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Carrie Fisher meant different things to different people: daughter of Hollywood royalty. Charming technique. Brilliant writer. Ruthlessly honest chronicler of their own struggles. Most iconic movie hero all the time. All above.
But to the daughter Billie Lourd, she was the mother, or Momby and Fisher considered her only child her greatest production. Her "most extraordinary creation."
"To my DNA jackpot – my daughter, Billie," reads the dedication in Fisher's 2008 memoir wish Sought. "For all you are and all you have to be. I want to be like you when I grow up." And in the acclaim of her last book, 2016 Princess Diarist, Fisher wrote, "For Billie – to get better than I could deserve or imagine. But please get a housekeeper. Vegas will always be there."
Lourd gave the self-staring star a new lease for life when she was born in 1992, and they were thick who envied thieves to Fisher died two years ago today. She was just 60, had just been around the world and promoted her last book and was fresh from shooting Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It was the most unwelcome twist she could have cast on her legions of fans after a career built on never failing to surprise.
Just adding the surrealist to the whole thing was the mother's death, the screen legend Debbie Reynolds, the next day.
"I have always lived in their shadows and now is the first time in my life when I come to own my life and stand alone," Lourd said last year and spoke to American Horror Story co-star Sarah Paulson to City and country. "I love being my mother's daughter, and that's something I always want to be, but now I'm just Billie."
She also revealed that she was, if not the only one, so definitely one of the few people Fisher would agree to tone it down when it came to digging into his tumultuous family history. Fisher's close but complicated relationship with Reynolds, which weathered a long alienation to return quirks and closer than ever to the other side, was basically part of the Hollywood party for 40 years.
"Debbie did it to her, so whenever I came up to her and said," Please tone it down, "she wanted, because she went through it with Debbie and knew how difficult it was," Lourd claimed. "Now I look back and look at her interviews, I try to model what I do after her. She was so good at it. She would be so annoyed with me if I ever made a false interview. She said: "Tell real story."
Part of the real story was that Debbie Reynolds couldn't wait to have grandchildren, and she hoped to become a mother would do to Carrie what it had done for her – giving her the best reason to survive. Reynolds has of course his own place in the history books – as an actress and entertainer, and as the sweet star left behind when the man Eddie Fisher jumped the ship to stay Elizabeth Taylorfourth husband.
Reynolds, although blind, tended to approach the tough time in her life with humor, and compared herself with the infamously jilted Jennifer Aniston later in life. She and Taylor ended up being friends, and Fisher wrote the 2001 comedy These Old Broads for them.
Carrie was 2 and her brother, Todd Fisher, was barely a year old when the parents divorced. Suffice it to say that Fisher's relationship with his father was everywhere, but ultimately she could see the situation through the signature lens.
"Believe in shaping, my father continued to neglect his parents' duties in death as he did in life," she wrote. wish Sought (she later dedicated the 2010 HBO specially adapted from her one-woman Broadway show of the same name to Eddie, who died in 2010). "There was no last will and testament found. There was a piano, a selection of notes, a closet full of clothes, a watch and one item ultimately appreciates: my father's diamond rose that he had used for as long as any of we could remember. "
In a magnificent metaphor, the stone appeared to be false.
"I loved my father," Fisher concluded. "The man was beyond fun to hang out with, grateful, playful and eccentric sweet. But this was also a man who – though he had meant to give bona fide diamonds only the finest color, cut and clarity – eventually only being able to offer cubic zirconium. "
Fisher wrote that she was "probably rebounding" after the end of her short marriage with Paul Simon in 1984 when she met talent agent Bryan Lourd.
"Bryan took care of me as I thought," this guy will make a good father. And I was right, he made a great father – and he still does. "
Billie Catherine Lourd was born on July 17, 1992. Fisher recalled the birth announcement: "Some are summer in the stomach / Some have fallen through the legs / To make an infant omelet / Just crawl sperm and eggs."
A year later, Bryan ended the relationship with another man.
"We had loved Carrie and Bryan together," wrote Todd Fisher in his book in 2018 My girls: A lifetime with Carrie and Debbie. "We would love how she was happy when she was with him. And we had much higher hopes for Billie than to be raised by two parents who were not together, no matter how much her parents loved her. "
IN wish Sought, Fisher fondly remembers Reynolds and says: "You know dear, we've had all kinds of people in our family. We've had horse thieves and alcoholics and one-man bands, but this is ours. first homosexual! & # 39; "
Reynolds remembered things a little more demurely in their own 2013 memoir unsinkablebut she also described Bryan Lourd as a wonderful father.
