In 2008, the Twilight saga took over Hollywood and began its five-movie reign as one of the highest-grossing young adult books-turned-movies. At its helm was the young, and then widely unknown, actress Kristen Stewart — and she was just about to become Hollywood's latest It girl. However, if we fast-forward to today, the Twilight saga has now been over for nearly four years, and Jennifer Lawrence's fellow young adult hit series, The Hunger Games, has come to its conclusion as well. The world is on the lookout for the next franchise to take over stores and drive teens to obsession, and it just so happens that Star Wars is making it's very own, perfectly timed, comeback with Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Which is exactly why Kristen Stewart is offering her advice to Daisy Ridley on how to handle the sudden shift in her career. After all, Stewart has been there.
"I did Twilight when I was 17, it came out when I was 18, and my life was never even remotely the same," Stewart explains in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Even adding that, despite how valuable the whole Twilight experience was for her, it did come with, "A whole lot of other baggage — really heavy and really cool baggage." These are recollections that not only help to state the obvious, but also may sound a bit familiar to Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley. However, Stewart says that, in the end, it's all about the work itself: "Focus on the fact that you're stoked 'cause you're doing the work that you want to do. It's literally mainly just about focusing on what makes you happy. And if losing your anonymity or whatever doesn't make you happy, then focus on something else." Not bad advice, right?
However, is Daisy Ridley really in for the same kind of career-change that Kristen Stewart went through? It can be argued that her career boost may actually be way more than anything else we've seen before. With Star Wars: The Force Awakens not only being a multi-generational continuation of a six film series that began in 1977, but also breaking the box office records as one of the highest-grossing film of all time , the Force that Ridley is dealing with may actually outweigh all of the Team Edwards and Katniss-braid-flaunting girls in the world.
In fact, I'm starting to think that no actress has really ever gone through what Ridley is about to experience. While Stewart may know what dealing with a massive fanbase is like, Twilight remained a mostly-female audience. But Star Wars? This is a series that includes people of all ages and genders (although, incidentally, also a large amount of women). While the Twilight and Hunger Games books helped bring in some of the audience, it's the pure power of Rey's brand new female Jedi role will bring the Star Wars fans along in and of itself. And what makes Ridley's situation even more unique is the fact that this is her first theatrical motion picture film release ever. Yep, you heard that right.
However, Ridley made it clear in an interview with Variety magazine that she has things all under control: "....remembering to enjoy it and to be in the moment so it’s not passing me by, so I can really remember how it felt at that time [is her most important piece of advice]… because when I first got cast, I was in another plane — I was certainly not having an in-body experience for months, so when I finally felt like I came back to myself, I tried to hold on to that." And as for the action figures and magazine interviews? "It’s funny because the action figures are cool, and then I enjoy the magazines because that’s me. Obviously, the fans are wonderful, they’re so excited, but I’m not Rey and people tend to not be able to differentiate the two. So to be able to be me — a much glammer version myself, obviously… a whole village making me look better than I usually do — that’s nice." But, as Stewart described, it seems as if it's all just something she'll have to get used to.
Ridley seems to be handling all of the buzz pretty well so far, if I do say so myself. All that's left to do now is sit back and watch the fandom explode. And in a couple of years... we'll be on to the next big franchise (at least until Star Wars returns again).