Meryl Streep / Carrie Fisher
Hi It's Terry. People often ask me questions about fresh air. Like how do I prepare for interviews. Who is my favorite guest? What was the worst interview? I ever overdid and the answers are not sleeping enough. Don't ever favorite and I'm trying to forget but there is a question I don't get asked often enough and it's a really important one. How fresh air support itself as you know? We're not just a podcast or a public radio show we're produced. whyy an NPR NPR member station in Philadelphia over six hundred public radio stations across the country carrier show and they have to pay to carry it and that money comes comes from listeners. WHO support those stations? Whether you're listening to a podcast were on actual radio. The bottom line is the same. We rely on strong local Stations and listeners. WHO support those stations? So I urge you to sports us by supporting. Your local station will also be strengthening the whole infrastructure sure of public radio PODCASTS broadcasts the way to do it is to go to donate dot. NPR DOT org slash. Fresh air a repeat that for real. It's donate that NPR dot org slash -freshing in that way NPR. And your station will know you made the contribution in the name of our show which would be really helpful to US Happy Holidays and thanks for being there for us so that we can be there for you from whyy whyy in Philadelphia. I'm terry gross with fresh air. We're ending twenty one thousand nine hundred with a series of interviews featuring staff picks from the decade today Eh me. Obi Wan Kanobi out. 2016 interview with Carrie Fisher after the publication of her memoir about making the first first star. Wars movie we also talked about her complicated relationship with her mother. Debbie Reynolds Fisher died. The month after our interview is recorded Reynolds died the day after Fisher also excerpts of two interviews with Meryl Streep about her singing and her ability to do accents like Margaret Thatcher's in iron lady she had a very very particular way of emphasizing bringing out a word that you didn't normally think was the most important word in the sentence independent it. That's on fresh air support for this. PODCAST comes from the Neubauer family foundation supporting. WHYY's whyy's fresh air and its commitment to sharing ideas and encouraging meaningful conversation were ending the decade with a holiday week series of interviews featuring featuring staff picks from the decade. We begin with Meryl Streep who we've been lucky enough to have on our show. Twice today excerpts from both interviews. She's widely acknowledged as one of our greatest actors. Here's just a few of her awards. Three Oscars for Iron Lady Sophie's choice and Kramer versus Kramer five Golden Globes including Julian Julia. The Devil Wears Prada an adaptation. She also on the Globe Cecil B demille award. She won four four primetime emmys. I could go on this year. She Co starred in the HBO series. Big little lies and she's now in Greta gerwig adaptation of little women in the role of aunt March when we spoke in February twenty twelve. Her film iron lady was about to open in which she portrayed Margaret Thatcher the former British Prime Minister Mr. Here's an excerpt of Oscar winning performance as Thatcher. The Right Honorable Gentleman knows very well that we had no choice but to close the school. He calls his union paymasters Goldstrike like deliberately to walk. Teachers cannot teach when that is no heating no lawsuits and I asked the right bugaboo gentleman who's folk the The right honorable lady screech. Ah If she wants us to take her seriously she must learn to Tom. How Vulnerable Gentlemen? Perhaps a ten more closely to what I'm saying rather then Ha. I am saying it. Valuable Education in spite of himself Margaret Thatcher leader took voice lessons from a drama coach to help her sound more authoritative here streep as Thatcher after those lessons addressing parliament about the war in the Falklands. We were faced with an act of unprovoked aggression veteran and we responded as we have responded in times past with unity strength and courage in the knowledge that though much is sacrificed in the end right will prevail l.. OVA WRONG MERYL STREEP WELCOME TO FRESH Air. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you very much for having me Terry. A huge fan. Oh whoa so we just heard you before. And after Margaret Thatcher has voice lessons voice is lessons to teach her authority and power. So this or that you can speak more powerfully to the parliament. So can you talk a little bit about what you think. She learned with those vocal lessons. And how you transformed your voice as her after she really learned her way around as a public figure you're and had the advantage of those voice lessons. Well I I think that voice lessons really just bring out a voice that you already possess so she already had whatever the sort of Stentorian tones that she acquired over time they were all lying in wait therein within her arsenal and she also had elocution in her high school the equivalent of high school in Grantham she had changed changed her way of speaking accent from GRANTHAM had disappeared by the time she went to Oxford to study chemistry and She had decided on a sort of a plummy kind of aspirin te Upper middle class voice and so what. The voice coach did was enabled her to expand her breath deepen her voice. Bring get to a place where men could listen to