Daisy Ridley says it is ‘amazing’ to play record-breaking female swimmer

British actress Daisy Ridley has spoken about her joy at shining a light on a “determined and resilient” woman whose achievements have been forgotten.

Ridley plays competitive swimmer Gertrude “Trudy” Ederle in Young Woman And The Sea, which follows her journey to become the first woman to swim across the English Channel in 1926.

“It feels amazing to play someone who has been forgotten,” Ridley, 32, told the PA news agency at the UK gala screening in London.

“We all know there are many women who have been forgotten to history who have done amazing things, so to be able to tell the story of at least one of them is amazing.

“To play someone who was so determined and resilient 100 years ago, told from all sides that she couldn’t do it and she did it – and then the psychological barrier that she broke for other women to think it was possible to.

“It’s hard to overstate her importance in sport – and the fact that she had the biggest parade ever in New York, and it’s never been seen again.”

Young Woman and the Sea gala screening – London
(left to right) Sian Clifford, Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Jerry Bruckheimer, Daisy Ridley and Jeanette Hain attend the gala screening of Young Woman And The Sea at the Curzon Mayfair in London (Ian West/PA)

Director Joachim Ronning said the film was 10 years in the making.

“I was very clear from the beginning of this project…I wanted to do this as real as we could, to go out on the ocean and have Daisy Ridley swim in the real ocean,” he told PA.

“Making movies is challenging but it adds complexity to it when you’re out there and what I’m hoping is it somehow informed us, just a little bit, how it truly felt.

“Obviously, we were not out there risking our lives but I hope that the audience can somehow feel that we did it as real as we could.”

Young Woman and the Sea gala screening – London
Joachim Ronning, Daisy Ridley and Jerry Bruckheimer attend the gala screening of Young Woman And The Sea (Ian West/PA)

Ronning also said he “didn’t know the story” before embarking on the project, which is based on the book titled Young Woman And The Sea: How Trudy Ederle Conquered The English Channel And Inspired the World by Glenn Stout.

“I think that was the thing that baffled me, that such a seismic event when it happened, has been completely lost in time,” 51-year-old Ronning told PA.

“I almost felt the responsibility to tell this remarkable story to my daughters, to a modern audience, and somehow bring her back as best I could.”

The film also stars Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Stephen Graham, Kim Bodnia, Christopher Eccleston and Jeanette Hain.

Young Woman And The Sea will be released in select cinemas on Friday.

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