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Interview w/ Barbara Fisher: If only I’d switched lower ‘Star Wars’

There are no skeletons in Carrie Fisher’s closet. She’s dragged them out and scattered them around the house for all to see, and she’ll tell you hilarious stories about every one of them — whether you ask her or not.

Most of those skeletons appear in her fifth book, “Wishful Drinking,” which is based on her one-woman stage show of the same name. On Wednesday, she came early to the TODAY show and stayed late, regaling both Matt Lauer and Al Roker with stories from a life as chaotic as any Hollywood has ever produced — on-screen or off.

Among her revelations: If she’d known “Star Wars” was going to be such a giga-hit, she never would have signed on for the role of Princess Leia; she’s a bipolar-disorder sufferer who found relief in electroconvulsive therapy; and when she started doing LSD and other drugs, her parents got Cary Grant to counsel her to stop.

“I make light of stuff,” the 52-year-old actress and author told Lauer. “It’s better to get funny fast, or it’s just going to haunt you.”

She’s got a lot of stuff to make light of. Fisher’s parents were singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds, the Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston of their day. When Fisher was just a toddler, her father left Reynolds to become certainly one of Elizabeth Taylor’s (the Julia Roberts of her day) serial husbands. Thus she was raised having a firsthand look at what celebrity can perform to individuals, and also the tawdry side of Hollywood that fans rarely see.

“It doesn’t look so good, show business, when you are around it,” she told Roker. “It’s like, ‘Don’t consider the guy behind that curtain, the truly amazing and effective Oz.’ I had been always aware of the curtain stuff.”

“I saw the heartbreak of celebrity,” she told Lauer. And what she saw convinced her she didn’t need it: “Get me from that.”

Too body fat for Leia?

At age 19, Fisher was offered the part of Princess Leia, despite the fact that at 5-feet-1 and 105 pounds she was told she was too body fat for that part. She required the part, but, she told Lauer, had she known how large the film could be, “I would not did it. All Used to do after i really was famous was wait for this to finish.”

She’d one marriage, to singer Paul Simon. Once they divorced, she’d rapport with agent John Lourd, by whom she’d a daughter in 1992. However Lourd left her — not for an additional lady, however for another guy.

For solace Fisher switched to her mother, who cheered her up by saying, “We have a variety of males within our family. We’ve equine thieves. We’ve one-guy bands. This will be our first homosexual!”

Lauer requested her to discuss when she began experimentation with drugs, and Fisher chuckled in the image that conjured. “ ‘Experiment with drugs’ is amusing,” she stated. “I went from the lab with beakers.”

When she began doing LSD, Darlene Reynolds known as a buddy who had attempted LSD within doctor’s supervision. The guy was Hollywood icon Cary Grant, who dutifully known as Fisher.

“What did he say?” Lauer requested.

“Don’t eat acidity,” Fisher stated dryly.

When her father, Eddie Fisher later discovered his daughter’s drug abuse, he, too, known as Grant, who known as her again with similar advice.


Fisher was equally funny speaking about her manic depression, or bpd. When word of her condition got out, her mother objected, calling Fisher to inform her, “You’re not psychologically ill, you’re manic-depressive.”

Fisher stated her disorder opposed all drugs and therapy, and she or he finally found relief through electroconvulsive therapy, generally referred to as electroshock, which is applicable electricity towards the brain. Decades ago the treatment transported lots of negative implications, but Fisher stated psychiatrists have called the current lower and patients don’t really get into withdrawal leading to convulsions. “I loved it since it labored,” she stated.

However, getting remedies 72 hours per week for many days, she added, leaves the individual with gaps in memory. Because the brain recalibrates, everything returns aside from four several weeks, she described.

When Lauer expressed amazement at her assertion that losing four several weeks wasn’t a large deal, Fisher was blase. “What’s going to take place in four several weeks inside my age it is not going to take place in another four several weeks?”

Roker requested Fisher concerning the many child stars whose lives become train wrecks because they get older.

“It’s hard,especially at a young age,” Fisher said. “They’re going through their adolescence in front of all of us — without their underwear on.”

Fisher said she is performing her stage show and planning another book, which will be her sixth. She said the only thing about aging that bothers her are the wrinkles she’s getting on her neck, which she covers with a scarf.

The problem, she explained to Roker, is that women’s bodies come with more fat than men’s. “We have two fat cells to your one to keep fetuses warm,” she said. “I say give us a blanket.”

Source: Today Show

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