it most emphatic tones. So so how do you change your voice for the before. And after for the more confident and experienced Margaret Thatcher versus the early Margaret Thatcher. Well I had evidence of both voices you know from the public record so I listen to them and it sort of my fund to sing along with records and imitate people that are on on the telephone That have different ways of speaking. I mean I I pick things up like that so it's not a thing. That's a struggle ruggles. It's it's work but it's not a struggle it's fun and she had a very particular way of emphasizing points points and making her point and I had to do with bringing out a word that you didn't normally think was the most important word in the sentence tin automate. Yes and she also had an as sort of a way like a railroad train of going taking a breath and starting quite quietly and making a point in a way that you don't really know that this is this point is going to be made through several examples and there will not be a break in the speaking voice at any point and you. If you think you're going to interrupt you're really not going to have the opportunity unity. Because she's she's just got capacity. It's just really stunning as I looked at interviews so you need a lot of breath to keep talking talking like that did you. Haven't I've just been talking like yeah. I did need lot of breath. I'd I needed much more breath than I have after all my expensive drama school training. I couldn't keep up with her. I think it's interesting that when you're doing the voice of a real person or I suppose if you're learning an accent to you think of it as singing along with a record. So is that what you do like play Margaret Thatcher giving a speech and you you do the equivalent of singing along with it. You give the speech as you're listening to it. I say that because that's the my way in the very beginning how to how to enter it very quickly in the process. I don't think about voice being separate from the way you hold your head or the way you sit or the way you dress way. You put on lipstick. It's all a piece of a a person and it's all driven by conviction In other characters it's driven by insecurity or in her. It's driven by fear or there's always a driver. And the all the physical manifestations you need your way in so yeah uh when I was a kid when I was sixteen seventeen. I'd come home from High School and my dad collected all Barbra streisand's listens records and she was very young the she was she probably had three records out and she was twenty one And we had them all and I knew fleecing call song every breath every illusion every swell and I I I sang along to a but it for me. It was a way to get out the feeling of the song and also to get out the feelings that you know Royle in highschool I school two x xpress something that I had no other way of expressing and Of course now rich and famous and I I met Barbara streisand and I told her that she was nonplussed. She was just. We can't no what we mean to each other. You know artis you can't no you can't no you know I hear a certain similarity between your voice in the Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher and reverse in Julie and Julia as Julia Child strikes me as if and I never thought about this til hearing you in both those films that if Margaret Thatcher Thatcher kind of drank too much and inserted being surprised and delighted about how her like flip concoction was behaving that. She might sound Mike Julia Child. Would you think well they had a similar flightiness in especially in the younger Julia Child had of floozy nece. Yeah which is and it's also part of her class The way that there are women of that at time and of that class. We don't like talk about that America but there are classes in America and She was of. You've a class of women who were wealthy privately. Educated went to Smith moved in that sort of circle. Let me play a little bit of you as Julia Child in Julian Julia. And this is a scene when you're on TV early in your TV career and you're making some kind of like the Mesh Potato Pancake concoction that you're you're about to flip and it's not it kind of spin go well. It doesn't go well kind of splatters in the air and half half of it lands on the stove instead of in the pan. So let's hear a little bit of that in this alternate with you on TV. And with Julie Watching you on TV Amy Adams. Yeah Amy Adams Julie. I'm going to try to flip this thing over now. which is a rather daring thing to to do? She changed everything for her. It was frozen Fudan can openers and marshmallows knock marshmallow. Try when when you flip anything you just got to have the courage of your convictions. especially if it's loose sort of mass like go to go very well but you see when I flip did I didn't have the I needed to the way. Yeah I should have but you can always put it together alone in the kitchen. WHO's to see curls wearing heels in the kitchen just got practice? I'm Julia Child blown blown up and talk about Studying someone's voice has its music and she has such a musical voice And she does and has no breath. I'm just GONNA been running up a hill. She always sounds like that. I feel like that when I'm in the kitchen don't you while I'm not a very good cook. Honestly I believe Myself Wise Delis exists around Ron and have to kick well. I got better after this and it might entire family really did appreciate usually the resentful of movies that gough