Soon after Billie was born, Bryan was the one who first bathed her in the hospital. "Whatever Carrie went through with Billie's father after that," Reynolds wrote, "I'll always remember if he takes care of our little Billie so beautifully."
Fisher admitted to being "broken", but her hospitalization a year later for manic depression had nothing to do with break-up, she wrote.
"Imagine having a mood system that works essentially like weather – whatever happens in your life," Fisher explains.
"It's a tribute to both Carrie and Bryan that they managed to keep the bulk of their affairs focused on co-parents Billie, the daughter they both loved," Todd wrote. "There were many times when Carrie could not be the kind of loving, trustworthy mother Billie deserved, and Bryan was always happy to take over as his dear, trustworthy father."
Billie remembered that Dad was the more homely stable.
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"He comes home at the same time every day, and we eat dinner together, we do homework together, we look at Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and cry, and then fall asleep, "she told Paulson in City and country. "At mom it was," Let's put Christmas lights in palm trees at 2 o'clock "
One of Fisher's go-to jokes in recent years was about her talent by turning men gay, but she eventually pulled it out of her wish Sought show.
"I was having a hard time in the beginning," Lourd said T&C. "I was very protective of dad and would stop her and be like," Can you take out the thing you say, "I turned him gay." Can't we have it on Broadway? "
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In a 2011 interview for Mail Online, Fisher was asked why held a picture of his former guy on his piano.
"My daughter Billie asks me why I keep it there and I say," Because it's something I did it through, "Fisher said." It's a mistake I learned from. Also, it's fun. Hollywood curiosity at its best. "(More peak weirdness: Fisher entered wish Sought that Billie had a "flirting" like a teenager with Rhys Tivey, grandson of Elizabeth Taylor and her third husband Mike Todd. "When they first met, they tried to figure out how everything fits together and if they were related in one way or another … I told them," You're related to scandal. ")
"Bryan is a good man in many ways," Fisher said. "It took some time to adjust, but then we started going on holiday-Billie, me, Bryan and this guy he saw.
much we loved her. I wanted Billie to see that we could be friends because I never had it with my own parents. I'm glad I got Billie a good dad; He's all my father was not including gay! "
Bryan Lourd married her long-term partner, restaurateur Bruce Bozzi, in October 2016 and they are also parents of daughter Ava.
"My father married a year ago, and I have a 9 year old little sister who is absolutely amazing," Billie, who admitted being bumbed about not having any siblings, said in 2017. "She's like my daughter , too. "
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IN wish Sought, Fisher called his da-teenage daughter, including "amazing," "pretty," and a "great writer", and remembered her as a "very oral and beautiful child." And Billie so much.
Reynolds, also deals with the revelations in wish Sought In addition to discussing his own life (she wrote four books), wrote in unsinkable that Billie's love "anchors Carrie. It gives her strength. She and Billie work through everything and are fine."
The Singin & # 39; in the rain Star recognized being "excited" when Carrie became pregnant, but also worried about her at the time, knowing she was outside her antidepressant during pregnancy. "It was a very brave and difficult thing for her to do," Reynolds wrote. "Having a baby is hard enough without all the mental changes Carrie went through."
The first few years of motherhood were not easy for Fisher when she was fighting depression and her ongoing addiction problems. But as she herself put it, it was Billie who ultimately inspired her to keep her "wick lit."
When she started talking for the first time about being a bipolar, Fisher told ABC News & # 39; Diane Sawyer in 2000, "Before I had children, I really felt it was my business if I wanted to stop my medication. I no longer feel that way. It's a much easier decision if you have children. You really don't want to to be the person who sees it in some eyes after a while. "
Even before she was willing if it was commonplace Star War Conventions, find out if you can't beat them, join, Carrie continued her own myth for her daughter's sake – to give the baby more excitement, over average opportunities for fun. She also took travel journal, money a series called "Travels With Billie", so they could go everywhere.
"When Billie was four or five, I made personal figures on every Disneyland on the planet," she wrote Princess Diarist. "(Everything she knew was that we didn't have to line up and had to go to Matterhorn three times and have lunch with Dumbo!")
Fisher eventually showed her daughter Star War when she was 5 "and her first reaction was that it was too high. Also her second and third."
