As Princess Leia, Carrie Fisher became one of sci-fi’s iconic leading ladies and she’s set to reprise her role as a badass general in The Force Awakens. But the actress under those bagel-shaped buns has an interesting life of her own and has been a powerful force in Hollywood and even the mental health scene. Let’s celebrate the legacy of the woman behind Leia and go into some of the more incredible details about her! Click "Continue" to start the list.
She writes movies and books and even put on a one-woman play!
Carrie Fisher’s career as a writer is most impressive. Most Star Wars fans probably know she’s written quite a few books that tend to be semi-autobiographical fiction. Her books have been praised for their witty portrayal of the serious issues she struggled with, such as alcoholism, mental illness and drug addiction.
These “loosely based on a true story” novels include: Postcards from the Edge (telling the story of an actress pulling her life after a drug overdose), its sequel The Best Awful There Is (which is said to contain a fictionalized account of Fisher’s relationship with her agent Bryan Lourd), Delusions of Grandma (a tale of a pregnant screenwriter fearing her death and writing letters to her unborn child) and Surrender the Pink (a romance novel said to be based on her marriage to Paul Simon).
Postcards from the Edge was such a success that it got turned into a movie starring Meryl Streep! Fisher herself wrote the screenplay to the movie.
Fisher performing Wishful Drinking
Fisher has also written straight autobiographies with Wishful Drinking and Shockaholic. Wishful Drinking actually started as a one-woman Broadway play performed by Fisher herself (she even got in a tiff with her producer about the rights!) Fisher went on to adapt the play into a novel and there was even an HBO documentary about the stage show.Advertisement
She was a Script Doctor
In addition to writing novels and plays, Carrie Fisher has also worked as a script doctor. If you don’t know what a script doctor is, they’re the anonymous heroes who are called in to fix up movie and TV scripts that need a little something extra. Script doctors are there to make the jokes funnier, the dialogue less corny and occasionally to sew up plot holes. Fisher’s script doctoring fellows include the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Joss Whedon.
Fisher actually got her start as a script doctor on the Star Wars films themselves. Reportedly, when an unsatisfied Harrison Ford began fixing his clunky dialogue, she followed suit.
“Harrison Ford was rewriting his stuff in all the Star Wars movies and it became annoying because it impacted my stuff. It is easier as an actor to go into rewriting because you know what would fit into your mouth dialogue wise. We would tell George Lucas, “You can type this shit but you can’t say it. By the third film, I was rewriting a little bit of my dialogue,” she said.
Carrie Fisher and Sister Act from HDNet Movies
Fisher soon proved to have a talent for dialogue. Steven Spielberg noticed the snappy patter and bought her in to write dialogue for Hook. She had a lucrative career from that point as a script doctor for the likes of Sister Act, Lethal Weapon 3 and even the Star Wars prequels.
She has retired the business however, when the script doctor business began to require writers to submit ideas to movie companies for free before getting hired on (with the directors allowed to keep the notes the doctors submitted). As she said. “That's free work and that's what I always call life-wasting events.”
She’s trying to save Daisy Ridley from the metal bikini
Slave Leia in her metal bikini is an inescapable part of Star Wars geek culture, unfortunately for Fisher. She doesn’t really like the bikini and doesn’t appreciate being thought of as a sex symbol. You can’t really blame her- George Lucas was kind of creepy about the whole deal. He reportedly wouldn’t even let her wear a bra under the thing, claiming that anyone who wore a bra in space would get strangled by it in the zero-gravity. Well, Star Wars isn’t known for its scientific accuracy for a reason.
Though it is too late for her, she wants to rescue Daisy Ridley, leading lady for The Force Awakens, from the fate of being an eternal target of geeky lust. “You should fight for your outfit,” she told her. “Don’t be a slave like I was.” Ridley agreed to fight for her right to comfort and a bra.
While Fisher doesn’t support space bikinis, she does support space smooching. She maintained that every girl should get a space kiss, and she can’t wait for Ridley’s.
She's a fierce advocate for mental health
The Huffington Post referred to Fisher as an “O.G. Mental Health Hero” and that would be a pretty accurate assessment. Fisher was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when she was 24, and struggled with it for a long time. She’s since worked with several mental health advocacy groups and spoken out in support of other mentally ill people many times. “
“I am able to get a lot of people coming up to me that are having a lot of problems, that don’t know what to do, that don’t have a good doctor, people who are suicidal, and I’m able to in some way help,” she once stated. “If I’m seen as sort of a poster recovery person for bipolar, then, OK.”
She fought with her famous Mom over Star Wars
Carrie Fisher is the daughter of two celebrities- Singing in the Rain actress Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher. She’s joked about how having a celebrity heritage was sometimes not very easy, saying “You might say I’m a product of Hollywood inbreeding. When two celebrities mate, something like me is the result.”
Her celebrity mother was definitely very overprotective (and apparently a little high and mighty) when it came to how her daughter was treated during the production of Star Wars. During the making of the first movie, in deference to the low budget, the entire crew (including Lucas himself) decided to fly coach. Reynolds apparently had a problem with her daughter lowering herself in such a way and called Lucas to complain. Fisher happened to be in the room when she did, and she took the phone and said “"Mother, I want to fly coach, will you f**k off?!"
She claims to have been haunted
Tragically, Fisher’s friend R. Gregory Stevens died in her mansion of a drug overdose. Fisher was understandably very distraught over the death and even blamed herself for it. She claimed in a Vanity Fair interview that Stevens haunted her mansion afterwards.
“Lights would go on and off, and I had this toy machine, that when you touched it would say, “F**k you! Eat shit! You’re an asshole!” And it would go off in the night, by itself,” she said.
Despite the aggressive nature of the supposed haunting, she found it a comfort, because she wanted Stevens to still be around. However, she did get some friends to come over and exorcise him eventually and after that, she says the incidents stopped- though she doubts he’ll ever truly be gone for her.