No one could've played Leia like my mother: Billie Lourd pens emotional essay on Carrie Fisher

Bedika K

New York, Nov 11 (PTI) Billie Lourd says as a child she did not like to see Carrie Fisher transform as Princess Leia as her mother would disappear when the character appeared but over the years she has realised why people connect with the part so much.

'She (Leia) is femininity at its finest,' Lourd wrote in a moving essay for Time Magazine about her mother, who died in December 2016 at the age of 60.

Fisher had just wrapped reprising her role of Leia in director Rian Johnson's 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' and had called Lourd to say that 'The Rise of Skywalker' would be 'her movie' but tragically died before the film's shooting began. Fisher will posthumously appear in the movie, which will be released on December 20.

'We wrapped ‘The Last Jedi’ a little less than six months before she died. I went back to LA to film the show I was on, and she stayed in London to film the show she was on. One of the last times we spoke on the phone, she talked about how excited she was that the next movie in the trilogy was going to be Leia's movie. Her movie,” Lourd wrote.

Lourd said about a year ago, director JJ Abrams called her into his office to talk about his plans to recreate Leia even though Fisher was no longer around. 'We both agreed she was too important to be written off in the classic 'Star Wars' introductory scroll. This last movie was supposed to be Leia’s movie, and we wanted it to remain that, as much as possible.

'What I hadn't known - and what JJ told me that day - was that there was footage of my mom that they had collected over the years that hadn’t made it into the movies, footage that JJ told me would be enough to write an entire movie around. It was like she had left us a gift that would allow Leia’s story to be completed. I was speechless,' she said.

Fisher was not just an actor but also a celebrated writer and a famous script doctor in Hollywood with books such as “Postcards From the Edge” and “Wishful Drinking to her credit.

Sharing her childhood memory of her mother, Lourd said she did not like to dress up like Leia and did not like watching the movie. 'When Leia was around, there wasn’t as much room for my mom — for Carrie. As a child, I couldn’t understand why people loved Leia as much as they did. I didn’t want to watch her movie, I didn’t want to dress up like her, I didn’t even want to talk about her. I just wanted my mom–the one who lived on Earth, not Tatooine,” she said.

Lourd, an actor herself, over the years she realised that no one could have played Leia the way her mother did.

'I realized then that Leia is more than just a character. She’s a feeling. She is strength. She is grace. She is wit. She is femininity at its finest. She knows what she wants, and she gets it. She doesn’t need anyone to defend her, because she defends herself. And no one could have played her like my mother. Princess Leia is Carrie Fisher. Carrie Fisher is Princess Leia. The two go hand in hand.' PTI BK BK SHDSHD