Pop Culture Princess

Beyond Star Wars, there’s a reason why you may have seen a lot of CARRIE FISHER interviews. She isn’t just the Princess of Alderaan she is a Princess of pop culture, immersed in the world of media, from television shows and movies to books and theatre. Perhaps the reason for her transition from epic screen star to candid writer (using an, at times acerbic, pen in place of a lightsaber) is because she considers, “acting and performing as a hobby. But writing is more like a real job. With acting, there are a lot of people around and it’s sort of like a party. Writing though, you feel the accomplishment more because you’re alone and it takes discipline and patience.”

It’s funny that she considers acting only a hobby because while her roles are primarily only cameos, she has appeared in an abundance of films and shows including, When Harry Met Sally, Scream 3, Weeds, Sex and the City, and more recently, Tina Fey’s 30 Rock where she played a hippie (Rosemary). Though Fisher often writes her own cameo material (script doctoring) she says, “Tina Fey is a great writer and has a great writing team! A lot of times I’ll do a part in something and I’ll want to change the dialogue but not at all with 30 Rock… The only thing I changed was that they’d put 12 bottles of prescription medication around Rosemary’s apartment. [Laughing] I thought that was a little extreme! Generally, if you’ve been addicted to painkillers you don’t want to advertise it.”

Despite her preference for writing she is still clearly a performer, drawn to the spotlight. She hasn’t simply disappeared (whatever happened to Mark Hamill?). Fisher is everywhere! “I’m used to the spotlight… Do I gravitate towards it? Well, maybe,” she says, uncertain, “This is the first time I’m doing my own work on stage. My mother’s done it, which makes it easier for me to do because I’ve seen it up close.”

Her mother is singer and actress Debbie Reynolds, whose movie and musical career blossomed in the 1950s after her role as Kathy Selden in Singing in the Rain. But there is no Kathy Selden concrete sex doll, like there is for Leia. “My Mother and I were famous at our peaks at very different times,” Fisher says. “The kinds of films she made they didn’t merchandise. Also to be famous now with the internet, dvds… Those things didn’t exist during the peak of her fame. We’re both doing stage shows now though, so we’re more similar in that respect.”

It goes without saying that Carrie Fisher will always be recognised more for her role in Star Wars than for her writing, cameos and stand-up routine. She isn’t perhaps as bitter about this as she sometimes appears though, saying, “People love Star Wars and they always will. It’s a fairy tale for the 21st Century.”

Carrie Fisher performs at the Canberra Theatre Thursday November 4 and Friday November 5. Ticket bookings can be made through the Canberra Theatre website http://www.canberratheatrecentre.com.au or by calling 02 62752700

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