Daisy Ridley overcame fear of ocean for Young Woman and the Sea, director says

Watch: Young Woman and the Sea director Joachim Rønning reflects on Daisy Ridley casting

Before filming Young Woman and the Sea, Daisy Ridley was afraid of something fundamental to playing the role of Gertrude "Trudy" Ederle: swimming in the open ocean.

Ederle was the first woman to swim across the English Channel, earning her the nickname “Queen of the Waves” back in 1926. For the role, Ridley was placed into the open waters of the Black Sea and tasked with swimming alongside a boat as director Joachim Rønning filmed the action.

“I was surprised to the lengths that she went,” Rønning tells Yahoo UK. “We spoke early on and I said, ‘I really want to do this in the ocean, as real as we can.’ And she was game for that.

Young Woman and the Sea (Disney)
Young Woman and the Sea sees Daisy Ridley swim in the open waters of the Black Sea, despite being scared of the ocean. (Disney)

“Later on, I learned that she's actually scared of swimming in the open ocean and she had to overcome that. She trained to train for months, open sea swimming.

“She's obviously a great actor – I love her in the Star Wars films – but she radiates a strength I feel that I imagine Trudy Ederle had back in the day.

Read more: Everything we know about Daisy Ridley's new Star Wars movie

“I could not have asked for a better partner out there, out on the ocean. I mean, I'm on a boat in the jacket. She's in the 15, 16 degrees water, her lips blue, and [she goes] ‘Should we go again?’ She was just wonderful to work with.”

Young Woman and the Sea (Disney)
Young Woman and the Sea director Joachim Rønning said he was 'surprised to the lengths that she went' for the movie. (Disney)

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer – who knows something about star power having previously worked with Tom Cruise on Top Gun and Will Smith on Bad Boys – likewise sings Ridley’s praises while discussing her commitment to the role.

“The great ones give you the commitment, they really do,” he says. Those are the ones that you want to keep working with.

“She waited a long time to make this movie, she passed on another movie. So did Joachim.

“A lot of people got involved with this when they read the script, they called me and said, ‘Jerry, we’ve got to be a part of this.’ A lot of our crew waited to get this movie made. And it took us a long time, nine years in the making. That's why we make movies for audiences.”

Young Woman and the Sea is released in select UK cinemas on May 31st.