wars: The Last Jedi, as Rey has to convince Luke Skywalker himself to rejoin the good fight.
And while she didn’t wind up playing Rey, Lourd’s small role meant she got to star alongside her mother in the galaxy far, far away.
“It was incredible,” she said. “I’m a big believer in things happening for a reason and I think I ended up in that movie for a reason. It was really incredible for us to have that experience together.”
Check out the Ellen clip above, and stay tuned for more of EW’s Star Wars coverage.