Daisy Ridley was born on 10 April 1992 in Westminster, London, and grew up in Maida Vale. She is the youngest of three daughters born to Louise Fawkner-Corbett, a banker, and Christopher Ridley, a photographer. She has two older sisters, Kika Rose and Poppy Sophia. Her mother's family, the Fawkner-Corbetts, were landed gentry with a military and medical background. Her great-uncle was Dad's Army actor and playwright Arnold Ridley; his brother, Daisy's grandfather, John Harry Dunn Ridley, O. B. E. , was head of the Engineering Secretariat at the B. B. C. from 1950 to 1965. While growing up, her favourite film was Matilda (1996), an adaptation of Roald Dahl's children's story, with the title character (played by Mara Wilson in the film) a role model to her. Ridley won a scholarship to Tring Park School for the Performing Arts in Hertfordshire, which she attended between the ages of 9 and 18. She then began reading classical civilisation at Birkbeck, University of London, before dropping out to concentrate on her acting career. Prior to being cast in The Force Awakens, Ridley worked as a bartender in two different pubs in London for nearly two years. In 2016 Ridley began studying for a Bachelor of Arts in social science through online courses with the Open University.