Being asked to play the lead role in a film that will undoubtedly be heavily scrutinized by an army of fans who apparently have nothing better to do would be enough to make anyone curl into a ball and start weeping. But British actress Daisy Ridley doesn’t need any extra motivation to cry on cue: She can turn on the waterworks any time she wants, as handily demonstrated in some remarkable behind-the-scenes footage of her audition for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
The J.J. Abrams-directed sequel becomes available on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital download in April, and the official Star Wars Facebook account is already previewing some scenes from the bonus material. In her quest to win the role of Rey, one of Ridley’s audition’s scenes was an interrogation sequence between her and the vindictive Kylo Ren. Things got intense quickly, and as this footage shows, Ridley is not one to do things by half measure:
In the clip, Abrams himself talks about how difficult it was to find Ridley. She had to be a virtual unknown, but also able live up to the writer-director-producer’s imposing list of adjectives: “vulnerable and tough and sweet and terrifying.” Abrams doesn’t specifically say that the actress who played Rey had to be able to make tears stream down her face at a second’s notice, in take after punishing take, but that clearly helped Ridley land the job.