Carrie Fisher’s death is heartbreaking to so many because her openness and honesty about her life made her seem like someone you’ve known all your life, an intimate and wonderful old friend. The words of her actual old friend supports some of those feelings.
In a tribute published on The Hollywood Reporter Monday, Mark Hamill shared some sweet memories of getting to know Carrie Fisher as a young man and the joy of having his life inextricably linked to hers through the Star Wars series. Before shooting with Fisher began, Hamill asked the production office to set up a dinner between them so he could get to know her, and it sounds like she knew how to make instant pals:
You know, she was 19 years old at the time. I was a worldly 24. So I was thinking, “Oh my God, it’ll be like working with a high school kid.” But I was just bowled over. I mean she was just so instantly ingratiating and funny and outspoken. She had a way of just being so brutally candid. I’d just met her but it was like talking to a person you’d known for ten years. She was telling me stuff about her stepfather, about her mom, about Eddie Fisher — it was just harrowing in its detail. I kept thinking, “Should I know this?” I mean, I wouldn’t have shared that with somebody that I had trusted for years and years and years. But she was the opposite. She just sucked you into her world.
Most of his anecdotes are similar to the goofy memories you might have of your own social group’s hijinks, except they were on the set of one of the most successful movies of all time:
Once at lunchtime she said, “You should try on my jumpsuit.” I said, “The one-piece white jumpsuit? You’re what, 5’2”? I’ll never get in!” She said, “Just try.” I put on that Princess Leia zipper jump suit and it was so tight I looked like a Vegas lounge singer. If that wasn’t ridiculous enough, she had me put on one of those bald cap masks with the Bozo hair and glasses and nose and then she walked me around the back lot.
Hamill alludes to times when he and Fisher were in conflict, and times when they “hated each other’s guts.” But, he says, “That’s all part of what makes a relationship complete. It’s not all one sided. Like I say, she was a handful. She was high maintenance. But my life would have been so much drabber and less interesting if she hadn’t been the friend that she was.”
You can read the whole essay here.
Update 4:02 pm:
Carrie Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd, posted a message on Instagram Monday as well, thanking fans for the support in an extremely difficult time. She writes:
Receiving all of your prayers and kind words over the past week has given me strength during a time I thought strength could not exist. There are no words to express how much I will miss my Abadaba and my one and only Momby. Your love and support means the world to me.