But knowing firsthand how it was to be paraded around like a star's daughter, Fisher didn't do it with her own child. Billie could not help, but realize her mother was a big deal and her mother before her was a big deal (not to mention that Billie's father holds the keys to many a Hollywood door in Hollywood), but she was thoroughly encouraged not to take that road herself.
"All my life, they said," Don't act. You must get a college degree, "" Lourd, who started at Wesleyan and then graduated from NYU, told Interview in 2015. "I went to the stage battle, secretly took classes. I took the lead in the music, and my dad was like:" Wait, I thought you were going here for music and knitting. & # 39; "
That said, Lourd's first movie was 2015 Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with her mother's encouragement, on which she was supported 100 percent in her attempts.
"J.J. Abrams called and said they could not find anyone for this section and I would come in and read for it, "Billie said T&C. "I didn't get the part[avReysomgikktil[ofReywhichwentto[avReysomgikktil[ofReywhichwenttoDaisy Ridley], but I got an extra part with three lines. The thing is, I was bizarre comfortable on the set. My mother would pull me aside and be like: "It's weird that you're so comfortable here. This is the most unpleasant environment in the world. If you are comfortable here, you should do this. & # 39; "
Her big breakout role came in afterwards Ryan Murphys Fox Show Scream Queens, after which she was a member of the Murphy squad and has since been in American Horror Story: Cult and AHS: Apocalypse. She also reprized the character of Lieutenant Connix in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, who came out last year and will be in it yet not named Star Wars: Episode IX. She also has a role in Olivia Wildes function direct debut, Book Smart, expires in 2019.
Lourd remembered the last words with blunt, non-nonsense encouragement her mother gave her what unexpectedly turned out to be the last time she saw her personally.
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"… This episode of Scream Queens was on and it was a big episode for me, "she claimed to Sarah Paulson." I had many scenes, and I was so hard on myself. I hated how I saw, hated my performance. I was very frustrated. She told me, "Get over right now. I want to see this with you. And she made me sit down and look at it, and she forced me to see the good parts. She was so amazing." But she was very hard on me and said, "Stop, you're great in this. Believe in yourself. Be safer. & # 39; "
Fisher remembered his daughter, about 13 years old, as a schizophrenic specialty neurologist, and then a comic book.
She recommended Billie that she had to be a writer first and tell her, "but don't worry, you have ton of material. Your mother is a manic depressive addict, your father is gay, your grandmother's tapestry and your grandfather's shootout! & # 39; "
Billie thought it was hysterical, as Carrie replied, "Baby, the fact that you know it's fun, will save your whole life." "
So far, it has definitely proved to be a valuable life skill to have in the toughest of times.
"If life is not fun, then it is only true – and that would be unacceptable," Lourd said City and county, paraphrasing some key perspective gone down from her mother. "Even when she died, that was what got me through it all. When Debbie died the next day, I could only picture [Carrie] and said, "Well, she's rebelling me again, of course, she had to." "
In the first few weeks and months after losing two of the most important people in her life, Billie lay pretty low, but in keeping with what she had observed, her mother made her time and time again, she didn't know how to take it up. public truth about the mother's death.
When the official cause of death came back in June 2017 as sleep apnea and "other indeterminate factors," Lourd said in a statement to People"My mother is fighting substance abuse and mental illness throughout her life. She eventually died. She was deliberately open to all her work on the social stigmas surrounding these diseases.
She talked about the shame that plagues people and their families who are being confronted with these diseases. I know Mom, she wants her death to encourage people to be open about their struggle. Seek help, fight for state funding for mental health programs. Shame and the social stigmas are enemies of progress in solutions and finally a cure. Love you Momby. "
Lourd is also pouring herself into work (she would like to write and lead one day), and of course she has kept her mother close to her heart wherever she goes.
When The last Jedi came out last year, she and dad were in norway to see the northern lights – as Fisher apparently had a "second-grade obsession", but she never saw them with her daughter.
"We traveled to Northern Norway to see if we could see the heavens lifting up their dark skirts and flashing their dazzling individuals over [our] Unworthy irises, "Billie wrote on Instagram, quoting a piece of Fisher wrote for Port magazine in 2013. "And she did."
Asked back in January, what her task list for 2018 entailed, she turned out to have an actual list.
"I'm a great person," Lourd said The Hollywood Reporter. "I have a list of things to work on in the New Year, but it all comes down to the basics of continuing to stay, become positive and do more for other people. To put it simply."