The Young Woman and the Sea director dishes on Daisy Ridley's swimming scenes - 'her lips were blue'

Virgin Radio

31 May 2024, 09:56

Daisy Ridley in The Young Woman and the Sea, Director Joachim Ronning

Credit: Walt Disney Studios / Getty

The director behind Disney’s The Young Woman and the Sea has opened up about throwing lead actress Daisy Ridley in the deep end - quite literally - while filming the open water scenes. 

The Star Wars actress plays Gertrude 'Trudy' Ederle, a real-life American competitive swimmer who became the first woman to swim across the English Channel.

The Young Woman and The Sea director, Joachim Ronning, knows a thing or two about filming in vast open waters given he was also at the helm of Pirates of the Caribbean’s fifth movie, Dead Men Tell No Tales. 



Rebus fans are all saying the same thing after ‘absolutely brilliant’ BBC reboot

The Thursday Murder Club movie: Who is in it? When is it out? Everything we know so far

ITV announce new espionage thriller based on surprise TV star's novel - details


Speaking to and other press at the UK Gala Screening of the incredible true story, Ronning confessed he wasn’t too nervous about Daisy taking the plunge as she was more than capable at braving the elements. 

“I'm too stressed to be nervous when I'm out there,” Joachim admitted when asked about the actress diving straight into the swimming scenes. “It's so cold, it's like 15, 16 degrees in the water. She has no wet-suit on, I honestly don't think a lot of people - actors, men or women - could do what she did like.”

Adding to her praise, the filmmaker shared how Daisy would face each swimming challenge head on, even when her “lips turned blue.”

He added: “Week after week, we were out there and [she was] never complaining, never like ‘did you get it?’ Her lips were blue and she was really channelling Trudy Ederle, I really feel it informed us a little bit in how to do this.”

Discussing the “rewarding process” of pushing the boundaries of filmmaking in the water, Joachim continued: “I love being out there. It's hard and stressful, and you have all these boats and you’re exposed to the weather and the currents. You put Daisy Ridley in the water, and suddenly she's 200 yards down, because she gets sucked away by the current. 

“You’re trying to juggle all these things and keep her away from the propellers and you know, at the same time, see her face. So it is challenging, but I really feel that this was important to be as close to the real story as we could.”

Daisy herself was also more than up for the challenge but did have moments of doubt over her ability to do the swimming justice. 

She told “There were many times where I thought "woah". I really had to look at it as a bite size challenge.

“Each day was a new thing to overcome... a race that we were doing took a whole day and sprinting in the water or the big swim at the end. Every time I got back in and it was cold, it was difficult.”

“I just said one more stroke. That was what I was thinking, one more stroke, one more stroke, because I think if I had thought about the whole thing, it would have been too much. But when you're thinking about piece by piece, that's how you build the brick wall, I guess,” she shared.

The Young Woman and The Sea also stars  Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Stephen Graham, Kim Bodnia, Christopher Eccleston, and Glenn Fleshler. 

Young Woman And The Sea is out in cinemas now.