Billie Lourd on life after losing Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds
Barry King/WireImage(NEW YORK) — Billie Lourd lost both her mother, Carrie Fisher, and her grandmother, Debbie Reynolds, within hours of each other late last year.
The 25-year-old, who’s now coming into her own as an actress, spoke to Town & Country about life after losing her role models, as well as trying forge her own path in the industry in which her mother and grandmother were icons.
“The first thing I did was Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” she told the magazine. “The thing is, I was bizarrely comfortable on set. My mother would pull me aside and be like, ‘It’s weird that you’re so comfortable here. This is the most uncomfortable environment in the world. If you’re comfortable here, you should do this.'”
Reynolds was also instrumental in pushing Lourd to try out new artistic mediums.
“Debbie was still encouraging me to put an act together. Literally three days before she died, she was like, ‘What numbers are you going to put in your act? Who are you going to impersonate?'” said Lourd. “I said, ‘I don’t think people do acts as much anymore.’ And she came back, ‘That’s why if you do one you’ll be more successful than anyone else.'”
Lourd also infused a bit of levity when talking about losing her mother on Dec. 27, followed by Reynolds the very next day: “When Debbie died the next day, I could just picture [Fisher] saying, ‘Well, she’s upstaging me once again, of course — she had to.’”
But it wasn’t always easy being the daughter of Princess Leia, or even being Leia, for that matter.
“It’s tough, when you play an iconic character, to break away from it. You have to make sure you have a lot of variety, and make sure you choose roles that aren’t similar to others, or else you get pigeonholed as one thing,” Lourd said.
She continued to describe life after losing her mother, “I’ve always kind of lived in their shadows, and now is the first time in my life when I get to own my life and stand on my own. I love being my mother’s daughter, and it’s something I always will be, but now I get to be just Billie.”
But the bar is still high, and Lourd knows she has “to uphold [her mother’s legacy] and make it evolve in my own way.”
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