From Tring Park to Star Wars: meet 21-year-old star of latest film in the George Lucas franchise

Daisey Ridley performing in The Boy Friend
Daisey Ridley performing in The Boy Friend

A recent graduate of Tring Park School for the Performing Arts has won a starring role in director George Lucas’ latest Star Wars film.

Daisy Ridley is rumoured to be playing the part of Jaina Solo, the daughter of Han Solo and Princess Leia. She will be the only new major female character in the film.

Writing on a Twitter account that has since been deactivated, 21-year-old Daisy said that after receiving the news she was ‘overwhelmed by all the support’.

She said: “This is the greatest day of my life. I’m told I can’t say who I’m playing yet, but it’s exciting!”

Daisy will act alongside the original cast, including Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford, in Star Wars VII – which has a UK release date of Friday, December 18, 2015.

Her star has been rising since she left Tring Park, having appeared in The Inbetweeners movie as well as TV performances in Mr Selfridge and Casualty.

However, this will be her first Hollywood role and one that will make her known to millions globally.

She studied topics including dance, performance and musical theatre at Tring Park between 2001 and 2010, as well as sitting her A-levels there.

She starred in hit musical Crazy For You during her studies, and played Nancy in big-name show The Boy Friend both at the school and at London’s Shaw Theatre.

Other Tring Park graduates to be snapped up by Hollywood include the actresses Jessica Brown Findlay and Lily James.

The pair have both gone on to star in the internationally renowned Downton Abbey.

Jessica starred in the BBC One adaptation of Jamaica Inn and the film Winter’s Tale while Lily will star in the new Disney film Cinderella, directed by Kenneth Branagh.

Tring Park principal Stevan Anderson said: “We are delighted with the news that Daisy will star in the next Star Wars and that she is set to be part of the history of such an iconic film series.

“Our aim at Tring is to nurture and prepare our students for long lasting careers which have been build on the foundations of hard work, perseverance of their craft and an inherent passion for what they do.

“It is always rewarding to see our alumni’s talent being recognised and them achieving international success.”