One of the perks with being the lead in a Star Wars movie is you can help a small independent film get seen by more people. The fact is Otto Bell’s great documentary, The Eagle Huntress, would have a tough time getting press in mainstream publications even though it’s a fantastic story. But with Daisy Ridley narrating and executive producing the film and willing to get out there and do press to promote it, you have a lot more people willing to cover the film and thus greater exposure.
If you’re not familiar with the story, The Eagle Huntress follows a 13-year-old girl named Aisholpan as she trains to become the first female in twelve generations of her Kazakh family to become an eagle hunter. In addition to her quest, she has to take on the close-minded elders who believe women should not be involved in their ancient tradition. But with the help of her father, Nurgaiv, who believes a girl can do anything a boy can, she sets out to take on the establishment and compete in the Golden Eagle Festival, where she faces off against 70 of the greatest Kazakh eagle hunters in Mongolia.
the-eagle-huntress-posterDuring my interview with Daisy Ridley, we talked about how she got involved in the film, what it feels like to know her involvement will help The Eagle Huntress be seen by more people, how the bond between Aisholpan and her father meant a lot to her, auditioning for Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express, the Star Wars toys backlash when Rey was missing from a lot of the early Force Awakens toys, how Hasbro is fixing their mistakes, working with Rian Johnson on Star Wars: Episode VIII, and a lot more. Check out what she had to say…
Collider: Let’s start with the most important thing, can you still go food shopping or is it all gone?
RIDLEY: Yeah, yeah. I can still do that.
So you have the best of both worlds.
RIDLEY: For sure.
RIDLEY: Yeah. When people stop me they’re very nice, it doesn’t happen that often. Usually I’m so confused as to why they’re stopping me, it takes me a couple of seconds to get over it. So I probably look something like, “What have I done!?” But it’s all good.
I think if people heard you talk though…
RIDLEY: Usually it’s either when I laugh or when I talk that people are like, “huh.”
I’m listening to you talk right now and I’m like, “Oh yeah.” I would pick that out of a crowd.
RIDLEY: Yeah, especially in America. But also people are just very friendly, so it’s all good anyway.
It’s also because the sun is here.
RIDLEY: Yes, the sun is here. I actually really loves L.A. I think the vibes are great and people tend to be very happy. It’s fantastic.
Because it doesn’t rain.
RIDLEY: I mean, it did rain yesterday.
I swear to you, that’s an anomaly.
RIDELY: But it’s raining again next week.
I don’t believe that.
RIDLEY: I believe it. When it rains, I’m gonna be like, “Hey, told ya”
It rarely rains. Jumping into why I get to talk to you today, this is one of those crazy stories that will benefit from your limelight, you’re able to shine some on it by putting your name on this and narrating. What is it like for you knowing that you can use some of that limelight to propel a project like this?
RIDLEY: It’s very odd, and then great. Because also hearing Otto [Bell, Director] speak, he’s so passionate about the whole thing, obviously as he would be still. And it feels like everything is happening for the right reasons, for me it doesn’t feel exploitative. I watched the film and I actually loved it, I asked to come onboard, and he wanted a narrator so it just so happened that everything worked out very well. What’s great is the film would have done great otherwise, but for sure if like an extra 20 people go to see the film…
Daisy Ridley has traded a galaxy far, far away for the Mongolian steppe in the new trailer for the documentary “The Eagle Huntress.”
The movie, narrated by Ridley, follows a 13-year-old girl named Aisholpan, as she trains to become the first female in twelve generations of her family to become an eagle hunter.
“She’s strong, she’s brave and she’s a total natural,” Ridley says about Aisholpan in the trailer. “But when the competition ends, the real test begins,” she teases.
“The Eagle Huntress is directed by Otto Bell.
Ridley is also an exec producer on the film along with Morgan Spurlock, Jeremy Chilnick, Dan Cogan, Regina K. Scully, Marc H. Simon, Barbara Dobkin, Susan MacLaury.
It features the original song “Angel by the Wings” performed by Sia, which she co-wrote with Greg Kurstin.
“The Eagle Huntress” originally premiered at Sundance and will open in New York and Los Angeles on Oct. 28, followed by a national release in the following weeks.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens star Daisy Ridley has signed on as executive producer for director Otto Bell’s documentary, The Eagle Huntress.
Morgan Spurlock, another executive producer on the film, told Deadline that Ridley joined after seeing part of the film, saying that it uncovers an “epic tale” of “female empowerment.”
Ridley later confirmed on Instagram, saying that she knew she needed to be a part of the film “the minute [she] saw The Eagle Huntress.” The story, she said, “will speak to millions all over the world.”
The Eagle Huntress tells the story of a 13-year-old Mongolian girl—Aisholpan—who is determined to become the first female eagle hunter. Supported by her father and grandfather, Aisholpan trains her first eaglet for the Golden Eagle Festival, where she’ll compete with eagle hunters from around the country.
The film will be the first to premiere in the Sundance Kids section of the Sundance Film Festival. Aisholpan and her family will travel from Mongolia for the film’s premiere.
Aside from starring in The Force Awakens, Daisy Ridley can be heard as the voice of the lead character in the North American release of the Studio Ghibli film Only Yesterday.