‘I’d just met her but it was like talking to a person you’d known for ten years.’
Carrie Fisher will be forever known as the princess of a galaxy far, far away, but she endeared herself to the world for the down-to-Earth way she handled superstardom. She also managed the public face of her addiction and mental illness with a sense of sardonic honesty that made her a hero to those who shared her struggles. One person she’s deeply touched and will be inextricably linked for the rest of time is her Star Wars “space twin,” Mark Hamill.
Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in four films of the sci-fi saga (so far), wrote a touching guest column in The Hollywood Reporter where he spoke of his lifelong friendship with the actress-author. In his piece, Hamill opened up about meeting Fisher for dinner before they began filming Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope in 1976:
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 ten 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.
He also revealed that, at times, things weren’t always so easy between the two:
I’m grateful that we stayed friends and got to have this second act with the new movies. I think it was reassuring to her that I was there, the same person, that she could trust me, as critical as we could sometimes be with each other. We ran the gamut over the years, where we were in love with each other, where we hated each other’s guts. “I’m not speaking to you, you’re such a judgmental, royal brat!” We went through it all. It’s like we were a family.
Although Fisher passed away last week at the age of 60, audiences will be able to see Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia fight the dark side once more in the as-yet untitled eighth installment of the Star Wars franchise due this December.
You can read Hamill’s full column at The Hollywood Reporter.