‘Star Wars’ Was Not Carrie Fisher’s First Movie
Fisher played an important role in the Star Wars franchise’s creation and success, bringing to life a strong female character that all fans love. Even into her final years, she continued her legacy as Princess Leia Organa.
However, Star Wars was not Fisher’s first successful movie. In fact, just two years earlier, she had a small but significant role that put her on Hollywood’s radar and set the foundation for the fame she has today.
Growing up with celebrity parents
Fisher’s parents, Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher had a good run in show business. Reynolds was a renowned actor, and her husband was an incredible singer and actor. Their relationship was seemingly perfect on the outside, but marital issues soon surfaced in the ’50s as Eddie’s affair with Elizabeth Taylor came out.
Growing up with celebrity parents meant any home problems quickly became public knowledge and the forefront of many conversations. Growing up in show business also meant her parents were always busy, and young Fisher wouldn’t get the childhood most kids had the pleasure of cherishing.
Later, Fisher would tell NPR that she didn’t like having a celebrity mom, “I had to share her, and I didn’t like that. When we went out, people sort of walked over me to get her. And, no, I didn’t like it.”
Carrie Fisher’s thoughts on becoming an actor
While growing up with celebrity parents may sound like the perfect scenario for an actor as well-received and talented as Fisher, she wasn’t interested in the movie industry.
In fact, she was completely against following in her parent’s footsteps. In a 2009 interview with CNN, Fisher reveals her problems with the movie industry and the misconceptions.
She explains that she didn’t want to go into show business because “when I became a teenager, my parents, both of their careers were slowly dimming and fading, and it scared me. I saw what it did to them. It hurt them.”
She goes on to say that although it was impossible for her to stay out of the industry, she sees ‘celebrity’ as “obscurity biding its time. You’re not going to stay at some fantastic level [of fame]. It’s going to go away.”
The hard truth Fisher addresses are the struggles with getting a taste of fame and not sustaining it forever. It takes a toll on actors, and she remembers after Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, she “was just watching the clock,” and that once you hit a high level of fame, “people confuse celebrity with acceptance, with approval, with love. All these people will love you, then you will be able to love yourself.”
‘Star Wars’ made her famous, but it wasn’t her first time in the spotlight
Star Wars may have kept Fisher in the spotlight of show business for many more years after her death, but her role in her first movie was just as prominent. Just two years prior to being Princess Leia Organa, Fisher played Lorna alongside Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, and Goldie Hawn in 1975’s hit movie Shampoo.
The film was a hilarious satire about the late 1960s sexual and social norms, set on Election Day in 1968 when Richard Nixon was elected President. In a Variety tribute tweet, fans get a glimpse of a sassy young Carrie Fisher on the set of Shampoo, insisting “I’m not like my mother!” and it makes viewers want to watch the film and rewatch it again.
George Hahn reviews Fisher’s role, saying that “17 year old Carrie Fisher displayed a precocious razor-sharp wit that was beyond her years at the time – a foreshadow of the disarming and inimitable sass that would become her trademark, a savvy that saw so clearly and hilariously through the hoax of show business and of life itself.”