Mark Hamill has started the new year thinking about not only a co-star of his dating back some 40 years, but also a member of his family.
Hamill, who gained game in 1977 as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: A New Hope, wrote a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter Monday where he talked at length about Carrie Fisher, the most he said since her untimely passing just after Christmas.
Hamill described his relationship with Fisher like being in a “garage band together that somehow made it big.” When they did the first film, neither of them had any idea the impact Star Wars would have. In fact, when Hamill met Fisher for the first time over dinner in London, he had no idea how much Fisher would be a part of the rest of his life.
“You know, she was 19 years old at the time. I was a worldly 24. So I was thinking, ‘Oh my God, it’ll be like working with a high school kid.’
“But I was just bowled over. I mean, she was just so instantly ingratiating and funny and outspoken. She had a way to just being so brutally candid. I’d just met her, but it was like talking to a person you’d known for 10 years.”
“She just sucked you into her world.”
Hamill said it became his mission to make Fisher laugh whenever he could, especially on set. To him, that became a “badge of honor.”
“The lengths I would go to hear her laugh – there were no limits. I loved her, and loved making her laugh. She would do these crazy things, and make me do these crazy things. But I really don’t think they were crazy after all.
“In a way, it was a defense mechanism for her. She was so off-the-wall, she could use it as protection. Part of what was so poignant about her was that she was vulnerable, that there was this glimmer of a little girl that was so appealing, and it roused the protective nature in my personality.”
Hamill admits his relationship with Fisher was not always sunshine and rainbows. There were times, he said, when they were “in love with each other” and “where we hated each other’s guts.” But that’s what families always have to endure, he added, and what “makes a relationship complete.”
“When you were in her good graces, you couldn’t have more fun with any person on the planet. She was able to make you feel like you were the most important thing in her life. I think that’s a really rare quality.”
Fisher was “high maintenance,” Hamill said, but “my life would have been so much drabber and less interesting if she hadn’t been the friend that she was.”
The two appeared together in the original Star Wars trilogy that ran between 1977 and 1983. They both returned to the franchise for 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, although they didn’t appear together on-camera. Both Fisher and Hamill already filmed scenes for this year’s Star Wars: Episode VIII, which will now be Fisher’s final Star Wars film.
Fisher suffered a cardiac event just before Christmas while returning on a flight from London to Los Angeles. She reportedly never regained consciousness, and died Dec. 27.
Fisher’s mother, Debbie Reynolds, died the next day at 84. The family is expected to have a joint funeral celebrating both their lives this week.
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