Daisy Ridley on 'Young Woman and the Sea'

The British actress spoke to 'SI Kids' about the making of the movie and playing its titular character, Trudy Ederle.
Daisy Ridley 2024
Daisy Ridley 2024 / Briana Sanchez/American-Statesman / USA

Daisy Ridley's next film is called Young Woman and the Sea, which shares the story of Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim across the English Channel. Ridley plays the main character, Trudy, who was one of the best swimmers in the world when she swam the Channel in 1926. Along with her historical achievement of swimming from France to England, Ederle was an Olympic gold medalist in the 1924 games.

In an interview with SI Kids, Ridley explained that she was "inspired" playing the role of Ederle.

"I felt very inspired by what she did," Ridley said. "I felt very loved by the people I was working with, and I feel very proud to be telling that story."

It was not a natural role for Ridley through one lens, though. The actress known for her role in Star Wars revealed she was not a big swimmer before filming Young Woman and the Sea, and there were challenges as a result.

"No," Ridley said when asked if she was a swimmer going into filming. "I could not do the front crawl before this... I didn't know how to do any of that. Sometimes I did hold my breath competitions and sort of did a bit of breaststroke, but I didn't really know how to front crawl before this."

Another challenge came in the form of where the scenes were being filmed. Ridley told SI Kids that she does not like to swim in the open ocean, but seeing as the movie is about doing just that, she had to step out of her comfort zone.

"I usually don't like swimming out in the open water," she explained. "I like being in pools, and I like having my feet in the sea. So it was quite scary. I knew there were no sharks, but there were jellyfish, so I was scared I was going to be eaten by something."

Just like with anything in life, though, filming Young Woman and the Sea had plenty of high points. Ridley specifically highlighted the enjoyment she got out of working with her co-star while speaking with SI Kids.

"The most fun part about making the movie was probably working with my sister in it (Margaret Ederle, played by Tilda Cobham-Hervey)," said Ridley. "We got on really, really well and it was really fun to act with her. We also became really good friends with our swimming coach. So that was great."

Young Woman and the Sea will be released on Friday, May 31.


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Liam McKeone

LIAM MCKEONE

Liam McKeone is a Senior Writer for the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. In addition to his role as a writer, he collaborates with other teams across Minute Media to help define his team’s content strategy. He has been in the industry as a content creator since 2017, and prior to joining SI in 2024, Liam worked for NBC Sports Boston and The Big Lead. In addition to his work as a writer, he has hosted the Press Pass Podcast covering sports media and The Big Stream covering pop culture. A graduate of Fordham University, Liam is always up for a good debate and enjoys loudly arguing about sports, rap music, books, and video games. Liam has been a member of the National Sports Media Association (NSMA) since 2020.