Daisy Ridley might be the woman of the moment right now in Hollywood. In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, her portrayal of Rey has wowed audiences and critics and made her toys and action figures fly off the store shelves this holiday season. Fans will have to wait until 2017 for Episode VIII to find out more about her mysterious connection to Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber, but fans eager for anything Ridley can dip their toes into another classic: Isao Takahata’s Only Yesterday.

Ridley voices the lead character in the Studio Ghibli animated film, which is finally getting a North American release 25 years after it was a hit in Japan. Set in the early 1980s, Only Yesterday tells the story of Taeko, a single 27-year-old who’s lived her whole life in Tokyo. Traveling to visit her family in the country, she reflects on her childhood in a series of flashbacks to examine whether she’s been true to the girl she used to be.

“I think the reason probably this is such a loved film and will continue to be so is because it doesn’t feel foreign,” says Ridley, in an exclusive video interview, above. “It feels exactly right, like, how do you make your dreams come true?”


Takahata (The Tale of the Princess Kaguya) crafted an animated film that was just as much for adults as children — perhaps more so — and it’s been heralded for years as one of the best ever made in the genre. Ridley and Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) will be the primary voices when it finally screens in American theaters. It opens Jan. 1 in New York at IFC Center, and will open in additional cities in February.

You can hear Ridley in the Only Yesterday trailer above.