The press was right, Daisy was a virtual unknown when she landed the role of Rey. Meanwhile, Oscar was already collecting awards, since she dreamed that one day she would be in a big movie. And even so, their fate collided in ways they couldn’t imagine.
They met for the first time on April of 2014, at the first table read, one month before the beginning of the Star Wars filming, a movie that Oscar, at the time, was excited about because, first: he would be part of a huge franchise, which he was fan, and second: he would play a character who would survive, a different end from the other characters he gave life. Daisy, on the other hand, was excited because it would be, after all, her first big-screen role.
But the first time she really talked to him, they were at some party in Buckinghamshire, three weeks after the filming began. A party that her agent, desperate to put Daisy on the “major leagues” scene from Star Wars franchise, forced her to go, with promises that it was just how Carrie Fisher conquest her title of “princess” in the franchise. Daisy knew very well how those parties worked, and she felt sick by how women, especially young and amateur girls, like Carrie was at the time, were treated in this industry. It’s some young Hollywood bullshit that Daisy, even young and new in this business, clearly recognized as so painfully cliched that she spends most of the night trying to blend into the tacky fabric-covered walls instead of mingling with people. Her agent is a great woman and a decent enough agent, but Daisy would rather chew off an arm than deal with these people with egos the size of tankers. She was not used to this but she could pretend very well.
She could easily deal with red carpet, where she mostly had to turn up and look pretty, but she hated industry parties. It was totally different from the reunions and table reads she participated with the cast. This time, not even John was there. Boyega and her had become great friends, since most part of the scenes of the Star Wars TFA they would play together. They were both young, new in the industry and he had a great sense of humor. But despite the crowdedness and hypocritical jokes, there were a lot of big time directors and casting agents at the party, and Daisy knew she could easily make networking. She felt eyes of her, especially from a bunch of old men laughing and staring at her, like she was a prey.
Daisy saw Oscar at the bar about twenty minutes before she decided hauls her ass out of that party, to take off that tight dress and heels and run back to the hotel. Before that day, they never actually talked for more than 30 minutes, she knew about his existence in the cast, about his career and role in the movie. They had a brief conversation at the table read, but they never had the chance to have a properly conversation, to know each other. Oscar has always seemed reluctant to talk much about himself, part of what draws Daisy to him is that she don't know much about him. It was really nice to see a familiar face, she thought. He was wearing a formal blue suit holding a glass of wine. His hair shaved on both sides, in a military cut, but his curls were still there. She could see some white hair strands, what she finds nice.
She didn’t remember exactly what she said to him at first sight (something along the lines of “you were incredible in Inside Llewyn Davis”), what was true. She remembered watching with her family, and they became excited to know that she would be filming a movie with Oscar Isaac. But Daisy was absolute sure that it was not the first thing that someone should say when trying to appear like a non-idiot, semi-professional actress. She was about to run to the toilet, dig a hole on the ground and hide her face, but the smile he gave was enough to make her rethink this decision.
— "Daisy! Thank you, sweetheart. How are you? I didn’t know you were here" — I’m surprised that I’m here, she thought. She understood his presence there, of course, he has a big career, and she was just at the base of the pyramid. Although she's already getting recognized on the street, it wasn't exactly an easy road to the top.
Daisy knew Oscar had this habit of calling everyone by sweet nicknames, in a friendly way, she knew since the day she heard he thanking his make-up artist with a “thank you very much, sweetheart”.
— "Actually, this is something new for me" — Oscar smiled, even more by the British accent that left her mouth. His thoughts were the same as Daisy. He never actually talked to her for more than 30 minutes, even if they had Boyega as a mutual friend and even at the table read, but he knew she was a good person and she would have a great career ahead. J.J had shown them her audition, the interrogation scene with Kylo Ren, and God, that's one hell of an actress, Oscar thought at the time. Other members of the cast, especially Boyega, told him just good things about Daisy, and Oscar could say he was curious to know more about her, especially after she compliment him about his role in Inside Llewyn Davis. He was damn proud of that work.
