Playing emotional scenes as an actor seems like it would be daunting enough once you’ve gotten the part and you’re on set in costume with fellow actors. But to play them in a what is basically a job interview has got to be especially difficult. Turns out that’s exactly what actress Daisy Ridley had to do when she auditioned for the part of Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And it obviously turned out well for her, as anyone who saw the movie knows.
In a teaser clip from the upcoming DVD release of the movie, director JJ Abrams talks about the process of searching for the right actress to play the role of Rey, and how Daisy played arguably the character’s most emotionally difficult scene — being tortured by Kylo Ren — as part of the audition. I mean, it certainly seems like it would be a more accurate indicator of who can really nail the performance rather than just a boring scene where nothing really happens. But wow, that must be really difficult to do in a setting like that. Daisy did an amazing job, though, as you can see in the brief glimpse we get in the video.
Watching auditions always makes me a weird combination of impressed and uncomfortable. Impressed because actors really have to deliver in a tiny little room where everyone’s in their regular clothes and the person reading lines to them is usually not the best at it. Uncomfortable because displaying emotion like that in any context makes me squirmy, so the idea of doing it on command in front of a group of strangers is terrifying. Which is why I’m not an actor. Well, that and many other reasons.