Carrie Fisher (left) and Emmanuelle Vaugier star in “It’s Christmas, Carol” on the Hallmark Channel.
Updated: November 20, 2012 4:48PM
Carrie Fisher will be forever associated with the role of Princess Leia in the original “Star Wars” trilogy, but she’s also the daughter of entertainers Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher.
She has been candid about being bipolar, her addictions and rehab. Fisher is now a successful author, actress and scriptwriter who mined her rich life to entertain others and heal herself with the autobiographical books “Postcards From the Edge” and “Wishful Drinking.” Once married to singer Paul Simon, she had a daughter in 1992 with her partner of three years, Bryan Lourd.
She is a Christmas ghost in Hallmark Channel’s original movie “It’s Christmas, Carol!” It airs at 8 p.m. Nov. 23 and 1 p.m. Nov. 24.
Question: What was Christmas like for you as a child, or did you celebrate Hanukkah?
Carrie Fisher: It was Christmas. We believed in Santa Claus for a really long time because you got an extra present if you believed in Santa Claus. Even though Santa’s writing was very much like my mom’s, it’s my favorite holiday of the year, hands down.
Q. You play the ghost of Christmas past in “It’s Christmas, Carol!” Do you believe the past can haunt the future?
CF: Yeah, completely. I don’t know for how long — until you get Alzheimer’s. [Laughs] It depends on what is haunting, but yeah, sure.
Q. What movies have made you think about your life and its impact?
CF: Well, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” That was the main one. I mean, I watch that every year.
Q. Do you believe in spiritual things?
CF: I don’t know about life after death. I think that’s wishful thinking. But I believe that life is a very strong force, and I don’t think it just goes away. It’s a lot to have gone. I mean, I had someone die in my house and I don’t think all of him left for a while.
Q. I think you had to be brave to open up your life for the world to see in “Wishful Drinking” and “Postcards From the Edge.”
CF: I guess so. Sometimes I think, “Why the hell did I do all that?” (Laughs) But yeah, I never let it occur to me that it could make some kind of — I don’t know — difference that I should be ashamed of any of that. I think if it’s my truth, and not someone else’s, I am going to have a better time with it.
Q. You are very bright, but that aspect of your character doesn’t get as much attention.
CF: I think I have a verbal acuity and I’m fast. I don’t know; maybe there’s a tendency to look at people who come from the background I come from or even an actress and sort of get diminished that way. The way that most people see me is I started that way (as an actress). Most people see me as Princess Leia. I mean, what kind of an IQ could Princess Leia have? [Laughs]
Q. Your life has just sort of unfolded and you followed, walked the path.
CF: Yeah, which is a horrible thing to think, but having not considered it before, yes, all of it. All of it. Acting — never wanted to be an actress. I was taken by a friend of my mother’s to the set of “Shampoo,” and I was an actress. I just kind of had to shape it as I went. But I would find myself doing things that I had not but might as well have chosen. It makes sense looking back. But they weren’t choices.
Q. It was just circumstance?
CF: Based on who I was. I mean, I did understand that I had a way with words, early. I fell in love with words early on. I would write all the time, and it made me feel better. If I could put it into words it would stay out of emotion. So it was just sort of a safety net. And make them funny. That is sort of abstracting them. So that is what words were for me. They would abstract things that were dangerous to me.
Q. I have heard you enjoy interior design.
CF: Yes, I do. My house is like a collage. At the beginning of my life, there were all these pieces of a puzzle from all over the world. I had gone around the world collecting and then re-assimilating them and putting them together in my house. My house is this sort of art project. It’s eccentric. It’s home. It is not something I think you would conventionally take pictures of and put in Architectural Digest, though they have done that. My design is sort of humorous, home and humorous.