Countdown to 'Star Wars'

Celebrity status grows for young ‘Force’ cast

John Boyega is one of the young stars in “The Force Awakens.”
John Boyega is one of the young stars in “The Force Awakens.” AP

Before the announcements were made about the cast of “Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens,” most people couldn’t have picked Daisy Ridley out of a police lineup. That’s not to suggest she’s been in trouble with the law but just a way of saying she’s generally unknown.

John Boyega, Adam Driver and Oscar Isaac had done more work than Ridley before being selected by director J.J. Abrams to be in the latest film in the film franchise. But, not a lot of big profile movies.

Their star power has rocketed with the film. The actors have been interviewed around the world and made appearances on all the major TV shows.

It’s not that different as back in 1977 when “Star Wars: A New Hope” opened. Harrison Ford had been a working actor but Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher had not done enough to make them the household names they would come.

Ford has refrained from giving his young co-stars any advice about how to deal with the life that is to follow. He believes that an actor must chart their own course.

“My advice is pretty much limited to look both ways before you cross the street, stuff like that,” Ford says.

There’s been a lot of attention so far for the new cast members but that will only increase after the movie opens.

John Boyega doesn’t know if he’s ready for all the attention.

“I just know that I’m just in it, and it’s going to come out, regardless. But it should be fun,” Boyega says.

The one member of the cast who won’t get as much attention is Lupita Nyong’o because she’s never seen on screen. Her character has been computer generated so that meant she worked in a room by herself being filmed so her look could be created later.

Of course, actors like Jeremy Bulloch has been a very popular person on the convention circuit despite his face being completely covered by his Boba Fett mask.

Rick Bentley: 559-441-6355, @RickBentley1