59-year-old Carrie Fisher loses 16kg to play Princess Leia

17 December 2015 / 10 months 1 week ago

The New Paper
Dec 16, 2015

Carrie Fisher is a child of Hollywood royalty and her famous parents, actress Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher, made headlines when Fisher went off with actress Elizabeth Taylor.

Carrie Fisher herself has been making headlines, with marriages that have crumbled, drug addiction and bipolar disorder.

The 59-year-old US actress forged her own career in movies playing small roles, but it is her accomplishments as a writer (Postcards From The Edge) that are the most note-worthy.

But perhaps the biggest headline she is stuck with is being Princess Leia, with the iconic buns and metallic bikini, and now that she is back in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we ask if, among all she has achieved and survived, this fact bothers her.

We are at the Los Angeles Convention Center for the press junket, and Fisher is eccentric, adorable, funny as always, and half her normal size (more on that later).

"Wouldn't that be a stupid thing for it to bother me?" she answers. "No, I joined up with it... She was an independent, strong, outspoken person and I wonder who I would have been without her."

That was one of the few straight answers we could get out of her.

Regarding Leia, will she still have the buns?

"I have a new hairstyle very briefly, but it reminds me of a baboon a**, so that is the next level for me."

What about the costume?

"(It's) a little like a high fashion garage attendant that puts gas in the car, if I'm saying it right, which I am not."

Is Leia still feisty?

"You get less feisty as you get older. It gets slower. Yeah, feisty is sort of weird-looking at our age, isn't it?"

Okay, will we at least recognise her on screen?

"You'll recognise me. I look melted and I look my age. Unfortunately, I don't want to look my age. I would do everything but have serious surgery for it."

We talk about the 16kg she had to shed for The Force Awakens.

"My physical self and I are not friends. We're not speaking and I'm ignoring especially my arms lately.

"I've never liked my appearance and they were right to tell me to lose that weight. No one forced me to do anything because I know the word 'no'. I know it wouldn't have been received well so I lost weight.

"They want to hire three-quarters of myself and I leave a quarter of myself at home. First movie they told me to lose (4.5kg) and now there was more."

Was there a moment that stood out for her during filming?

"Well, when I first got there, I was in my trailer and I heard Harrison's footsteps and I still know that sound. And then he just came and said without enthusiasm 'Carrie's here', so that was very special," she says with a laugh.

The three of them, including 64-year-old Hamill who plays her twin brother Luke Skywalker, have stayed in touch over the years. Fisher recalls their connection fondly.

"Harrison was our adult person on the first movies. Now he's not, but he was and it was fun to see. We grew up together and we had this extraordinary experience together that was unprecedented, so we shared that and we still laugh at each other."

When asked for her reaction to Ford's plane crash, there are more wisecracks. (Ford is 75.)

"I offered to fly that day and he said no. Why is he doing these things, a man his age?" she says with a laugh.

"I had lots of conversations with him. Doesn't listen to me, can you believe it? Don't fly a plane over 70."

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