Daisy Ridley shares "scary" experience in Young Woman and the Sea

young woman and the sea official trailer
Daisy Ridley shares "scary" experience in new filmDisney

Daisy Ridley has recalled her "scary" experience whilst shooting new movie Young Woman and the Sea.

The Star Wars actor portrays real-life athlete Gertrude 'Trudy' Ederle in the upcoming film which follows the US Olympic swimmer as she challenges herself to become the first woman to swim the English Channel in 1926.

Chatting to Digital Spy in an exclusive interview about her role, Ridley revealed she found swimming in open water "overwhelming" at times.

young woman and the sea official trailer

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"You know, it’s something that you can’t really prepare for," she tells us. "We weren’t able to train in open water because it was so cold.

"Everyday they were tracking the temperature of the water because of course there were health worries if it was too cold. So the first time I got in the sea properly, out at sea, we were filming."

Ridley admitted her swimming scenes were a "real discovery" as she quickly grasped the multiple factors she had to think about whilst swimming, including currents, temperatures and keeping up with cameras in the boat.

"It was scary," she says. "I always felt safe, but it’s very overwhelming and ultimately feeling like a little thing in this huge blue."

daisy ridley, young woman and the sea

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Whilst daunting at times, Ridley added that the experience helped her to understand more about the real person she was playing.

"It also gave me a tiny taste of what that might have felt for her," she says. "And I’m not even close to what she did, but it really gave me an even greater respect for how overwhelming and terrifying that might have been, and how determined she might have been to complete it."

Young Woman and the Sea's director Joachim Ronning praised Ridley's commitment during the swimming scenes which proved to be physically demanding.

"She trained for months for open-water swimming and we were out there, swimming in 15-16 degrees celsius until her lips were blue," he tells Digital Spy. "I was in a boat with a jacket, so it was really hard watching it. And at the same time delivering lines and being Trudy."

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Young Woman and the Sea is based on Glenn Stout's 2009 book of the same name and delves into the sexism and lack of support Trudy faced ahead of her Channel challenge.

When it came to preparing for the role, Ridley felt there wasn't much public information out there about Ederle's achievement.

"I read Glenn Stout’s book and then I researched what I could," she tells us. "But there’s not as much as you might expect. Probably that goes hand in hand with the fact that many of us didn’t know what she did and who she was.

"So in a way I was preparing to play the real person but also there was a lot of room and creative licenses of those relationships that she had."

Ederle passed away in November 2003. Each year swimmers gather for the Ederle Swim from New York City's Battery Park to Sandy Hook in New Jersey in memory of the late athlete.

Young Woman and the Sea arrives in cinemas on May 31.

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