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The Princess Diarist

Cover of The Princess Diarist

The Princess Diarist

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The Princess Diarist is Carrie Fisher's intimate, hilarious and revealing recollection of what happened behind the scenes on one of the most famous film sets of all time, the first Star Wars movie. *PEOPLE Magazine Best Book of Fall 2016 *New York Times Bestseller *

Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi,
featuring Carrie Fisher, is scheduled for release on December 15, 2017. Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds debuted on HBO in January 2017.

When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved—plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. Today, her fame as an author, actress, and pop-culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a teenager with an all-consuming crush on her costar, Harrison Ford.
With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, The Princess Diarist is Fisher's intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time—and what developed behind the scenes. Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, only to be surpassed by her own outer-space royalty. Laugh-out-loud hilarious and endlessly quotable, The Princess Diarist brims with the candor and introspection of a diary while offering shrewd insight into the type of stardom that few will ever experience.
The Princess Diarist is Carrie Fisher's intimate, hilarious and revealing recollection of what happened behind the scenes on one of the most famous film sets of all time, the first Star Wars movie. *PEOPLE Magazine Best Book of Fall 2016 *New York Times Bestseller *

Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi,
featuring Carrie Fisher, is scheduled for release on December 15, 2017. Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds debuted on HBO in January 2017.

When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved—plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. Today, her fame as an author, actress, and pop-culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a teenager with an all-consuming crush on her costar, Harrison Ford.
With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, The Princess Diarist is Fisher's intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time—and what developed behind the scenes. Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, only to be surpassed by her own outer-space royalty. Laugh-out-loud hilarious and endlessly quotable, The Princess Diarist brims with the candor and introspection of a diary while offering shrewd insight into the type of stardom that few will ever experience.
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Excerpts-
  • From the book From The Princess Diarist:

    George Lucas held his auditions for Star Wars in an office on a lot in Hollywood. It was in one of those faux-Spanish cream-colored buildings from the thirties with dark orange-tiled roofs and black-iron-grated windows, lined with sidewalks in turn lined with trees—pine trees, I think they were, the sort that shed their needles generously onto the street below—and interrupted by parched patches of once-green lawns.
    Everything was a little worse for the wear, but good things would happen in these buildings. Lives would be led, businesses would prosper, and men would attend meetings—hopeful meetings, meetings where big plans were made and ideas were proposed. But of all the meetings that had ever been held in that particular office, none of them could compare in world impact with the casting calls for the Star Wars movie.
    A plaque could be placed on the outside of this building that states, "On this spot the Star Wars films conducted their casting sessions. In this building the actors and actresses entered and exited until only three remained. These three were the actors who ultimately played the lead parts of Han, Luke, and Leia."
    I've told the story of getting cast as Princess Leia many times before—in interviews, on horseback, and in cardiac units—so if you've previously heard this story before, I apologize for requiring some of your coveted store of patience. I know how closely most of us tend to hold on to whatever cache of patience we've managed to amass over a lifetime and I appreciate your squandering some of your cherished stash here.

    George gave me the impression of being smaller than he was because he spoke so infrequently. I first encountered his all-but-silent presence at these auditions—the first of which he held with the director Brian De Palma. Brian was casting his horror film Carrie, and they both required an actress between the age of eighteen and twenty-two. I was the right age at the right time, so I read for both George and Brian.
    George had directed two other feature films up till then, THX 1138, starring Robert Duvall, and American Graffiti, starring Ron Howard and Cindy Williams. The roles I met with the two directors for that first day were Princess Leia in Star Wars and Carrie in Carrie. I thought that last role would be a funny casting coup if I got it: Carrie as Carrie in Carrie. I doubt that that was why I never made it to the next level with Carrie—but it didn't help as far as I was concerned that there would have to be a goofy film poster advertising a serious horror film.
    I sat down before the two directors behind their respective desks. Mr. Lucas was all but mute. He nodded when I entered the room, and Mr. De Palma took over from there. He was a big man, and not merely because he spoke more— or spoke, period. Brian sat on the left and George on the right, both bearded. As if you had two choices in director sizes. Only I didn't have the choice—they did.
    Brian cleared his bigger throat of bigger things and said, "So I see here you've been in the film Shampoo?"
    I knew this, so I simply nodded, my face in a tight white-toothed smile. Maybe they would ask me something requiring more than a nod.
    "Did you enjoy working with Warren?"
    "Yes, I did!" That was easy! I had enjoyed working with him, but Brian's look told me that wasn't enough of an answer. "He was . . ."
    What was he? They needed to know! "He helped me work . . . a lot. I mean, he and the other screenwriter . . . they worked with me." Oh my God, this wasn't going well.
    Mr. De Palma waited for more, and when more wasn't...
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 3, 2017
    Fisher finally set out to publish a collection of essays related specifically to her role as Princess Leah in the blockbuster Star Wars movie franchise and a brief affair with her older—and married—co-star Harrison Ford during the shooting of the first film. The juxtaposition between Fisher’s narration of her contemporary writing with the voice of her daughter, actress Lourd, reading diary portions written four decades earlier makes for telling contrast: Fisher, with her smoky, husky voice, sounds like a tough-as-nails seasoned survivor who doesn’t take her past romances and heartaches seriously and wishes her own fans would lighten up about their assumptions and speculations. Lourd performs the emotional long-ago passages with a palpable air of youthful self-consciousness. Both handle the duties at hand with poise and skill, leaving listeners to appreciate the way that time can shape one’s perspective quite dramatically. A Blue Rider hardcover.

  • Kirkus

    December 15, 2016
    How playing Princess Leia changed the author's life. When Fisher (Shockaholic, 2012, etc.) accepted the role at age 19, she had no idea the Star Wars franchise would become such a phenomenon. In her mind, like so many others, the original movie was "a cool little off-the-radar movie directed by a bearded guy from Modesto....It wasn't supposed to do what it did--nothing was supposed to do that. Nothing ever had." In this frank, self-deprecating memoir, the author rehashes her thoughts about her brief and exciting affair with married co-star Harrison Ford, which lasted the duration of the filming of Star Wars, about three months. However, readers in search of the nitty-gritty details of their weekends together won't find them here; Fisher is discreet, leaving much of the physicality of their shared experiences to the imagination. What she does provide are excerpts from her diaries written at the time, which show the naivete of a 19-year-old in love with her older counterpart, as well as some poorly written love poems. After that overly long section, the author divulges what it's like to attend conventions where she's paid to sign photographs of her younger self, often snapshots of Princess Leia in her metal bikini sitting beside Jabba the Hutt. Fisher successfully imitates the gushing conversations of various fans, giving insight into the complicated push-pull reality of being a celebrity: you need them to buy your signature so you can pay your bills while at the same time selling a tiny bit of your self-worth, which eventually drains you. Those looking for details about the filming of the Star Wars movies or Fisher's affair should look elsewhere, but those who want to understand the dynamics and personality of a young woman thrust into unexpected stardom and how that shaped the woman she has become will find plenty to ponder here. Outspoken, honest commentary of what it's like to be Princess Leia on and off the screen.

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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