Speaking with PEOPLE on Saturday at the Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi premiere at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, the 25-year-old actress revealed that playing a character many young girls look up to has definitely had an impact.
“Somebody told me that you’re the sum of the five people you spend most of your time with,” she said. “The five people I spend most of my time with are awesome. I think it’s quite a nice way to think about things.”
Asked what she wanted to say to all those who admire Rey, Ridley said, “I would say, ‘Have hope kids, it always may not be as it seems,’ ” before adding a second message: “I’d say, thank you very much.”
The Murder on the Orient Express star went on to say that she “really hope[s] that [in] this film, people continue to enjoy [Rey’s] story.”
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Ridley — who is protective of her privacy — had previously opened up about how she hoped her refusal to answer certain questions pertaining to her personal life didn’t make her come off as “ungrateful” to people who might look up to her.
“It’s not good for me, personally. I’m just not equipped for it. I’m super sensitive—not too sensitive—but I really feel things,” she recently told Glamour. “Also, there is also a sense that I’m asked who I’m dating a lot more than John [Boyega] is. I don’t answer, because I have things in my life that are private.”
“There is certainly a personal thing of, ‘Will people think I’m ungrateful?’ Someone literally said to me, ‘So-and-so didn’t answer questions about that, and they came across really cold,’ ” she added. “But I have to come first, because if I am not healthy — I was struggling with anxiety last year — if I’m not mentally healthy, or I’m depleted from sharing so much, I won’t have anything left for when people approach me.”
Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters Dec. 15.