For her latest movie, “Sometimes I Think About Dying,” Daisy Ridley plays Fran, a drab, standoffish, occasionally obnoxious office worker. Strangely enough, she found it exciting.
“Fran is a woman who loves her job; she loves her routine,” Ridley said in a video interview from London. “She thinks about dying, but she doesn’t want to die. She has just created this very rich inner world for herself because she struggles to connect with people in a real-life way.”
Then a new guy moves into a cubicle near hers.
“I would not say the film is one of fireworks,” she said. “I would describe it as embers of something being ignited.”
Ridley is of course better known for her role as Rey in the “Star Wars” films. She will wield her lightsaber once again in the upcoming “Star Wars: New Jedi Order,” although she hadn’t yet read the script when we spoke.
“What I know is the story is really cool, really exciting and very worthwhile,” she said, before explaining why hot baths and reality TV and “Small Worlds” by Caleb Azumah Nelson and Stormzy’s “This Is What I Mean” are among her cultural necessities. “I did not think I would be coming back, but when I was told the story, I was like, ‘OK, that’s [expletive] awesome.’”
These are edited excerpts from the conversation.
I did a film called “Young Woman and the Sea,” about the first woman to swim the [English] Channel, a German American called Trudy Ederle. I was doing an awful lot of swimming, and my body was pretty messed up afterward. My spine felt like it had been a bit compressed. So since that movie, whenever I roll, my back goes crrrkk the whole way. But there’s nothing nicer than the feeling.
I went to a Chinese doctor, and she was saying it’s good to always keep your feet warm. I take that very seriously. In England, it’s cold, and I like the coziness of a good thick pair of socks. Also, I was living in a hotel for the last film I did, and I don’t want my feet touching the floor that has probably been touched by a thousand feet.
I’m partial to a hot sauce, and Frank’s for me encompasses every cuisine and basically makes everything better. As someone that doesn’t really like to fill my trailer with anything, I did take Frank’s hot sauce because it brings light to my life.
Baths as Escapism
There’s something wonderful about wallowing in a lovely hot bath. If I’m shooting, I tend to sit in the bath and watch stupid, terrible reality TV. I actually watched “The Kardashians” because the film I did was really heavy, so I needed something that was far away from my life to balance me out.
‘Small Worlds’ by Caleb Azumah Nelson
An Eye Mask
I suffer from night terrors. I have since I was a child. My best friend used to think it was funny until he stayed over many years ago and was like, “That wasn’t funny at all.” What helps me is an eye mask because there is no light. There are no bits and bobs.
My husband’s family play a game called Clag, which is quite hard to describe, but it’s so good. You can play with up to seven people, and it’s sort of luck but also sort of skill. My nickname was Claggy Daiz because you clag if you are not winning.
‘This Is What I Mean’ by Stormzy
Usually as a music fan, I’ll listen to one song on repeat 300 times and then move on. If I put this album on, I start at the beginning and finish at the end. I love the flow of it; I love all the songs. I don’t shuffle it, nothing. It’s perfect.
I initially started working out because I was in a film that required me to be physical. Then I had a sort of epiphany where I was like, “Oh wait, this is making me feel really good.” The gym for me is selfishly my time, and it makes my body feel good; it makes my head feel good.
Dinner at Home
My mum is a great cook. She’s a great hostess. I grew up with two sisters, and it was the house where there were always multiple people over. I don’t have a huge extended family, but my mum’s best friends I grew up with basically as aunts and uncles. There’s nothing happier for me than coming into my mum’s house and seeing a group of people around her table, enjoying her food and enjoying each other’s company.