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Wednesday
Dec282016

VALE CARRIE FISHER

As the daughter of 50s Hollywood A-listers Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, a young Carrie was born into the insanity of the showbusines elite. From her film debut as the teen seductress of Warren Beatty in Shampoo to her iconic role as Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy to unforgettable support parts in films such as The Blues Brothers, When Harry Met Sally and The 'Burbs, Carrie Fisher always made a big impression on-screen. Off-screen, she was unique industry figure; open and forthright about mental health and addiction issues, she was revealed to be a gifted writer, her caustic wit and achingly honest assessment of her own foibles and the vacuousness of the world around her resulting in such classics tomes as Postcards from The Edge, Wishful Drinking and her latest, The Princess Diarist. No one has chronicled her life more eloquently than the lady herself. Vale Carrie Fisher.

On growing up famous:
If anything, my mother taught me how to sur-thrive. That's my word for it.

I am truly a product of Hollywood in-breeding. When two celebrities mate, someone like me is the result.

My parents had this incredibly vital relationship with an audience, like muscle with blood. This was the main competition I had for my parents' attention: an audience.

Acting engenders and harbours qualities that are best left way behind in adolescence. 

I was born into big celebrity. It could only diminish. 

You know, by birthright I’m eccentric. My only role models were people who knew how to get attention.

On Shampoo:

At the time I did Shampoo, I was a virgin. I knew nothing. They would kid me. Warren [Beatty], Hal [Ashby] and Robert [Towne] would all fall apart laughing, and I would, too. My line to Warren was “Want to fuck?” and I was supposed to be hostile and mean and power-crazy. I would say that line and fall apart, because Warren had told the others that I didn’t know what I was talking about and that was very funny to them. 

Warren…was asked by the costume department if he wanted me to wear a bra under my tennis clothes or not. Warren squinted in the general direction of my breasts. ‘Is she wearing one now?’ ‘Yes,’ responded Aggie, the costume designer. Warren pursed his lips thoughtfully. ‘Let’s see it without.'

On Star Wars:

I thought: it'll be fun to do. I'm 19! Who doesn't want to have fun at 19? I'll go hang out with a bunch of robots for a few months and then return to my life and try to figure out what I want to do when I grow up. 

People see me and they squeal like tropical birds or seals stranded on the beach.

Along with aging comes life experience, so in every way that is consistent with even being human, Leia has changed.

All I can say is that when millions of plastic dolls of you are being sold each day and an equal number of teenage boys are masturbating over you each night, it's bound to do something screwy to your psyche.

On addiction:

Sometimes you can only find heaven by slowly backing away from Hell.

Anything you can do in excess for the wrong reasons is exciting to me. 

You know how they say that religion is the opiate of the masses? Well I took masses of opiates religiously.

I'll never be known for my work with boundaries. 

On mental health:

One of the great things to pretend is that you're not only alright, you're in great shape. Now to have that come true - I've actually gone on stage depressed and that's worked its magic on me, 'cause if I can convince you that I'm alright, then maybe I can convince me.

I'm very sane about how crazy I am. 

I went to a doctor and told him I felt normal on acid, that I was a light bulb in a world of moths. That is what the manic state is like.

My inner world seems largely to consist of three rotating emotions: embarrassment, rage, and tension. Sometimes I feel excited, but I think that's just positive tension.

I'm actually in the Abnormal Psychology textbook. Obviously my family is so proud. Keep in mind though, I'm a PEZ dispenser and I'm in the abnormal Psychology textbook. Who says you can't have it all?

On writing:
I always wrote. I wrote from when I was 12. That was therapeutic for me in those days. I wrote things to get them out of feeling them, and onto paper. So writing in a way saved me, kept me company. I did the traditional thing with falling in love with words, reading books and underlining lines I liked and words I didn't know.

I am a spy in the house of me. I report back from the front lines of the battle that is me. I am somewhat nonplused by the event that is my life.

I have a mess in my head sometimes, and there's something very satisfying about putting it into words. Certainly it's not something that you're in charge of, necessarily, but writing about it, putting it into your words, can be a very powerful experience. 

You're only as sick as your secrets. Either it comes out their way or my way. I talk about myself behind my back. And I'm funny about it.

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