Actress Debbie Reynolds (C), and son, filmmaker Todd Fisher, and daughter, screenwriter Carrie Fisher, coming up on the 17th of September, during a lunch organized by the American Film Institute.
LOS ANGELES – Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds had illustrious career filled with off-screen drama. The mother-daughter duo died shockingly, within a day of each other, Fisher of what medical researchers attributed to “sleep apnea and other undetermined factors” and Reynolds of a stroke the following day in the house.
Todd Fisher, the brother of Carrie and son of Debbie, lived his life in the shadow of the two men. He opens it all in his newly released book, “My Girls: A Life with Carrie and Debbie.”
Fisher detailed his feelings when he saw his sister as Princess Leia on the big screen for the first time after her death.
“I have a lot of the events on the day of ‘The Last of the Jedi,’ and I finally got to an event where I actually watched the movie and everything was going great up to the point that Carrie was in a coma,” he told Fox News.
Debbie Reynolds, left, and Carrie Fisher, who died in December 2016, within a day of each other. Fisher died at the age of 60, and Reynolds was 84.
“It was surprising to see her in the state that I had just seen her in a couple of months earlier and the real. And you know, you flash want, is this life imitating art or art imitating life, what is this that I am looking for. It was remarkable that they had done that.”
He said it reminded him of how it had been like watching his film star mother dies on the screen.
“I had to look back at a time with my mother to get through that stage – And that was when my mother played Charlotte in” Charlotte’s Web, ” and I was a little boy. And when I saw her die like the spin, I started to cry. And they came and found me and she got in my face and said: ‘It is just a movie. You have to be able to separate. This is what I do, you have to be able to separate.’ So, I was looking for that scene and I remembered at that time, and it kept me from getting too emotional about it. But otherwise, it was pretty shocking.”
Fisher does not know the fate of his sister, the iconic character in the “Star Wars” franchise, but he is firmly convinced that the fans of the double-bun wonder want to see her likeness will remain in the future movies.
“Well, Disney and Lucas Films at this point, of course, they are in charge and they do what they want,” Fisher mentioned. “I can tell you of the family from the perspective of the brother’s perspective… I can tell you that her legacy should go on, and I think they should be brought into things.”
Fisher added, “We have the technology, you know. Yoda came back. When Obi Wan goes down in the first film, he comes back stronger than ever in the memories of the voices. I think that Carrie’s legacy.”
“It is not to separate from the story. The idea of the original trio, I think to go on at least in the memories and echoes, and the stories. But, it is up to them. I can tell you that we would like to see Carrie go, and I think the fans would like to see Carrie go.”
Fisher described his sister’s relationship with their mother is trying at times.
“Carrie always struggled with living in the shadow of Debbie Reynolds,” Fisher said. “That I did not. I loved in the shadow of Debbie Reynolds. I mean, it was great. I just could not understand why they struggled with this.”
Fisher, an actor and filmmaker himself, praised his mother for raising her own. Eddie Fisher famously left Reynolds for actress Elizabeth Taylor and inspired his sister to write the 2001 cult film “These Old Broads.”
“Every mother knows what it is like holding the bag and the father nowhere to pick up the slack,” the 60-year-old said. “Debbie was in the bag, let there be no mistake about it. But, you know what she was. We were her life. She loved us, she cared for us. All she could do for us, they did.
Fisher, 60, continued, “They took us to the set with her. Most of the children I knew who were in my situation, they were left with the nannies. When it is possible, that we were with her. She wanted to be with us. We were her greatest joy. The priority is always for her children, even during her career. That’s unusual today, especially.”
Fisher described how Reynolds’ work as a high-profile actress affected his sister, and ultimately led to their shaky dynamic.
“I have a relationship with my mother at a very young age,” says Fisher. “She was my champion, I was to be her champion. You know, we had this mutual love and respect for each other. Carrie loved her, but there was a competitive side that went on for a long time until Carrie came into her own, and then she was a great writer, and other things.”
“All of a sudden she relaxed and was OK with the whole thing, but for years they were estranged, partly because of the competition,” he added.
The unconventional bond between Fisher and Reynolds place Reynolds’ death, which Todd feels was a direct result of his sister’s passing.
“…That was another reason to write the book, so that they could understand, and she could see how I feel. Many people felt comforted when I came and I said, “No, she left to be with Carrie.’ She knew that I knew.”