CARRIE FISHER IS PRINCESS LEIA
“I AM PRINCESS LEIA. PRINCESS LEIA IS ME.”
CARRIE FISHER’S PERFORMANCE AS PRINCESS LEIA IN THE ORIGINAL STAR WARS TRILOGY REDEFINED OUR IDEA OF WHAT A PRINCESS IN PERIL COULD BE LIKE. FEISTY, WITTY, TOUGH, AND VERY MUCH IN CONTROL, LEIA LED THE CHARGE, BOTH INTO BATTLE AND IN PROPELLING ICONIC FEMINIST ROLES INTO THE 21ST CENTURY.
Star Wars Insider: Did George Lucas call you to say he was thinking of doing another film?
Carrie Fisher: We were at Star Wars Celebration. We were brought into a room and were seated at a long table, like we were having a meeting about the shareholders. Then, it wasn’t about that. When you met with J.J. Abrams to talk about his vision for the film, what was your take-away from that meeting? What I felt like with J.J. Abrams is that he loved these fi lms. It’s not part of your history; it’s part of your childhood. Little kids grew up watching this, and J.J. is one of those. And there’s a tremendous responsibility to this thing that he treasured. He was taking that seriously. He was excited by it. There’s responsibility that goes with that, and he seemed completely up for that. Did you have any input into Leia’s look? I wanted to use the iconic hairstyle that I had initially. I wanted that hairstyle back. If nothing else, I wanted little old Leia to walk by a window wearing that hairdo on the way to the bathtub. Just show it once. But no, I guess they thought it would be too distracting.
What is your take on J.J. Abrams?
J.J. is someone who’s proven he can do these epic, otherworldly fi lms, and also worldly films. He’s a writer and a director and he loves movies. That really comes across. Was George Lucas groundbreaking in creating Leia? Absolutely, and people keep telling me he was. I have people come up to me and say that my character inspired them to live their lives the way they did. There was a playful side that people got out of it, and there was the side of it where you think of yourself as being capable. The princess is someone who takes responsibility for her life and makes choices and has a life. She doesn’t fall into things. Nothing has changed, except the hair.
How was it meeting the new cast?
I was nervous and excited. We had a good time together. Everyone was nervous in different ways. Watching Daisy Ridley, she has grown enormously during filming. She’s very confident. So, it’s defi nitely a home to her. John (Boyega) always seemed comfortable. John came into the situation very confi dent. How is Adam Driver doing as a villain? Playing a villain, you don’t know you’re a villain. This is your cause, and this is what Adam is doing. He’s passionate, but he’s also solitary. Is it fun to see the return some of the original creatures? It’s good to have them back. It’s a Star Wars high school reunion.
How about having Anthony Daniels back as C-3PO?
That’s awesome and he looks exactly the same! Does it feel like a world you all know, but moved on? We’ve moved on. So you have more experience to bring to what you’re looking at; to bring to bear upon the situation. You were an innocent; you were moving faster when you were a kid, when you were making these films. So, now we’re looking at it with a lot more experience. Do you think there is a part of Leia in you? I am Princess Leia. Princess Leia is me. It’s like a Mobius strip. My life has informed who she is, and she’s informed who I am and who I’ve had to be, based on experiences I’ve gone through and the courage that was required to go through some of that. So, a lot of her demeanor, her passion and her willingness to go on, I’ve found in me.
What do you think of the fans?
This is their fairytale. This is what they grew up with, what their fantasies were propelled by. It was this other world. They belong to that other world and they feel a part of that. They feel like they know you and to an extent they do. The funniest thing to me, and the sweetest thing to me, is when they bring you a three-weekold child wearing the Leia outfi t. It’s also seeing these tiny kids and the children know who you are. That’s the oddest, sweetest, most fascinating aspect of it. I think the fans will be happy to be in their home away from home again.