Friends, family, and fans have been memorializing and paying tribute to Carrie Fisher since the actress, age 60, passed away on December 27. This week, co-star and friend Mark Hamill shared a guest column in The Hollywood Reporter, calling out Fisher's softer side and sense of humor. It's well worth a read in full, but if losing Princess Leia has brought you down, maybe it'll help to hear that being her friend was something Hamill considered "an honor."
"The first time I met Carrie was at dinner in London before we started filming together. … 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 10 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."
Fisher was known, especially later in life, as being hard-edged and strong-willed. But Hamill says there was a softer, funny side she showed to her friends. "I remember during Empire we were split up storywise; it was a difficult film to shot and there was a lot of tension on the set," Hamill writes.
"I was off in the swampland with the puppets and robots, but at least Carrie and Harrison got to work with human beings. 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 jumpsuit and it was so tight I looked like a Vegas lounge singer."
It's not all starshine and roses - Hamill says the two would fight and sometimes go weeks without speaking to each other. But that intense connection also made the two feel like family, and Hamill closes by admitting, "I’m grateful that we stayed friends and got to have this second act with the new movies. … My life would have been so much drabber and less interesting if she hadn’t been the friend that she was."
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