make but this one had a bonus attached but yeah I compared to her voice in Thatcher's voice before but but breath wiser the opposite because she's almost like gasping for air and factor. has this like endlessly long breath. Well she's so alive. Julia Child and Margaret is so is so designed. She's so intent upon making her point. That's the most important. The thing is that she win. The argument and there is nothing that stands in the way of that train. You know but Julia sister live in front of you. That's part of why why people loved her. They lived it whether they breathed it whether mistakes were all part of it but she was adept to what she she was doing. Credibly adept okay. So here's a story. I read which I assume is true but you can tell me if it actually happened. That in for the nineteen seventy six. The dealer RENTA's remake of King Kong auditioned for Dod Lorenzo and his son were Talian and dino dealer Renta's said in Italian. What did he say brute for gay? perkier me me me. I don't know I can't speak Italian anymore because I'm so old and forgetful But he said something like but this is so ugly. Why do you bring me this This being you yeah. I'm sitting in front of him at opposite desk. He's smiling. He looks back. He has everything being beautiful and his son is very kind son said because his son had seen me in something and He said no dad. He's a wonderful blocked with and because I had just I'd studied a year of Italian at Vassar. I could understand what they were saying and I said you know Mideaspique Chimaltenango. I'm I'm very sorry that I'm not As beautiful as I should be but you know this is it. This is what you get sort of and I left. I mean I was very upset but I didn't show it yes. It's a true story so a very interesting story because you're being told early in career basically. You're not beautiful not qualified your faces not qualified for this role and you're also And Body I and body but then you're also making the decision to let them know that you understand what they said. They were intentionally essentially speaking in Italian. So that you wouldn't understand them right right but you did understand them you let them know you understood them because they did they think actresses are stupid. That was the other the thing that I mean not they. Because I don't think his son was that way. His son was my champion. I mean he that he was the reason I was in the office but The Dad he wasn't being mean to me was just being to his son in Italian. But any idea that I would that would understand because they think Americans are stupid too. So did you worry that you were basically. I mean. You haven't been in any movies yet. So did you word that you would spread about you that you were the directors. Yeah that you were real paying your. Yeah your problem so like avoid her. I am a pain in the. How can I hide it? I mean Yeah that is the package you know and but I I was was not. I was not probably suited to that role. Either I mean that was the truth. How much did you want it? Not Much I mean I did want a break but I didn't. I didn't think I would be good in it honestly. I didn't. It represented something that I don't know I wasn't drawn to so I suppose it was easier to be Eh obstreperous in the meeting. Because because of that foot was an audition for Sophie's Choice Allen because it's like that a maybe would have swallowed it. Because I wanted it so badly you gave a terrific commencement address at Barnard in twenty ten. One of the things you talked about was ah that the hardest thing in the world is to persuade a straight male audience to identify with a woman character. It's easier for women because we brought up identifying with male characters and literature. It's hard for straight boys to identify with Juliet or Wendy in Peter Pan whereas girls identify with Romeo and with Peter Pan. What led you to that conclusion? What let me do that was was I have never I mean I watch movies and I don't care who is the protagonist? I feel what that guy is feeling. You know if it's it's Tom. Cruise leaping over building. I WANNA make it. You know I'm GonNa yes I made it and Yeah so I I get that and and I've grown up well partly because there weren't great girls Literature Nancy drew. Maybe but there weren't things so there was huck Finn I and spin and Marty. The boys characters were interesting. And you you live through them. When you're watching it you know you don't? You're not aware of it. But you're you're following the action of the film through the body of the protagonist. You know you feel what he feels when he when he jumps when he leaps when he wins when he loses but it became obvious to me. That men don't live through the female characters. Did you think that women have that kind of double double consciousness and men like boys. I think it'll be. Yeah well it has to do with very deep things things you know because it's might be that imagining yourself as a girl is a diminishment But it is something it when I made the Devil Wears Prada. It was the first time in my life thirty years of making movies that a man came up and said I know how you felt. I know. Oh how you've I have a job like that. It's the first time first time first time and they say lots of things. I think they've this is what I was trying to you. Say in that speech. It's very hard point to make because I guess hard to wrap your head around it but for men. The most usually the FAV- favorite character. I've