— "These parties can be terrible, but they can be fun if you have the right company" — Daisy grew into a laughter, her eyes closing and her teeth shining in a big smile, Oscar couldn’t help to notice her cuteness, everyone could see that, he wouldn’t deny something obvious. She was young, he knew that, she was 21 or 22 years old and he remembered his first year on the movie industry. He was 21 when he won a place at Juilliard, and it was a good thing, because somehow, it prepared him better for the fiercely competitive atmosphere. His experience with all the straight-edge stuff allowed him to feel he could participate and yet still hold on to who he was. At that moment, he was wishing Daisy luck and strength, but he was pretty sure she was a strong woman. He only wished she didn’t change who she was. Because if there’s something you can’t never forget is who you are and where you came from.
— "C’mon, let me save you from the boredom" — He invites her and Daisy didn’t refuse.
The night was easy with Oscar. Daisy made him laugh easily with her stupid jokes and showing him some nonsense on the internet. She imagined that he was this carefree guy, just like Poe Dameron was described, people were always laughing around Oscar. She never had the chance to become close to him. While John was a dork and funny guy, who Daisy shared a lot of things because of their age, Oscar was cautious, reserved, but he could shine with humor when he wanted to. Talking to him through the wild night, she liked his personality, the combination, the unexpected. The guy who knows the right time to make jokes and the right time to talk serious. And like Daisy, Oscar was definitely private. He never been interested in celebrity.
— "I’ve done movies I’m very proud of, but there’s always a sense of “come see this shiny new car!”. The question I hate the most is “Why should people see it?” I don’t fucking know! I’m not a salesman — A laugh is startled out of her.
Conversation with her passes seamlessly enough that when a bartender asked them if they want another drink, it feels like an awkward intrusion. Oscar asks which drink she’d preferred from the bar and Daisy orders a beer — inevitably, they fall right back into an easy rhythm. They talk more about acting and their favorite works, Daisy didn’t have a too much choices, but she had some minor roles in her life.
— "Here I am with my minor TV roles and you went to fucking Juilliard" — Oscar smiled by Daisy’s expression, an awkward and terrify face. They keep drinking and talking the whole party. She discovered a lot of things about him. He was born in Guatemala, he liked to cause trouble at his grade school when growing up. Oscar never separated music and acting as two different career choices; they were always mixed together. Actually, Daisy was surprise to know that before becoming the acclaimed actor that he is, Oscar took a different path. He took all the guitar skills he picked up as a child and tried to make a living as a musician. She was curious about his music skills. And he was a huge fan of Dylan and Tom Waits, just like her.
— "I don't know if they were all functioning, but I did play in a bunch of bands. I was sort of a musical whore, so I played in industrial bands, hardcore bands, punk, ska bands, all sorts of bands" — Daisy laughed by the way he talks, she was impressed by his talents. Oscar discovered things about Daisy too, things he liked to know. She was from Westminster, something that he could imagine by hearing her beautiful accent, she’d made some minor roles in television shows, and her favorite movie is Matilda, character who was a role model for her.
— "You’re a 90’s kid"
— "Yes, I am!" — Her smile was indeed one of the best he had seen. The night with Daisy passes quickly. Oscar also learned that she is the youngest of five siblings, and that she’d a tendency to get into trouble when she was younger too. He even discovered that she had worked in a pub before she got cast as Rey in Star Wars.
— "Oh no! I would pay a million to see that!"
— "C’mon! I knew a lot about beer — Daisy explained laughing. Oscar hadn’t noticed but he and Daisy had drawn closer, both of their elbows touching, resting on the bar surface. They speak intermittently after separating, he busies himself with his glass of wine and she returns to her beer.
Outside the party, waiting for her car, they said goodnight. Oscar made sure she entered the car save. Even separated by the dark window, Oscar could see her smile. That was the first time they had been alone together, that they talked for more than 30 minutes. Daisy returns home with an anxiety energy on her stomach.
After that day, every moment with Oscar was precious. They became great friends, and the three of them, John, Oscar and her, created a fun bond. It felt great, like they were finally friends now. John would made good-humored fun of her laugh and accent and Oscar of her age, but she didn't care. Daisy now could even steal Oscar’s chips on lunch breaks. He would hesitantly wipe ketchup and other sauces from the edge of her mouth, because he discovered that if there was a clumsier person with food in the entire world, this person is Daisy. One day, Daisy and Oscar finally met Carrie’s dog, Gary Fisher, and John took a photo of them together. She printed the photo and had made a frame.
