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In 'The Princess Diarist' Carrie Fisher Drew From Personal Journals


Carrie Fisher died today. Her long life in show business got an early start. She was the daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, both big stars in their own right. She's been known to generations of "Star Wars" fans as Princess Leia.


Carrie Fisher was famously open about her life and her struggles with drug addiction and mental illness. She was on our program just last month to talk about her latest book, "The Princess Diarist," and she was typically frank with our co-host Kelly McEvers about whether she should be considered a cautionary tale of Hollywood excess.


CARRIE FISHER: You know, I mean unless you're bipolar, have a drug problem - I mean, you know, it's not like I got those things 'cause I went into show business. I think I would have taken that into any business I had, and the results would have been maybe not as glamorous but the same.

KELLY MCEVERS, BYLINE: So do you feel like in some ways, writing about this and being so honest about it, about your past and things that you've been through is a help to people?

FISHER: It is. I've had people tell me so. It creates community. I mean a lot of times, people think they're the only ones that feel a certain way. A lot of people have told me, you know, that what I've written about, they identify with strongly.

MCEVERS: And that feels good.

FISHER: It does. I feel bad for them.


MCEVERS: You know, and through it all, though, you - to so many people, you are still Princess Leia.

FISHER: I am, and Princess Leia would have gotten through being bipolar and an addict in the same way I did.

MCEVERS: You know, you say something about - without Princess Leia, you would just be Carrie. And the question I have is, do you have an idea of who that person is?

FISHER: Oh, absolutely, and it would have been quite enough.

MCEVERS: Are you going to keep playing her?

FISHER: Yeah. There's another movie coming out where I'm playing her again. It will not go away.

MCEVERS: (Laughter).

FISHER: Isn't it like the chicken pox virus that stays in you forever? It's just I don't want to get shingles.

MCEVERS: (Laughter) You could stop it at any time.

FISHER: Could I? Could you? Would you? It's an adventure among many other things. But it would be sort of cowardice in a way to stop it, and it would be brave in another way to stop it, too.

SHAPIRO: That was the actress Carrie Fisher speaking on our show last month. She died today at the age of 60. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.