Rian Johnson and the cast of Star Wars: The Last Jedi held a press conference in Los Angeles over the weekend to discuss and promote the upcoming release of this latest sequel. Topics we’re all over the place, but the cast remained quiet when it came to revealing too much about the latest installment in the Star Wars franchise. When the topic of Carrie Fisher came up, the cast was anything but silent. Each female member of the cast went on to share their thoughts about what made Fisher so inspirational to them as both actresses and women.
Gwendoline Christie who plays Captain Phasma in The Last Jedi explained that she watched a lot of TV and movies as a child and that Carrie Fisher stayed with her as an influence throughout her life, changing Christie’s perception about the way an actress carries herself. She had this to say.
“She’s really interesting, she’s really smart, she’s really funny, she’s courageous, she’s bold, she doesn’t care what people think, and she isn’t prepared to be told what to do. And she doesn’t look the same as a sort of homogenized presentation of a woman that we had been used to seeing. So what was really instrumental to me, as someone who didn’t feel like they fit in that homogenized view of what a woman was supposed to be, that there was inspiration there – that you could be an individual and celebrate yourself and be successful without giving yourself over, without necessarily making some sort of terrible, huge compromise.”
Laura Dern, who plays Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, spoke up next, saying that Carrie Fisher was, “without shame,” which is what she took the most from. Dern went on to say that Fisher was an open book and expected that in return when sharing with other people on the set. Dern explains.
“She gave us, but also what she gave us individually and personally, which is to carry who she was so directly, and to be without shame and to share her story and to expect nothing less from any of us. And the privilege of watching how (The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson) has so beautifully captured all of that, and her grace, in this amazing, beautiful, pure performance.”
Kelly Marie Tran, who plays Rose Tico, spoke next and stated that Carrie Fisher was a “personal influence” on her life. Tran specifically recognized how hard it is to truly be yourself when you’re a public figure and admired Fisher’s courage to do so. In addition, the newcomer to the Star Wars universe that Fisher will always be an icon, as Princess Leia as well as being Carrie Fisher. Tran explains.
“Something about Carrie that I really look up to is something I didn’t realize until recently–just how much courage it takes to truly be yourself when you’re on a public platform. She was so unapologetic, and so openly herself, and that is something that I am really trying to do, and it’s hard. And just like Daisy said, and Laura said, and Gwendoline said, I think that she will always be an icon as Leia, but also as Carrie. What an example, and I am so fortunate to have met her, and I think that she will really live on forever.”
Daisy Ridley has had a lot to say about Carrie Fisher over the past few years and has been able to take in a lot and share some of the same experiences that Fisher went through at her age. It’s unique experience that not many share and Ridley believes that Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd, shares many of the same qualities as her mother. Lourd has recently been seen on the small screen as Winter on American Horror Story: Cult and was seen on the big screen with her mother in The Force Awakens.
Afterwards, Daisy Ridley and the rest of the female cast of The Last Jedi spoke about the impact of having so many strong women in the new trilogy and how they hope to inspire young women in the same way that Carrie Fisher was able to throughout her life. Laura Dern talked about how “brilliantly subversive” Rian Johnson was and loved how he made a character that had stereotypical feminine qualities mixed with qualities usually found in men, while Gwendoline Christie was ecstatic to play a character that did not fit into a traditional feminine role, noting that their all not, “being strong by acting like men.” You can read more about what the women of The Last Jedi had to say about Carrie Fisher’s influence via Gamespot.