Carrie Fisher: Fisher Priceless

The Wishful Drinking star discusses her gay ex-husband, her gay poltergeist, and John Travolta’s latest sex scandal.



In a 2004 interview with The Advocate, actress-author Carrie Fisher recalled her teenage crushes on the gay men who danced backup for her mother, Debbie Reynolds. “They were gorgeous and kind and fun and interested in me,” she said. “That was who I started smoking dope with and who I wanted to fit in with.” As we discover in Wishful Drinking — her 2008 memoir and subsequent solo act about her family drama, bipolar disorder, and Pez dispenser–friendly past as Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise — her relationship with gay men only got stronger and stranger. We caught up with the 54-year-old firecracker to discuss her gay ex-husband, her gay poltergeist, and John Travolta’s latest sex scandal.

The Advocate: It’s one thing to air out your dirty laundry in a book, and it’s quite another to tell your story to a crowd of 1,000 people a night on Broadway. But how does it feel to now have your most personal, intimate struggles captured on film for the ages in a new HBO special?
Carrie Fisher: Sometimes I don’t think of what it is I’m doing. That’s how I do things — by pretending it’s not happening.

The audiences at your Broadway show were always packed with gay fans. Were you at all surprised by that support?
Oh, no. You guys better be supportive because I’ve spent my life with you. My mother’s whole nightclub act had gay backup dancers. When I was 13 and started doing my mother’s show, I was with them all the time. I got my first kiss from a gay man. And second. And third.

At each performance, you picked someone from the audience to come join you on stage to play with a life-size Princess Leia doll. From what I hear, it was very often a gay guy. Was that just a coincidence, or has your gaydar sharpened in recent years?
Well, I think gay guys feel a little more comfortable with me. They could decide whether they wanted to come up or not, but gay people are a little more open to doing weird things.

Gay male fans must be a breath of fresh air for you. So many straight guys and lesbians worship Princess Leia as an object of young lust, but I couldn’t really care less about Star Wars. Sure, I’ll play with your doll, but I’m pretty confident that I’m not the only gay man who would much rather talk about Soapdish and your attendance at Madonna’s wedding to Sean Penn.
[Laughs] Yeah, that’s true. Star Wars isn’t a very fertile area for me and gay men to discuss. I didn’t have a good enough costume for a drag Leia. Gay men really respond to any of the goofy stuff I’ve done — even fucking Under the Rainbow. Anything that’s incredibly stupid. Wasn’t the joke in Soapdish that I had some young stud in my office? That was good.

Tags: television