Her first scenes began in May, Daisy travelled with John and the rest of the crew to Abu Dhabi for two weeks. After their return, the rest of the principal photography started in Pinewood Studios, at Buckinghamshire. She created a connection with everyone on set, and one of her favorite scene’s partner was Adam. She wasn’t able decipher him, he was a reserved person, quiet, and he never leaves his character between pauses. He’s persistent and self-discipline. He helped her with the scenes, the intensity of their scenes required time and attention and Adam helped her every time. Daisy admired him. She and Adam had different personalities. They just didn't mesh well. Not the way Daisy meshed with her friends on set. They were opposites – and Daisy enjoyed that, because at the same time, they would connect in a great way, their scenes were real, different polos meeting each other and repelling.
The whole filming was easier with that cast. Some days, she had to train rigorously before filming, including weight training and working with a staff for fight scenes, but after a tiring day, she and Oscar would spend hours drinking beer, talking and listening some folk and jazz in her trailer. They wouldn’t see the time pass. Oscar is easy, peachy, an Easy-To-Be-Around Person. He is chipper, energetic, charming – about as undoomed a man as someone could imagine. He has the crisp lines of someone who knows himself well. He plays well with others. One week ago, a recent clip reel at Vanity Fair invited readers to “Watch Oscar Isaac charm the pants off every single Star Wars: The Force Awakens cast member.” Daisy laughed for days, it was cute as hell.
John would bring her coffee every morning and talked about Terminator and other shows they enjoyed. Carrie would give her advices based on her own experience of being a young woman on set. Harrison would say to Carrie stop filling Daisy’s head with paranoias. Harrison reminded her of her dad, and the first time she shot a scene with him, he gave her a hug and said, “she's so adorable”, and she felt right at home after that. Mark was her mentor, her Jedi mentor. She wouldn’t have the strength without everyone’s support. Daisy found J.J and the rest of the production crew to be incredibly nurturing. It was a friendly set.
During the filming, when Oscar had a break, he would watch Daisy performance, to support her. She showed a combination of vulnerability and strength which gave her a complexity, and there was an intelligence in her eyes that was an indicator she could play quite a complicated part. Her eyes and face can one moment radiate joy and a lust for life, and then suddenly there was strength in it, and another moment she could be brave, then defiant, then racked with guilt and despair. There was a whole range where she could go with authenticity and conviction. She didn’t need words to say something. The scene at the forest, the first battle with Kylo Ren, Adam with his 6ft 3in showing strength and power, but Daisy was controlling the scene with her emotions, her expressions were marvelous and Oscar was impressed.
She wasn’t insecure. Not at all. Although she was inexperienced, there was a kind of intuitive integrity to what she was doing. She wasn’t simply following advice or direction. She would listen, but then she would incorporate it into her own feeling of how it should be done.
— "Okay guys, let's take a break" — J.J warns them and Daisy sighs relieved, turning off her lightsaber, her smile growing big when she sees Oscar, dressed as Poe, arms crossed, crooked smile looking at her.
— "Hey, what are you doing here?" — She walks towards him, the big smile still on her face. She was more cute than normal, Oscar noticed. Daisy was wearing Rey's clothes, hair tied in three buns, pulled tightly to reveal her beautiful face.
— "I just thought you may need support, but I was wrong. You did a great job there, I think my services are no longer needed" – Daisy laughed out loud, her tiny teeth showing in a unique contagious laughter.
There was something about her. She just had that spark, Oscar thought.
— "Peanut!" — John hugged her, out of nowhere and Oscar felt a weird feeling, bothered by the sudden intrusion. Daisy laughs again by John’s hug – Are you guys coming with us? We are going to order Japanese food.
— "Who is “we”? — Oscar asked.
— "It doesn’t matter! It’s Japanese food! C’mon, please" — Daisy makes a cute and sharp voice, grabbing Oscar’s arm, he felt heat radiating from the touch.
— "Hey! The break is short, are you guys coming or not?" — Jessica showed up, still in her character clothes. Domhnall was just behind her, talking on phone. Oscar looked at Daisy again and she had that smile.
— "What are we waiting for?" – Daisy screams a sharp “yay” and grabs Oscar’s arm again.
She's charming, he thought. All wide smiles and sweet ingenue surprise at this new fame she was finding herself in, and it's only when Oscar watches her acting, her strength and discipline, that he feels shivering goosebumps. As she walks, he looks her, the way she talks and take control of everything around her without seeming to. There was something about her presence that curled heat inside him, and he's briefly very awkward and uncomfortable at how old he is and how young she is.
