Carrie Fisher is a member of a pretty elite group. And we’re not talking about her famous parentage. Sure, she’s the daughter of movie star Debbie Reynolds and crooner Eddie Fisher, but the actress and writer accomplished what few celebrity offspring ever pull off: her own career. Her stint as Princess Leia in Star Wars means she’ll always be welcome at Comic-Con, but the humour and honesty that define her writing, which includes the novel Postcards From the Edge and her memoir Wishful Drinking is where she’s made an indelible mark.
See Fisher live in Toronto this July when she brings her acclaimed one-woman show, Wishful Drinking, to Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre.
It would begin by sleeping late, and maybe hanging out in bed for a little bit watching old movies or reading. I’m trying to finish [writing] my book, so it makes it hard to read. But I just finished reading The Solitude of Prime Numbers—it’s not the most cheerful book. The Nun’s Story is on TV in the background right now, with the sound down, because I’m working.
My ideal Saturday means I don’t exercise, and maybe I showered the night before so [I don’t have to do it in the morning]. Then I would go shopping with my daughter because I’m a very superficial person.
I would take my dog Dwight who is very amusing because he’s become obsessed with what I call “going to Las Vegas,” which just means going anywhere that’s not on the property. If you leave our house, we’re in “Vegas.” Dwight tries very hard to make sure you don’t leave without him. As soon as I put my shoes and my purse on, Dwight is on alert—he’s going to get in that car. He’s going with you.
He’s a Coton du Tulear, which has to be the most pretentious name for a dog. He’s very cute, very eccentric and loves going to “Vegas.” He doesn’t even need a leash anymore. He’s a very funny dog. My mother is obsessed with him. Dwight will get in the car and hang his head out the window.
When my daughter, who’s at school in New York now, is in town I like hanging out with her. We would go shopping on Third Street—they have all these weird things there. On Third Street, I love New Stone Age and Freehand and I love the Light Bulbs Unlimited store, but I guess that’s on Beverley [Ave.]. My daughter likes Fred Segal because you can have lunch there. All of it is in the same area.
Afterwards, I might be able to do the elliptical for a bit. I read somewhere that happiness doesn’t always make you happy, so going along that line, I would say that if you could get something accomplished in your day, if you have to fight yourself in a way and get disciplined, it’s an investment in your future. For me, that means doing the elliptical or getting writing done.
Then it would be fun to have some friends over [for dinner] and we could watch a movie that was bad and judge it and feel superior! We’ve been watching some very strange stuff. I like it when you find something on the Turner Classic Movies network. I was just watching The Nun’s Story and someone just came into the infirmary and beat this nun over the head with a club. It’s that kind of thing that I like to watch. There are some terrible films! There’s one Audrey Hepburn [movie] where she plays some wild girl that lives in the forest and Tony Perkins comes and gets her. I like weird bad, movies.
But I really enjoy watching costume dramas too. I’m watching The Borgias right now. I’m a big costume drama person. I watched The Tudors passionately. And I’m watching Camelot, though I’m not as committed.
Along time ago I took cooking classes, but more recently someone said to me, “if you can read, you can cook” and I thought, ‘well, I can read.’ But I usually cook really complicated things that are one meal in themselves—a stew or risotto or a soufflé, so that basically you don’t have to have three different dishes done at once. For my friends, I would make one of those things: a risotto or a stew and maybe popovers, something terrifically fattening.
We have a little hot tub and my daughter likes to sit in there, so I would sit beside her and talk to her and get bitten by mosquitoes. I find that very enjoyable.
The night ends with me staying up—this is going to sound so dumb and American—and watching TV late into the night with my daughter. I watch things like American Justice or I Survived, those crime shows. Those are my secret shows. You watch these terrifying things and think ‘Oh, I’m so lucky!’