"Harrison's just freakin' right there!" John Boyega recalls thinking during a scene with Harrison Ford in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (out now). But while Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill reprise their roles in Episode VII, it's 23-year-old Boyega's runaway stormtrooper Finn and fellow newcomer Daisy Ridley (as scavenger Rey) who are at the center of the J.J. Abrams-helmed sci-fi epic. Says Ridley, 23, "Other people saw something in me that perhaps I didn't see myself."
Now, in addition to shooting 2017's Star Wars: Episode VIII, Ridley is set to start school in January and study psychology, while Boyega will film The Circle with Tom Hanks and Emma Watson. The London-bred duo tell Us Weekly's Ashley Spencer about their new universe.
Us Weekly: You worked on Star Wars: The Force Awakens for almost two years! What was it like to finally see the finished product?
Daisy Ridley: I cried the whole way to the airport afterward. I still can't really characterize my feelings. To see everything come to fruition is unbelievable.
John Boyega: I was kind of just blank. I did film the movie, but to see it edited was so different. I enjoyed myself!
Us: Was it intimidating to meet Harrison Ford for the first time?
DR: He and I had quite a serious first conversation. He talked to me about anonymity and stuff.
JB: Harrison came in looking suave, but I broke him down and got to know him for who he truly is. We're best friends, by the way — you should put that in there.
Us: Growing up, which pop-culture craze was your Star Wars?
JB: I liked Titanic! It was the second movie to ever make me cry. The Lion King was the first.
DR: The only thing I can think of is Matilda. It's my favorite film. To me, Matilda could fit into the Star Wars universe because she's a little girl with untapped potential who goes on to do great things.
Us: Daisy, your character Rey is now the heroine at the center of this franchise. What impact do you hope that has?
DR: I hope in 10 years we don't need to have this discussion, because it will be the norm. To be part of something that's so groundbreaking is incredible and will hopefully lead the way for everyone else to get on board.
Us: And you come from a musical-theater background. Any chance there's a movie musical in your future?
DR: Oh my God, I would love to do a musical. I know they're doing a Wicked film, but they're also doing a lot of other musical films. It's exciting, the thought of it!
Us: John, there’s a rumor that your dad originally wanted you to be a pastor like him —
JB: A what? No! I can't wait to call my dad and say, "Did you want me to be a preacher?!" There's no money in it!
Us: Which of you would fare better on a desert planet?
JB: Daisy. I don't have time for the desert. I'm a city boy!
DR: Oh, God! I hope I'd be able to find food.
Us: Career aside, what's on your 2016 bucket list?
DR: I would love to go to Iceland, and I want to learn a martial art.
JB: I just want to take a holiday somewhere peaceful. A beach would be good.
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