“I don’t want my life to imitate art, I want my life to be art.”
Let’s be honest with ourselves. 2016 has been a devastating year. Singers and actors who we’ve grown up watching or listening, being the epitome of our childhood have sadly left us.
Sadly Carrie Fisher is the latest addition…and it breaks my heart.
Like millions of us, I first saw Carrie in Star Wars but not in A New Hope. It was The Empire Strikes Back, the first Star Wars film I ever watched. As Leia Organa she was far removed from what you would call a traditional princess. Heck, you wouldn’t dare call her a damsel in distress, unless you want to be called a stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerfherder.
It’s easy to see why a lot of people identified with her. As Leia it was her balance. It was her ability to take charge by fighting against the odds. She always trusted her instincts and was very handy with a blaster gun. But it’s the small moments as Leia which defined her. It was her love, compassion and empathy that endeared us all.
In sci-fi legendary status, that’s what you call an icon.
But it was away from Star Wars that I recognised how talented she was. She was in my favourite romantic comedy, When Harry Met Sally. She lent her voice to Family Guy as Peter Griffin’s boss Angela. In Soapdish, she cracked me up as Betsy Faye Sharon. In The ‘Burbs, she was the rational housewife to Tom Hanks obsessed behaviour towards his neighbours. But one of my favourites belongs in The Blues Brothers as Jake’s jilted wife to be who goes on a revenge mission and payback. Her character didn’t even have a name, only known as The Mystery Woman.
But as I type this, there was so much of her life I didn’t know about, something which I’ll correct in due course. For example, I didn’t know she was a Hollywood script doctor, working on films like The Wedding Singer, Outbreak, Hook, The Young Indiana Jones and my personal favourite, Sister Act.
Her battles away from the screen are well documented and yet she didn’t apologise for it. She owned it, winning a new legion of fans for her honesty, bravery and the simple nature of bringing it to the forefront.
A part of me wished I had met her, especially at Star Wars Celebration early this year. But from the people who had, they’ve all said the same thing – she was smart, funny, sharp and a great person to be around with.
Carrie – you will be missed dearly. Thank you for your incredible talent and gift. My thoughts are with your friends and family.
May the force be with you. Always. RIP.
“Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.”