Carrie Fisher: 'I like to think of myself as a failed bulimic'

'I like to think of myself as a failed bulimic'


We all knew 'Star Wars' would be huge – except George Lucas It felt like playing on a big set of boys' toys; it was very surreal. But although Star Wars was a life-changing event for me, I've since found success in behind-the-scene roles [as an acclaimed novelist, scriptwriter and Hollywood script-doctor], which I've preferred.

I'm 5ft 1, so if I gain 10lbs, I may as well be twins I've been on the road for the past three-and-a-half years with [my autobiographical show] Wishful Drinking. I stopped exercising and I put on so much weight it was humiliating. I weighed 12 stone at my heaviest. I couldn't even look at myself.

I was flattered by how iconic the 'Return of the Jedi' gold bikini scenes became I was the geek pin-up. But I'll never forget when this guy came up and said, "I've been thinking of you every day from when I was 12 to 22." "Every day?" I asked. And he replied, "Actually, four times a day." Well, that's gross. And I don't look like that any more.

As a teenager, I really didn't like my mother It's tough to individuate yourself if your mom [the American actress Debbie Reynolds] is a gorgeous, powerful Hollywood star. Now we're much closer; my relationship with her is just like any other mother-daughter relationship, except we wear more make-up and we're louder. I'm still jealous, though, as now I'm fatter than her – she's more disciplined than me.

Beauty is the biggest power you can have I look at how many young, beautiful girls there are in Hollywood and its obvious that we live in a world that's fixated on appearance. I'd like to think intellect was more important,but look around: there's the Nobel Prize, sure, but there's a lot more beauty prizes. These girls need to know: you're all heading for skin creping and losing your looks as you get older.

It's not good to go online to see what people say about you I Googled myself recently and someone had posted on a website: "Whatever happened to Carrie Fisher? She used to be so hot and now she looks like Elton John." It hurts, but if people are going to say mean stuff about me, I may as well say it myself [in my show], except I'll be more precise about putting myself down.

I regret that I complicated my daughter's life with my vices and being bipolar. [Fisher struggled for many years with alcohol and substance addiction.] As a mother, I'm supposed to be here to ease her difficulties in life, and that was not always possible. But the best thing you can do with regrets is hope that they become a lesson.

I'm not big on all that surgical stuff I'm not getting any younger, but I've not had a face-lift, as it wouldn't have been brilliant idea for me anyway; if you're going to be as overweight as I have been, then you can't get a face-lift, because if you then go and lose all the weight, it would look terrible and you'd have to have it done all over again.

I like to think of myself as a failed bulimic I was never very good at denying myself. When I got the Star Wars role, I weighed just 7 stone, and they told me I had to lose another 10lbs; I carry a lot in my face. There was no way that I could lose that weight healthily – there's no accident that the word "die" is in diet.

My new diet plan works along the same lines as AA Jenny Craig's is about the one-to-one support they give, which is key, along with portion control. So far I've lost 17lbs in 10 weeks, and it feels good; I just want the option to get back into a bikini again.

Carrie Fisher, 54, is a novelist, screenwriter and actress. For more about the Jenny Craig Fitness Plan, visit jennycraig.co.uk or call 0800 088 2034

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR and Payroll Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This dynamic outsourced contact...

Recruitment Genius: Production & Quality Control Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity for a ...

Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor - Kettering - £32,000

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor with an established...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Generalist

£40 - 50k (DOE) + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a HR Manager / HR Genera...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor