One of the perks with being the lead in a Star Wars movie is you can help a small independent film get seen by more people. The fact is Otto Bell’s great documentary, The Eagle Huntress, would have a tough time getting press in mainstream publications even though it’s a fantastic story. But with Daisy Ridley narrating and executive producing the film and willing to get out there and do press to promote it, you have a lot more people willing to cover the film and thus greater exposure.
If you’re not familiar with the story, The Eagle Huntress follows a 13-year-old girl named Aisholpan as she trains to become the first female in twelve generations of her Kazakh family to become an eagle hunter. In addition to her quest, she has to take on the close-minded elders who believe women should not be involved in their ancient tradition. But with the help of her father, Nurgaiv, who believes a girl can do anything a boy can, she sets out to take on the establishment and compete in the Golden Eagle Festival, where she faces off against 70 of the greatest Kazakh eagle hunters in Mongolia.
During my interview with Daisy Ridley, we talked about how she got involved in the film, what it feels like to know her involvement will help The Eagle Huntress be seen by more people, how the bond between Aisholpan and her father meant a lot to her, auditioning for Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express, the Star Wars toys backlash when Rey was missing from a lot of the early Force Awakens toys, how Hasbro is fixing their mistakes, working with Rian Johnson on Star Wars: Episode VIII, and a lot more. Check out what she had to say below.
Before getting to the interview, watch the trailer. The Eagle Huntress opens in New York City and Los Angeles. It’s currently at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes!
Collider: Let’s start with the most important thing, can you still go food shopping or is it all gone?
RIDLEY: Yeah, yeah. I can still do that.
So you have the best of both worlds.
RIDLEY: For sure.
RIDLEY: Yeah. When people stop me they’re very nice, it doesn’t happen that often. Usually I’m so confused as to why they’re stopping me, it takes me a couple of seconds to get over it. So I probably look something like, “What have I done!?” But it’s all good.
I think if people heard you talk though…
RIDLEY: Usually it’s either when I laugh or when I talk that people are like, “huh.”
I’m listening to you talk right now and I’m like, “Oh yeah.” I would pick that out of a crowd.
RIDLEY: Yeah, especially in America. But also people are just very friendly, so it’s all good anyway.
It’s also because the sun is here.
RIDLEY: Yes, the sun is here. I actually really loves L.A. I think the vibes are great and people tend to be very happy. It’s fantastic.
Because it doesn’t rain.
RIDLEY: I mean, it did rain yesterday.
I swear to you, that’s an anomaly.
RIDELY: But it’s raining again next week.
I don’t believe that.
RIDLEY: I believe it. When it rains, I’m gonna be like, “Hey, told ya”