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.
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 (sort-of) regular teenager.
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. And today, as she reprises her most iconic role for the latest Star Wars trilogy, 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.
I bought this book on Christmas Day figuring I would read it sometime in the new year. But with her death yesterday I moved it up my pile. I bought it knowing it would have a bit about her affair with Harrison Ford but also hoping that it would have more about her time on the set of Star Wars but it wasn’t as much as I thought it would be.
While she does admit to the affair, it is written in a way that gives no details to the actual act of it and is quite respectful in that way. In the days of some celebrities going into very intimate details about things that shouldn’t be detailed, it was refreshing to read that it happened without all the bits that can be filled in with your own imagination. I have to admit that she seemed to have really lost herself in him for the three months they spent together. You get her point of view, not his.
The first third of the book was about her growing up and her acting as a back up singer for her mother and her first role in Shampoo. She also talks about her casting for the role of Leia and how it came about. The second third of the book was from her diaries at the time of making Star Wars, mostly about her feelings about herself, her inadequacies and her feeling for Harrison. There are poems, again you surmise is about Harrison. The last third of the book is the sudden fame and everything it entails along with conventions and the people she meets.
There are parts, especially the last third of the book where your brain is scrambled from trying to keep up with her train of thought, it’s like looking into the brain of an ADD sufferer mixed with someone on speed. It gets a bit confusing. I did find myself relating to some of the middle third of the book when she writes about her isolation and worthlessness, how messed up her mind is and how she worries about what people think of her. I feel like that myself at times to be honest.
She did write three times about envisioning things happening after her death, like this quote.
” The hairstyle that was chosen would impact how everyone would envision me for the rest of my life. (And probably beyond– it’s hard to imagine any TV obituary not using a photo of that cute little round-faced girl with goofy buns on either side of her inexperienced head.)” Well she was right, sadly.
While it was a good read, it was at times hard to follow as she just wrote what popped into her head without much filtering. To be honest the inside of her head reminds me of mine, scattered and can’t follow one train of though for any length of time. It’s sad to see that she has passed away, she was a part of my childhood. She was the princess that empowered girls of my age in a way, she was young, strong minded and helped save the day and as little girls she was the first one to do that for my generation, well for me anyway. Thank you Carrie and rest in peace.