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April 10: Happy Birthday Daisy Ridley

Daisy Ridley is celebrating her 26th birthday today. She grew up in the London area and attended the Tring Park School for the Performing Arts (alma mater of Julie Andrews, among others), and briefly studied at the University of London. In 2013 she began working in British television, making appearances on series like Casualty and Silent Witness; she also appeared in a number of short films in 2013-14. The Inbetweeners 2 would have been her film debut, but her one scene was cut from the final edit. She made a horror film titled Scrawl, and then rocketed to worldwide fame in the role of Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Ridley had a quiet 2016 in terms of film releases; she was an executive producer for, and narrated, the documentary The Eagle Huntress. Last year she played Mary Debenham in Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express, and then took up her lightsaber again for The Last Jedi. She is the voice of Cottontail Rabbit in the recent release Peter Rabbit, and plays the title role in Ophelia, the re-imagining of Shakespeare’s Hamlet (adapted from the novel by Lisa Klein), which screened at Sundance. Next year she will star as Viola Eade in Chaos Walking, based on the first novel in the series by Patrick Ness, and also star in the as yet untitled Star Wars IX.