ever played his Linda in the deer. Hunter without question of the heterosexual men that have. I've spoken to over the years. That's usually they say you know my favorite thing you've ever done. This was Linda or or Sophie and they were particular kind of very feminine recessive kind of personality. They so they fell in love with her but they didn't feel the story through her body and it took to the devil wears Prada to play someone tough. Who who had to make hard decisions was running organization? And sometimes that takes making tough decisions for certain kind of men to empathize empathize. That's the word empathize. Feel the story through her. That's the first time anybody is ever said that. They felt that way. That's really interesting. Yeah what's a women. Tell you their favorite rollers. Oh they love everything okay. They've they've you think I mean it's a range of stuff so do you like seeing yourself scream. North added an uncomfortable experience. I I don't dislike like it. I don't pop in the CD the DVD that again. But but I do think when you know sometimes the scrolling through the TV. And there's something on and I look at it and I think Oh my God. I thought I was fat. What is my my problem when I was younger? I spent way too much time thinking about that so stupid. My interview with Meryl Streep was recorded in Twenty twelve. After a short break will hear an excerpt of my two thousand sixteen interview with her in which we talked about her singing. And we'll hear you're an excerpt of my interview with Carrie Fisher recorded in two thousand sixteen one month before her death as we continue our interview series of staff picks from the decade. I'm Terry Gross. And this is fresh talk. Support for fresh air in the following message come from green from AMEX ready to try something new whether it's grabbing Sushi burritos on the go or spending a weekend snowboarding in Breckenridge green from Amex can help you keep things fresh with three the times points on restaurants and travel including airfare and hotel stays. It's built around your lifestyle so you can keep doing you with an extra boost of confidence. Learn more at American Express Dot com slash green from AMEX terms apply as part of our staff picks from the decade series regarding to hear an excerpt of our second interview with Meryl Streep Recorded in two thousand sixteen after the release of her movie Florence Foster Jenkins in which she portrayed a wildly off key. Screechy screechy singer in that film streep was convincing as a committed but terrible singer but streep saying well for real in other films including postcards from the Edge Mama Mia and into the woods so you are in the screen adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical into the woods and you played the witch and the story. Rian this is basically. It's a mash up of several fairy tales including Red Riding Hood Rapunzel Cinderella. Jack in the beanstalk and you play overture. Beautiful woman who has a spell was turned into a witch and so on and this is this is a song that you sing in it and It's very sondheim song. In the sense that the The intervals are off in a way. That's on him. Intervals are unusual unusual. The syncopation CZ are unusual in his unusual way so it takes a lot of talent to sing this. So here's Meryl Darrelle streep from the Soundtrack of the Stephen Sondheim musical into the woods. It's it's Soon it will beep toilet it stolen little kid. Did you get your princess. I had to get you had to get. Your wish doesn't matter how anyway it doesn't matter now it's asked midnight. It's nothing but a night everybody's everybody's nothing we can do not exactly true. We could always give the boy you know. Of course. We're really not as someone you can blame fine if that's the thing new in Julia placing blame if that's the Hain in. Give me just to me the boy no no no yours. You're not good. Meryl Streep from the Soundtrack of the Stephen Sondheim musical into the woods. Did Stephen Sondheim work with you at all on that a little bit. What he did was he? He wrote me a new. You Song that we recorded but was taken out of the movie because of length but he played it for me in his apartment and sang it to me. I mean it's one of the great. Most cherished memories of my life is just that little hallowed afternoon where he played this magical thing for me and And I think he's great composer. Oh yeah the musical school theater so yes it was like come on. I could die now. Do you know who you are singing as yourself have only seen you sing and character and yet one in your one year in like a rock musical rookie in the flash and in postcards from the edge you're seeing more I don't know but somewhere between like well there's a country and western song and then there's more you know yeah and postcards. Yeah yeah so like I don't know I don't have a sense of like if I said tonight Meryl Streep in Concert. I don't know what you'd sing or how you well it would be a very show I don't know I I don't really does that. A warm up. It's like okay. Well one Christmas I remember when I was twelve. My mother decided to in front of the whole family. The gathered family including my formidable grandmother. Mamie she said Merrill sank. Oh holy night in French and Merrill Sing it now and I have never if I ever have to play a person who is Over come with fear and terror. I go back to that moment because I was just. I hadn't had any any trouble singing in the in