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Jessica Henwick found it 'very hard' when she missed out on Star Wars lead role

Gregory Wakeman
·Contributor
·2-min read
British actress Jessica Henwick attends the world premiere of Disney's "Mulan" at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on March 9, 2020. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
British actress Jessica Henwick at the world premiere of Mulan at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, March 9, 2020. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

Jessica Henwick has opened up about auditioning for the part of Rey in the Star Wars sequels, only to narrowly miss out to Daisy Ridley.

The British actress told NME that she found it “very hard” when she didn’t get the role in the blockbuster trilogy, especially since she described the six-month-long audition process as “very long, very arduous”.

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But while Henwick was devastated not to get the part of Rey, she now understands why Ridley beat her to the part.

She said that Ridley did such “an incredible job and it was 100 percent her journey to make. It wasn’t meant for me — my life would have been completely different”.

Daisy Ridley as Rey (Lucasfilm)
Daisy Ridley as Rey in the Star Wars franchise. (Lucasfilm)

As well as leading The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi and The Rise Of Skywalker, Ridley has also played the title character in Ophelia, appeared in remake Murder On The Orient Express, and provided her voice to the animated movie Peter Rabbit.

However, there’s no need to feel too sorry for Henwick as her career has gone from strength-to-strength over the last few years.

After gaining notoriety with her performance as Nymeria Sand in Game Of Thrones, she starred in Iron First, The Defenders and Luke Cage, while she’ll next appear in Godzilla vs Kong and The Matrix 4.

Read More: Daisy Ridley reveals shocking ‘Star Wars’ alternate plot line about Rey's family history

Plus, Henwick ended up with a role in The Force Awakens anyway, as Abrams wrote the character of Jess Pava, the first female X-Wing pilot, for her, which Henwick admitted was a “sweet consolation prize”.

“It was an incredible journey, getting to work with JJ, locked in a room together for hours over and over,” she said. “I will carry his demeanour with me – the childlike excitement he has is something that I want to always have, no matter what job I’m doing.”

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