Back on set, Oscar is at J.J’s and Carrie’s side, nodding to the commentaries, attentive and singularly focused. He has a constant pulse of intensity that almost makes him appear to be vibrating. Daisy tries not to make her gaze obvious, starting a small conversation with Jessica but not paying too much attention. Oscar’s reserved and at the same time energized personality a stark contrast to her blissful but with a tone of shyness and mystery nature — she’d felt inexplicably drawn to him. He has that kind of face. His low-lidded eyes can smoulder, but there is also a quickness behind them, and a touch of disappointed calculation.
Admiration floods her. He's found success in a way that seems impossible to replicate, he's done it as an actor, rather than as a brand, or as a fun talk-show presence, or just as a handsome face. Up close, Daisy knew he was in fact handsome, but in what she would describe as an entirely non-Hollywood way, a fortuitous assemblage of the right imperfections.
— "You’re not even listening what I’m saying, right?' — Daisy looked at Jessica embarrassed.
— "I’m so sorry" — She was so absorbed in her thoughts she didn’t listen anything of what Jessica was saying.
From her peripheral, she sees Oscar’s small crooked smile, directed at her, like he knew she was staring, and she felt anxiety again.
It was 10 pm when Oscar arrived at his hotel bedroom. The night was hot and he remembered it was almost summer. He finished his scenes first than Daisy and most part of the cast, she left with John and Jessica to a nightclub, something that Oscar didn’t find as the most fun program. He was tired, and too old for this. He decided to order room service and read some chapters of Macbeth. He takes a shower, hotter than he usually likes, and thinks back on the past days. He was mixing thoughts between Daisy and the book’s chapter when he heard someone knocking on door. Oscar looked the clock and it was 12 am. He grabbed his shirt, putting on. He was surprised to see Daisy, tired face, leather jacket and anxious eyes, at his door.
— "Did I wake you? I’m sorry" — She asked seeing his clothes. Oscar cursed himself for this.
— "Not even close to sleep, don’t need to say sorry, I was reading something" — Daisy smiled, her stomach aching again, deeply she was waiting an invitation to enter, but she wasn’t sure if it is going to happen or if was a good idea at all — Do you want to come in?
Daisy knew it wasn’t a good idea, but she never listens to her brain. She accepts and as soon she enters his bedroom, he closes the door behind him. The mint and wood fragrance invade her senses. It was like being surrounded by Oscar. Her brain repeating: “this is a bad idea”, but Daisy is the type of girl who gets attached. That listen to her heart so easily that her brain is always picking up fights with it.
— "I went to a pub with John and Jessica, but I don’t know, maybe I’m getting old.." — She joked and Oscar rolled his eyes. If she was getting old, he was an ancient.
— "You’re just tired, I’m not surprise that you were not in the vibe. Did you eat something?" — He asked, a worried tone. Daisy smiles, she knew he was asking something like this because of the alcohol effects.
— "Yes, I did, Isaac. I’m not an irresponsible teenager, actually, I’m not a teenager" — She said, boldly, sitting on his couch and taking off her boots. Oscar looks at her gestures, her cute feet wearing black socks. He didn’t know she felt so comfortable around him.
He decided to order some chips and groceries, nothing heavy, it was 12 am. The order arrived quickly and they decided to eat at his balcony, the sky was full of stars and the wind was good. Daisy was sitting on his balcony chair with her legs crossed, eating candies, she won't stop talking and laugh.
Something about being with Oscar made her feel comfortable. She felt embarrassed the minute she realized that she had taken off her boots in front of him. But he didn’t say anything, and she felt relieved. It was the first Daisy was in his room and the first time she saw him wearing pajamas pants and casual t-shirt. Her brain screaming: “go to your bedroom now!”
Like always, Daisy ignored her brain. They started a fun conversation, Oscar confessed he loved travelling for work and seeing new places but he misses his Brooklyn apartment and his dog. As he talks, Daisy couldn’t avoid look at his expressive eyes, his smile when she says something funny. Daisy told him that she would like to visit her family, Pinewood was just a few hours from her home and she misses her family, it wasn’t fair, being so close and so distant at the same time.
They talked for a few hours, and when they realized, it was 3 am. Daisy decided to left only because they had to work on the next day. Outside Oscar's room they said goodnight. He watched her as she walked towards her room, closing his door as soon he confirmed she entered her room safe and sound.