the Christmas concert but standing in the living room in front of my whole family all my you know so annoying brothers and my cousins and everybody looking at me. I just went crazy just was like shaking remember shake everything is shaking and I thought I don't like this feeling. I think I'm not a natural performer. I think I'm an actor okay. Getting back to music. I want to play something else in. This is from post cards postcards from the edge which was made in nineteen ninety directed by the now late. Mike Nichols based on a book by Carrie Fisher Carrie Fisher. Yes and it's it's kind of. It's kind of biographical so so you've been in Rehab. You're kind of trying to figure out your life in this your character and your mother who is modelled on Carrie. Fisher's mother. Debbie Reynolds is a singer and performer. who was big and musicals in the fifties and sixties? You've been living with her. There's a party at her place and you're asked to sing. It's funny that I spoke about my that moment in my grandmother's house because it was very similar Shirley maclaine plays my mother. She makes me do this. And I've just gotten out of Rehab and a my characters very tender and raw and she kind of more or less forces made it to get up in front of all these people and sing so that's very deflected and sort of a lot of excuses built into singing something that actually means something and and still. It's almost this little tiny voice from from somewhere deep inside in that her mother gets up and sings Stephen Sondheim. I'm still here and throws her legs up on on the piano and the red sequined dress and it's just blows her daughter out of the water once again I really liked her performance in that. You've been living with her. There's a party at her place and you're asked to sing so you go up to I forget if it's a guitarist taurus pianist and you start working working with and the song is you don't know me so. Here's Meryl Streep from postcards parts from the edge that okay you give you hand me that Charleston and then you say Hello Lou knocking on this thing Anyone can to us. Thank you know the. You don't know me. Oh ooh dreams of you to kiss longs longs to you know. Let's Meryl Streep Singing in the film postcards from the Edge Meryl Streep. I really regret that we're out of time. It's been great to talk with you. Thank you so much for for being on our show. Thanks Terry I enjoyed it. Meryl Streep Recorded Twenty Sixteen. The film postcards from the edge starring Streep was written by Carrie Fisher who adapted it from her novel after a short break will hear my twenty sixteen interview with Fisher recorded after the publication of her memoir about making the first star wars film as we continue our interview series of staff picks from the decade this is fresh air support for NPR and the following message. Come from Netflix. This new series Messiah. What would it take to make you believe in something crazy when a man starts performing miracles and saying he's the Messiah One? CIA agent is determined to find the truth. No matter how crazy it may be Messiah streaming now only on Netflix CTS. Did you get a smart speaker for a gift over the holidays. Well consider it the gift that keeps on giving right because it can help you keep up with the news just say play. NPR to hear your local NPR station. And all all your favorite. NPR shows as well next up in our interview. Series of staff picks from the decade is our 2016 interview with Carrie Fisher. I'm sure a lot of star. Wars fans are thinking about her now that the final episode of the Skywalker Saga is in theaters. Carrie Fisher became known around the world. US Princess Leia. She was in the first three star wars films as well as the Force Awakens in two thousand fifteen and the last Jedi in twenty seventeen. She appears through through archival footage in the new film. The rise of skywalker Fisher was also the author of the memoir wishful drinking and the novel postcards from the edge which she adapted into a film. Starring Meryl Streep Fisher was the daughter of celebrities singer. Eddie Fisher an actor and singer Debbie Reynolds who starred in singing in the rain. My interview with Carrie Fisher was recorded in November twenty sixteen. She died one month later the day after her death her mother other died when we spoke Fisher had just published a memoir called the princess. Direst about making the first star wars film. The book included excerpts from the diary. She wrote while shooting the film when she was having a secret affair with her co Star. Harrison Ford Carrie Fisher. Welcome back to fresh air. So how did you find your star wars diary. I mean had you forgotten that you wrote it. I forgot that I wrote it and I was making my bedroom bigger. And so there was all these boxes of writing underneath the floorboards and I found it among all this other stuff. Am I remembered when I thought so. What most surprised you that you've forgotten you to experience but you'd had written about about in your journal that I was so insecure? Oh yeah that surprised me to seems like you really needed other people to tell you who you were because you didn't know know know at least I knew that at least I was aware aware that I didn't know I was so that was something but It was sad to me as you've pointed out in Star Wars. You're the only girl in an all boy fantasy. When did you start realizing that? You were part of boys sex fantasies not until way later and I'm