Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been busy making umpteen tons of dough since it opened just a couple of weeks ago, but it’s also been busy making its young stars super famous. It’s rare that a day goes by now without Daisy Ridley appearing on TV, and while she seems to be handling the attention quite well, dealing with this level of fame for years at a time would likely take its toll on even the strongest constitution. Now, Ridley’s getting some advice from another young starlet who’s been through the exact same thing.
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.
That solid bit of advice for Daisy Ridley comes by way a podcast that The Hollywood Reporter did with actress Kristen Stewart. Stewart started dealing with mega-fame at a much earlier age than Ridley, 23, while starring in the Twilight franchise, which started when Stewart was only 18 years old.
As with most people who become famous, the focus soon turned from Kristen Stewart’s films and performances to her clothes, general looks and personal relationships. Stewart has taken a step back from the spotlight simply by working in smaller films with less money behind them and less pressure attached. Her one post-Twilight foray into big budget films, 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman was accompanied a scandal which alleged she was dating her married director.
It makes sense that Kristen Stewart would suggest staying in the moment and enjoying your work and doing what you love to do. With her roles in independent films like Adventureland, Welcome to the Rileys, The Runaways, Still Alice and American Ultra, she’s managed to pull back on fame and still keep doing what she loves.
It’s also telling that she suggests Daisy Ridley should be willing to "focus on something else" should the whole fame thing get her down after a while. Kristen Stewart does, indeed, seem like the type to bow out of her career, at least for a time, to let the pressure and setbacks of fame die down so that they keep from overwhelming her. In fact, before filming her award-winning role in the recent The Clouds of Sils Maria, she was in the middle of an extended break from acting.
It’ll be interesting to see how Daisy Ridley handles fame in the months and years to come. Not everyone can continue to thrive, or survive, even, when under such intense scrutiny. All we can hope for is that, if fame gets to be too much for her, she takes Kristen Stewart’s advice and steps back for a bit to save her sanity and her love of acting.