By peoplestaff225
Updated November 10, 2015 06:35 PM
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Lindsey Vonn

As the leading lady of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, up-and-coming actress Daisy Ridley had to go all-in with a strict diet and exercise regimen in preparation for and during filming.

“[I ate] lots of fish, legumes, and spirulina shakes,” Ridley, 23, reveals to Elle magazine in its December issue. The actress, who plays the formidable heroine Rey, also underwent three months of extensive physical training and stunt practice for five hours a day, five days a week.

“It became my solace,” Ridley says of the intense regimen, which she has attempted to maintain to be ready for re-shoots and the next film in the series. “It’s the only thing structured in my life right now. Training is sort of a therapy session, I guess.”

But her intense workouts weren’t the only physical challenge during filming.

“We were told about this scorpion in Abu Dhabi that, if it stabbed you, you needed treatment within half an hour,” she recalls. “There was this bit where I was lying in the sand, and if a scorpion got me, the nearest hospital was an hour away. So I was like, I could die right now. I could be dead in half an hour.”

Ridley took a clue from her character, Rey, to deal with the threat.

“She is so strong,” Ridley says. “She’s cool and smart and she can look after herself.”

Star Wars: The Force Awakens arrives in theaters Dec.18.

–Kara Warner