With the caveat that this outfit feels VERY Dynasty-redux, and a related noted that I find this hair choice EXTREMELY CONFUSING, to the point where I worry it makes her nearly unrecognizable: This is a very arresting shot, with a real 80s Supermodel Flair. (Several of you also predicted this cover; give yourself a pat on the back.)

The interview, actually, is also quite lovely; Ridley is very frank and open about how weird it’s been to go from being a struggling actress working at a pub to being incredibly famous, especially given the occasional intensities of the Star Wars fanbase. She talks fairly honestly about how hard it was when people started recognizing her — two dudes came to her apartment door, for instance, which is terrifying and SUPER INAPPROPS, DUDES — and how intense an experience it was to have her first film be, you know, freaking Star Wars. She admits she went to therapy to deal with it, which, good for her, and bonus good for her for talking about it.

Ridley is not complaining. “I’m very aware that there are thousands of other people who could do what I do much better, and it’s a matter of timing and luck. I’m counting my blessings that I get to be one of the people working.” As for her sense of perspective, “I worry that things start to seem normal that aren’t normal,” she reflects. “You get rushed through airports, and you never have to queue, and you get tickets to things that you wouldn’t otherwise. I think it’s important to remind yourself that it’s not normal. It’s difficult, though, because it is my normal.”

If Ridley’s emotional frankness makes her sound somewhat fragile in conversation, that, in performance, is much closer to a strength. It’s no accident that her Rey is a disarmingly human vessel for a force beyond nature. She makes it feel, says Johnson, “as though there is very little artifice on the screen. She has that magical thing that great actors have where they can take honest emotion and, without diluting it, shape it to what the scene requires.”

This was a well done piece – but that bit jumped out at me, because I don’t think any of this does make her sound fragile. She sounds honest. And that’s not at all the same thing.

[Cover: Mario Testino/Vogue]
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