When Daisy Ridley was cast as the lead in The Force Awakens, she was relatively new to the acting scene. It was the opportunity of a lifetime, but Ridley also had to confront the pitfalls of her new fame. Fortunately, a special someone was on hand to offer helpful advice ... someone who'd been there before.
Daisy Ridley Recalls The Dating Advice That Carrie Fisher Gave Her
In a recent interview with Vogue to promote The Last Jedi, Ridley discussed how she was unprepared for the pressures of stardom, especially as part of such a cultural behemoth. Fortunately for her, iconic screen-legend Carrie Fisher could relate to many of these stresses, since she had battled with them during her long career.
In the interview, Ridley spoke very highly of the late, great actress, and revealed how indebted she was to Fisher for all of her support at such a formative time. While the two women bonded on set, Fisher strongly cautioned Ridley about dating the wrong type, because:
[Y]ou don’t want to give people the ability to say ‘I had sex with Princess Leia.'
Wow, Fisher certainly had a way with words, didn’t she? And it's not just the female stars who have had struggles with the attention that Star Wars brings, since John Boyega recently recalled how one of his relationships fell victim to his Finn-induced fame.
Carrie Fisher conceded that she hadn't always followed her own advice "along the way," but it's clear that she wanted her co-stars to avoid making the same mistakes that she did. Because, let's face it, Carrie Fisher’s cutting observation does raise a very good point about the relationship between celebrities and their fans.
Public Vs. Private Lives
The majority of readers will naturally be able to recognize the distinction between an actor and their character, but to a great many others, reality and fiction are blurred. Fisher regretfully advised Daisy Ridley that, as a talented charming actress in this franchise:
[Y]ou're going to have people [who] have fantasies about you ... [and] that will make you uncomfortable...
Sure, we know that lots of our favorite actors and actresses are eager to play beloved (and very prominent) characters, and we're aware that they love to engage with their fans. But there is most definitely a point where their “duty” to the public ends and their right to privacy begins.
You might think, “Eh, these Celebrities chose that life," or "they’re paid enough to deal with it," but it’s hard for readers to imagine just how invasive fans and paparazzi can be. You wouldn’t have the freedom to go out to certain places, or get together with particular people, in the same way that non-celebrities do. Our all-prevalent social media is partly to blame for enabling this, as does the incorrect belief that life in the public eye means being effectively "owned" by the public.
Moreover, with numerous actresses being objectified and shamed for their lifestyle choices off-camera, it’s clear that being a celebrity is an even harder way of life if you’re a woman. Heck, the movie industry is harder for ladies, full stop! Carrie Fisher should be applauded for her savvy mentoring of Daisy Ridley, yet in an ideal world it wouldn't have been necessary.
With recent developments in the entertainment industry fresh in our minds, what’s obvious is that our attitudes toward women need to undergo a fundamental change. At conventions and in chance encounters, fans need to ensure that our favorite film stars feel as safe and respected as we would want to feel in their shoes.
Nevertheless, Daisy Ridley isn’t allowing herself to wallow in the pitfalls of her fame. She says that she always tries to maintain a positive outlook, especially in terms of the opportunities that she’s been gifted:
I’m very aware that there are thousands of other people who could do what I do much better... I’m counting my blessings that I get to be one of [those] people working.
Well said, Daisy! Fans across the world are already counting down the days until we see Rey return in The Last Jedi on December 15th. And, as ever, we all hope that the Force is with her.