By Kyle Smith
December 30, 2015
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Carrie Fisher arrives at the world premiere of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." Photo: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Pity Carrie Fisher, who said she felt “pressured” to lose 35 pounds to reprise her role as Leia in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
It’s shameful of Hollywood to have done that.
One pictures similarly gruesome headlines for other entertainers. Imagine a Scott Weiland story on his 65th birthday in 2032: “Weiland: Those Record Company Bastards Pressured Me To Give Up Drugs in 2000.” Or 2001 lung cancer victim George Harrison still being around to angrily promote the Beatles on Spotify this Christmas Eve: “Harrison: Paul McCartney Bullied Me Into Playing Guitar on ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer,’ Giving Up Smoking in 1969.”
Fisher told Good Housekeeping UK that — news flash — Disney didn’t love her weight when casting for “The Force Awakens” a couple of years ago.
(From left) Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill in “Star Wars” in 1977.Photo: AP Photo/20th Century-Fox Film Corporation
“They don’t want to hire all of me — only about three-quarters!” Fisher said. “Nothing changes, it’s an appearance-driven thing. I’m in a business where the only thing that matters is weight and appearance. That is so messed up. They might as well say get younger, because that’s how easy it is.”
Not really, because while it isn’t possible to get younger, it is possible (not to mention beneficial) to lose weight, which is exactly what Fisher did. What’s surprising about Fisher’s comments is the note of weary resignation about the importance of “appearance” in the movie biz.
No one would know the name Carrie Fisher if it weren’t for her ability to leverage her looks. George Lucas only cast her in the first place because she was young, slim and cute at the time. (She turned out to be a talented writer as well, but it’s an open question whether the second career would ever have gotten off the launch pad without the fuel provided by her first. Mostly she has written about what it’s like to be Carrie Fisher.)
This week Fisher had herself a Twittantrum when she noticed people were talking about whether she has “aged well” (she’s still only 59!) in the new movie. In a shaky-looking tweet posted at 2:26 a.m., she suggested her fans should “blow us,” meaning her body and her self.
Carrie Fisher @carrieffisher
Please stop debating about whether OR not EYE aged well. unfortunately it hurts all 3 of my feelings. My BODY hasnt aged as well as I have.Blow us.
12:26 AM - 29 Dec 2015 · Los Angeles, CA, United States
The source of her anger was fan discussion. “Please stop debating”? When has that ever worked? Fisher is a public figure. If she didn’t want the public to talk about her, she could have spent the last 40 years teaching kindergarten. As for whether it’s “messed up” for Hollywood to prefer pretty people to appear in its films, Fisher made millions off being pretty. Far from being bitter about this, she and other actresses who profited nicely from their looks should be grateful they had a turn at the top.
That’s more than average-looking people ever get. As for Disney’s “pressure” to lose weight, she should be even more grateful for being nudged to get healthy.