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Daisy Ridley was largely unknown when she was cast in the role of Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. However, it's difficult to call the actress anything other than a movie star by the end of the trilogy. In addition to making the Star Wars films, Ridley also appeared in other high profile projects like Kenneth Branaugh's Murder on the Orient Express and she did voice work for the Peter Rabbit film, but Ridley says that since finishing on Star Wars she's had trouble getting work.
It was so sad to finish. When the film was released, I was like, 'Oh my God.' It was such a huge chapter. And, weirdly, the past few months of not having much… Obviously now it’s really nice to be working, but not having much [at the time] I feel like I processed the last five years. To be forced to slow down, it was good mentally for me because [Star Wars was] a big thing in my life. Weirdly, at the beginning of the year nothing was coming through," she continues. I was like, 'Aww! No one wants to employ me.'
It seems that the dry spell is over and Daisy Ridley has multiple projects on the horizon now, which is good news because ever since the original Star Wars we've seen a trend of actors from the franchise who played major characters in the galaxy, far, far, away not following up on their success there with more success.
There are exceptions of course. Harrison Ford left Star Wars and became, well, Harrison Ford. Natalie Portman already had some big credits to her name before the Star Wars prequels, and she won an Oscar after they were over. But we never saw Mark Hamill go on to become the huge movie star he perhaps could have been in the '80s. Hayden Christensen basically retired shortly after finishing his trilogy.
One could certainly see other movie studios only seeing Daisy Ridley as Rey, and perhaps not feeling she's right for some other role for that reason. And while Ridley will never be able to entirely let go of Star Wars, she's certainly capable of doing a lot more. Interestingly, a lot of what Daisy Ridley has planned going forward is voice work, which is exactly where her Star Wars predecessor Mark Hamill eventually found success. In addition to the 12 Minutes video game, she's adding her voice to Baba Yaga, an Oculus VR experience, and to an Audible audio series.
Of course, with most film productions still closed down there simply aren't a lot of movie options right now, though it seems likely that will change as time goes on.