by Michael Portantiere
Carrie Fisher's Wishful Drinking, her one-woman show based on her book of the same title, is a wry, hilarious, insightful, and occasionally touching theatrical memoir of the woman who grew up as the daughter of celebrity parents (Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher); went on to become a film icon with her role of Princess Leia in the first three Star Wars films; struggled with manic-depression and substance abuse; and had emotionally fraught relationships with Paul Simon, the super-famous musician to whom she was very briefly married, and agent Bryan Lourd, who left her for another man after they had a child together.
A few chapters of her life were previously covered in the semi-autobiographical novel and film Postcards from the Edge, and now she's earning critical acclaim and deep audience affection for letting it all hang out in Wishful Drinking, which is playing at the Roundabout Company's Studio 54 after previous engagements in other cities. I had the golden opportunity to speak with Carrie just before one of her recent performances, and I asked her to complete these sentences.
"If Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine had been unavailable to play me and my mother in the film of Postcards from the Edge, I would like to have seen ... "
At the time? My mother playing my mother, and Debra Winger playing me. If the movie were made today, I'd like Mary Louise Parker to play me, but I don't know who's out there now who could really play my mother. It's a hard role. That's why my mother is so good at it.
"My favorite holiday to spend with family is ... "
[Laughs] It's hard to answer that! [Pauses] I'll say Christmas. I mean, we always have to have Christmas together. I don't know if it's my favorite, but it's the one that we do spend.
"The popular song whose title best reflects my life is ... "
"The best and worst things about the Star Wars experience were ... "
I guess you could say the best thing was that it made me into a star, and the worst thing was that it made me into a star.
"Some interesting things that most people don't know about Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford are ... "
[Laughs] Well, if there are such things, then there's a reason they're not known, which is that Mark and Harrison don't want them to be known. I will say that Harrison is a wonderful person when he's intoxicated, but Mark ... is not.
Tacky Princess Leia memorabilia, Carrie Fisher's celebrity crush, how to sabotage a marriage, and lots, lots more, after the jump.
"The tackiest piece of Princess Leia-Star Wars memorabilia is/was ... "
The sex doll. No question. But there was one other item: There's that doll of me in the metal bikini, and George Lucas had a special one made for me where the top came off and I had tits.
"The best way to sabotage a marriage is ... "
"Well, one good way is to make your husband into Mr. Carrie Fisher. I didn't do that consciously, of course. It was unintentional. But it happened."
"The best and worst things about being bipolar are ... "
The best thing is the mania, the worst thing is the depression.
"The plusses and minuses of being in rehab are ... "
I guess the plus is that it doesn't get much worse than being in rehab, so it's a great place for gallows humor. And, you know, you're with your tribe!
"I hated/loved appearing with my mother in the Broadway musical Irene because ... "
Well, I loved it because I got a salary. That was a good allowance for someone my age. And I hated it because my mother was having a very hard time then, getting a divorce from my stepfather.
"If I were to star in a revival of a classic Broadway musical, I'd like the show to be ... "
Maybe Follies? I'd like to play Sally, the one who sings "Losing My Mind."
"Some of the famous people who have come to see my show are ... "
Mike Nichols, Gloria Steinem, Harvey Keitel, Oliver Platt. Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine came, but not together. Those were separate events. Art Garfunkel came the other night. Salman Rushdie, who's a very close friend of mine, has been to see the show a lot. And what's her name, the older woman who's on The View? Barbara Walters! And the guy who was in Frost/Nixon...Frank Langella! Sorry, I have no memory.
"The best reaction to my show that I've heard is ... "
People say they identify with me. That's very good.
"The famous person I have a major crush on but have never met is ... "
Seth Rogen. I think he's hilarious, so funny and so talented. I love his gestalt.
"My idea of hell on earth is ... "
... having no money to shop with.
"My idea of heaven on earth is ... "
... a very full credit card.