At Anaheim’s Star Wars Celebration Thursday, Carrie Fisher teased details about Princess Leia’s franchise reappearance in Star Wars: The Force Awakens this Christmas. No, she won’t be wearing her famous hair buns nor that metal bikini from Return of the Jedi. “But we have an alternate thing I think you’ll be into,” Fisher allowed.
On Friday, Fisher returned to the stage for a spotlight Q&A session, “Date With a Princess.” But it might have more accurately been titled “The Princess Diaries” considering the actress/novelist/screenwriter/monologist’s disarming habit of meeting every query with maximum candor and her trademark ability to beat everyone in the room to the punchline.
“I am so bad at these [Q&As] that they have to keep me at home,” Fisher said at the outset. “I didn’t understand how many things were spoilers.”
Before nearly 5,000 people (and accompanied by her French bulldog Gary), Fisher, 58, took a stroll down memory lane, dishing behind-the-scenes anecdotes about appearing in Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
Shown a montage of her kissing other characters in the films, she referred to herself piquantly as a “space slut.” At another point Fisher dropped an F-bomb into conversation—not exactly the best idea in an event for Padwans of all ages—before recovering herself. “Around here, the F-word is for Force!” she exclaimed. To which someone in the crowd replied, “I want to Force you!” And Fisher shot back: “That Forcer said the F-word to me!” Yeah, it was like that.
So with the worldwide paroxysm of excitement surrounding Lucasfilms’ trailer reveal Thursday still firmly in mind, herewith we list the five most surprising admissions from Fisher’s “Date With a Princess”:
Achieving Leia’s unforgettable hairdo—a side-part with sculptural mounds of follicular ear muffs—was no easy feat. “It took two hours to do that hairstyle. I would come in at 5 in the morning, before anybody. I would come in plain and end up looking pretty. Pretty weird!” Fisher explained. “Later on, I did Saturday Night Live. I was playing Princess Leia, they clunked a hairpiece on and it looked exactly the same.”
Billy Dee Williams’ special je ne sais quoi
Playing Lando Calrissian, a gambler-entrepreneur living in Cloud City on the planet Bespin in The Empire Strikes Back, Williams used a special technique to put Fisher at ease. “Right before he would kiss my hand, he would say something incredibly filthy so I would laugh,” she said to whoops of laughter from the audience. “Something about the Force and it being with me. Everybody was always trying to make everyone else laugh on that movie. He was a lot of fun to work with.”
Cloudy With a Chance of Stones
Staying in London for the filming of Empire, Fisher’s choice of accommodation led to an unforgettable chance meeting—not to mention certain lasting filmic evidence. “I was young. Oh so young! Eric Idle, who was in Monty Python, rented me his house, but then he stayed at his house. Then he invited the Rolling Stones over. You know how that happens? Like, ‘Oh my God again? Just tell Keith…’” Fisher joked.
“I said to Harrison [Ford], ‘The Rolling Stones are going to come over!’ We had a really early call. You had to measure it: the Rolling Stones or early call? The Rolling Stones or early call? Both! They’re a partying bunch of guys. I told you before I didn’t really drink. But to be amenable, I drank. I used to say I’m allergic to drinking. This would have been a demonstration of that.”
“So we stayed up pretty late,” she continued. “Then we got to the set two hours later. We weren’t hung over. We were still in our cups! If you look at those scenes, Harrison and I are smiling when we arrive in Cloud City. Doesn’t that sound like a euphemism? We arrived in Cloud City where we were forced to go by the Stones.”
Asked by a fan in the Star Wars Celebration crowd what she would say if she could ask her movie mother Queen Padme (played by Natalie Portman in Star Wars Episodes I-III) anything, Fisher demurred. “’I wish I looked more like you.’ I’m OK but she’s the babe,” she said. “I have only met Natalie once. She asked me to give her an award. Her agent was my child’s father [agent Bryan Lourd]. So in Hollywood, that’s like being related.”
Fisher’s favorite scene in any of her Star Wars movies?
“That’s a hard question. I liked jumping to light speed. I’m still trying to jump to light speed even now,” Fisher said. “I’m going to think about that for an hour.”
Then the answer arrived with alacrity: “Probably one of the scenes where I said something awful to Harrison. ‘Scruffy-looking Nerf herder. What a moron!’”