very glad of that like about I don't know maybe eight years ago. Some Guy said to me. I thought about you every day from when I was twelve to when I was twenty two and I should should every day and he said well for time today. Say That thank you. What do you say to that? Then I started becoming aware of it and uncomfortable way so it was a very boys kind of set when you were making the film. Yeah it's mostly cruiser still Muslim men. I'm nine liked it. They have continuity girl so they don't call a con woman to continuity girl and they're women in makeup and in hair and wardrobe but not in camera not in sound you know and not in special facts. It's all men did that add to your are feeling of insecurity. I think I've sort of isolated you know I didn't really have anyone. Arjun confide I in men find an anyone as opposed to over sharing do now. That's right. I made up for it. So what's really made news from your book is your affair with Harrison Ford when you were making Star Wars. He was in his mid thirties and married carried. You were nineteen. Did you tell him you're going to write about it before you actually published the book. Oh Yeah I'm relief to hear that you're relieved relieved. Yeah on I wouldn't have ambushed him like that but it still no matter if I told him or not it would probably I'll be feels like an ambush. It feels like an ambush to me. Did you come wrote it. Did you tell him or did you ask him for permission. No I he said I found the journals The cab during the first movie. I'm probably going to publish them. And he just sort of. It raised his finger and said lawyer and then I said no I. Won't you know right anything that you don't want to. I mean I'll show it to you before and you can take anything out that you want taken our on you know. Make you uncomfortable which I of course have Unduly uncomfortable so he read it before it was published in duty chain. I sent it to him and I never heard back so I can't imagine that he was that he was comfortable with everything that was in it. But it's not like it's negative about him. It's just a personal story story. That's been a secret for a long time and I'm I'm sure he would have stopped good of this. I gave him that opportunity. Well I gave them the opportunity to take out anything. You didn't like right but not to stop it. Yeah but I don't think it's that revealing anger. It's certainly not offensive. It's not uncahnged about him. It's flattering. I mean the way people are reacting to it. It is funny to me too. I doing at seventy three so it sounds like you know reading the book that you had a kind of love hate relationship with your identity as Princess Leia I made you a star. It's an iconic role. There's things you haven't liked about being Princess Leia in the eyes of the world. What's the downside? No I actually don't think there is that much of a deal to the downside. Is the hair hair. The downside is the hair and some of the outfits but I like Princess Leia. I like how she handles things. I Li- cow. She treat people I she tells the truth. She you know gets what she wants done. I don't have a real problem. Problem with Princess Leia. I've sort of melded with overtime. You write in the book that you had endless issues with your appearance how you looked in Star Wars and you you say what I saw on the mirror as apparently what many teenage boys sauce. What did you see when you looked in the mirror? A giant fat face like sand DAB with features and the hair the horrible hair. I just looked like I don't know like this really fat faced cute in a not a good way girl whose idea was to have the the buns on either side of your head. Well they kept putting here on. They kept saying you like this when there were some worse one is you can imagine but it was George and the producers. I mean you know. They Pat German The hairdresser kept putting hairstyles on me and we kept parading them in front one of them and I don't know they they. Somehow they chose that one and to put more hair on either side of around round face is going to make it even wider. So that was my problem with that. While we're speaking about appearance in return of the Jeddah when you are Held captive by JABBA. The Hut who is like giants slimy slug like creature and crime boss. And you're wearing this like incredibly revealing metal bikini. You are rail thin. I know and you wearing this wearying chain so this is like big like metal chain around your neck so it's a very like pg thirteen kind of campy SEM BND image. Yeah and Jabber. The Hood is like licking his lips. He's he's stroking so there's something like so like sexual about it but it's a movie for kids so was there lots of joking on the set about like the deeper. Sem Imagery of this scene. Oh what my joke was when we first I for her stood there brought in front of job. They talked to job. A job talks to Harrison and mark and then there led off. I never they never say. Hey Hey how are you. So as they were being led off I said in the rehearsal. Don't worry about me I'll be fine seriously Which I thought they should've kept in their shoes like all those sure? They're going to be digested for two thousand thousand years. But I have to stay with the slug with the big tongue and nearly naked naked which is not a you know style choice for me. We're listening to our Twenty Sixteen Interview with Carrie Fisher will hear more of the interview. After a break this is fresh air support for NPR comes from whyy. You H