Mark Hamill: Carrie Fisher embraced Star Wars role more than I did
He also praised the late actress for playing her role with “effortless feminism”.
Carrie Fisher jumped at the chance to reprise her role as Princess Leia because of a dearth of parts for older women, Mark Hamill has revealed.
The actress died last Christmas, aged 60, after she completed filming on the latest Star Wars release The Last Jedi.
Hamill, 66, who is also back as Luke Skywalker in the film, told Radio Times magazine: “She was so smart. Even when they told us we were coming back, I kept a poker face.
“But she slapped the table and said, ‘I’m in!’
“I said to her, ‘Carrie? Poker face! Why are you so anxious to say you’ll do it?’ She said, ‘Mark, what kind of roles are there for women over 50 in Hollywood’?”
He said: “The way they wrote Leia in the original films – she was far from a damsel in distress. She took over and started bossing us around, which I thought was effortless feminism.”
Hamill told the magazine: “Carrie got really upset when I wouldn’t mention the Star Wars films in my playbills on Broadway.
“I’d say: ‘But Carrie, I’m trying to focus on my theatre.’ She’d say: ‘Hey, you’re Luke Skywalker, I’m Princess Leia, get used to it!’ She embraced it in a way that I refused to.”
Hamill said of filming the early movies: “It was so new and fresh and fun, looking back. Just the three of us, on the Death Star together – Carrie and Harrison (Ford) and myself.
“Later, in The Empire Strikes Back, we were split up. They’d go off here on the Millennium Falcon with Chewie and C-3PO, and I’d go there. We didn’t know at the time that we wouldn’t be a team. The three of us together just worked.
“It was a nice mixture: the clueless farm boy, the cynical pirate and the imperious, spoilt royalty.”
The full interview is in this week’s Radio Times.