Daisy Ridley experienced every bit of stardom during her first movie premiere … and couldn’t help but be a bit starstruck with everyone else.
“It’s very weird. It’s just a very weird thing for a group of people to stand and take pictures and many, many people to ask questions,” Ridley, 23, told PEOPLE at the Star Wars: The Force Awakens premiere on Monday. “It’s cool. I’m like, ‘I’ve seen you in films!’ I think I’ll wake up tomorrow and say, ‘Did that happen?!’ ”
The British actress, who plays the role of Rey in the highly anticipated film, recently opened up to PEOPLE about making her film debut and the responsibilities and fears that come with it.
“Because I hadn’t made a film before, the whole thing was scary, Ridley says in PEOPLE’s Star Wars special issue. “I had to get over the overwhelming fear of it. That was the hardest part.”
See exclusive photos, get a first look at new characters and learn more secrets from the cast and crew of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in PEOPLE’s Star Wars collector’s edition, on newsstands now. And for more exclusive Star Wars news, come back to PEOPLE.com every day until it hits theaters Dec. 18
The 23-year-old described her strong admiration for her character and what she stands for.
“I guess there’s no other way except to say that she will have some impact in a girl power-y way,” Ridley previously told PEOPLE. “She’s brave and she’s vulnerable and she’s so nuanced. That’s what’s so exciting playing a role like this. She doesn’t have to be one thing to embody a woman in a film, and for me she’s not important because she’s a woman. She’s just important.”
While making a film debut in the new installment of the iconic franchise may be overwhelming at times, Ridley said the experience as a whole changed her life.
“I think yes, because I just never knew what it took to make a film and to work with these incredible, incredible people,” Ridley said. “From Colin Anderson who does camera, to Simon who does marks. It’s just crazy, and every person matters. Working with people that skilled is just wonderful.”
Though the four-block, tented, red carpet experience may have seemed intimidating to most, Ridley hilariously hinted that every movie premiere from now on should be just as momentous.
“I mean, if it’s not like this every time I come to a premiere, I won’t come,” the actress joked.
• Reporting by SCOTT HUVER