Y Y presenting the podcast. Eleanor amplified and adventure series. Kids love and will make those summer road trips a little easier on everyone here here reporter. Eleanor outwit crafty villains and solve mysteries as she travels the globe to get the big story available where you get podcasts or at whyy why why dot org support for NPR comes from whyy presenting the pulse a podcast that takes you on adventures into unexpected corners of health and science plastic in the guts of deep sea creatures crying after anesthesia building. Your own Internet. Each episode is full of fascinating stories and a big ideas. The pulse available. Where you get your podcasts or at whyy dot org? Let's get back to our interview with Carrie Fisher recorded in November number twenty sixteen. She died one month later on December twenty seventh the following day December. Twenty eighth her mother. Debbie Reynolds died. Your mother is Debbie Reynolds. You had a very contentious relationship with her when you were a teenager. And I think that probably continued into your twenty s and that you know you worked in her her Broadway show you were you were in the chorus of that. He Sang in her Broadway. Act You know in her cabaret act for a while so you work together the other in some ways you were very close in some ways like very far apart you were anxious to move away from home. How did your relationship change as she became an older woman? Like when you became elect now like your middle-age cheese or or or older. She's in her eighties. What's is the relationships? Contentious says a chain. Not at all I can appreciate. She's an immensely powerful woman and I just admire my mother very much. She also annoys me sometimes when she's mad at the nurses but you know she's an extraordinary every woman extraordinary. There's very few women for her generation. Who worked like that? Who just kept a career going all her life and raise children and had horrible relationships and lost all our money and got it back again? I mean she said an amazing in life and She's someone to admire. Did you appreciate her strength. And her accomplishments more as you got the older the whole God. Yeah when I was a kid I just thought she was someone who was telling me what to do and I didn't WanNa do it. How did you you feel about her celebrity? When you're young? Was it helpful. Was it intrusive. Well it I had to share her and I didn't like that when we went out people sort of walked over me to get to her and no. I didn't like it. I didn't like it and I you know people thought that I overheard someone saying what she thinks. She's so great because she's Debbie Reynolds daughter and and I didn't like it made me different from other people. I wanted to be the same I wanted to be. You know just no Jeffrey than anybody else. Your mother's most iconic film is singing in the rain You know one of the great musicals of of all time. What are your your thoughts about the movie and if you like like it now did you always or did it? Take you awhile to appreciate that film. No I always liked it. It's brilliant Irene to to do the transition from sound from silent to sound is a brilliant brilliant time to focus on and what was interesting interesting to me is that there's three people acting in the movie then it's two men and a female and the same with Star Wars and both movies were sort of a conic at well would they did the five ten top films and one was singing in the rain and one was star wars. That's so great. You're on the list together. I know you're right that you felt doomed to have bad relationships with men. That's what you've seen Eddie Fisher. Your father walked out on your mother when you were to to be with. Elizabeth Taylor Your mother's second husband Spent all her money. I mean left her with nothing the left her with nothing and and she had to pay his jets so future earnings went to him. Everything she made went to his jets to Harry Karl who was also having sex with hookers the entire length of their relationship which she found out later on. So did we so. It was a very interesting childhood so when women dressed like you at comecon conventions what do you most frequently see reflected back at. You like which which costumes which hairdos my favorite one. To see is the Metal Bikini on men that is happening a lot. Oh absolutely absolutely a lot and not thin men by the way that's hilarious. Yeah so that makes me feel good about myself kind of a before and after thing this is way after. Not only is Princess Leia fatter. She's a guy all right Carrie Fisher thank you so much for talking with us. We'll thanks for talking to me. Carrie Fisher recorded in November twenty sixteen one month before her death. Debbie Reynolds died. One day after Fisher Steph. Our end of the decade series featuring staff picks from the decade continues through the end of next week. If you enjoy hearing interviews from the past we have a great new archive site featuring fresh air interviews. Going back as early as the nineteen the seventies when fresh air was a local program in Philadelphia. You can search by name or topic you can make playlists. Check it out at fresh air. Archive Dot Org Fresh Air's executive producer is Danny Miller. Our interviews and reviews produced an edited by Amy Salad. Phyllis Myers Roberta shorrock San Brigger Lauren. Crenshaw Hello Heidi Simone Moves Eighty Seth Kelly and Joe Wolfram Theresa Madden directed today show. I'm Terry Gross. UH yeah.