Star Wars Celebration: Carrie Fisher takes fans on a racy date with a princess

"Star Wars" actress Carrie Fisher, joined by her dog Gary, talks onstage during her presentation at Star Wars Celebration on April 17 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

“Star Wars” actress Carrie Fisher, joined by her dog Gary, talks onstage during her presentation at Star Wars Celebration on April 17 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

If Carrie Fisher has anything in common with Princess Leia, the forceful character she made famous in the “Star Wars” films, it might be her impulsive attitude.

In her Friday afternoon Star Wars Celebration presentation, Fisher, 58, told racy jokes, autographed the host’s shoes, took pictures with fans and even planted a long, wet kiss on a member of the audience.

What she didn’t do was talk much about “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the upcoming seventh installment in the space opera and a main focus of the fan expo, which runs through Sunday at the Anaheim Convention Center. Fisher reprises her Leia role in the new film, due out in December, but said she couldn’t “figure out what I was supposed to not tell.”

“I think they keep me away from stuff because they know that I have an inadvertently big mouth,” said Fisher, an author and performance artist.

Fisher was joined onstage by her dog Gary, whom she referred to as “BB-8’s stunt double,” and James Arnold Taylor, a voice-over actor who served as the panel’s host.


When Taylor asked about her reasons for auditioning for the role some three decades ago, Fisher said she couldn’t recall.

VIDEO: A look at the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim

“You have a bad memory when you get older and if you do LSD,” she quipped.

She reminisced about her time filming the original “Star Wars” trilogy, and talked about the surreal nature of working alongside droids, aliens and other science-fiction set pieces.

“Thank God I did not drink — it did not agree with me. I substituted. But still, you feel hung over when you look at that kind of thing in the morning,” she joked.

Fisher talked about her character’s cinnamon bun hairdo — a look that required two hours in hair and makeup and often put her to sleep, she said. Later, she parodied Princess Leia on an episode of “Saturday Night Live.”

“They clunked a hairpiece on, and it looked exactly the same,” she said. “And I was upset.”

She talked fondly about filming “The Empire Strikes Back” with director Irvin Kershner, whom she described as “awesome” and “an emotional director.” She said that filming “Empire” was different from filming “Star Wars” (later renamed “A New Hope”) because of the first film’s success.

“When you make a movie, you don’t know if it’s going to do well,” Fisher said. “You hope it will, and depending on the script, you know it won’t. … On [‘Empire’], you knew we were making a hit movie, and that was unprecedented.”

She also recalled acting opposite Billy Dee Williams, who was introduced in “Empire” as Lando Calrissian, a friend of Harrison Ford’s Han Solo.

“He was funny, and he used to, right before he’d kiss my hand, he’d say something incredibly filthy so that I would laugh,” Fisher said. “Something about the Force and it being with me.”

Fisher described a raucous night when she was staying at the London home of “Monty Python” actor Eric Idle during the filming of “Empire.” Idle had invited the members of the Rolling Stones over, and Fisher called her castmates to join them.

“We had a really early call, but you sort of have to measure, Rolling Stones, early call, Rolling Stones, early call … so we decided on both,” she said. “They’re a partying bunch of guys. … We stayed up pretty late , then we got to the set about two hours late, and we weren’t hung over — we were still in our cups. So if you watch the movie, it’s one of the few times that Harrison and I are smiling as we arrive in Cloud City.”

Then, wryly, she added, “Doesn’t that sound like a euphemism?”

It was one of many flirty moments throughout the panel (which was officially billed as “Date With a Princess”), including referring to her character as “quite the space slut” and offering pecks on the cheek for fans who asked questions during the panels Q&A portion and a lingering kiss for one audience member who asked for a photograph with the actress.

She also made several self-deprecating jokes about her age, saying she envied fellow “Star Wars” actress Natalie Portman’s beauty and joking about the age difference between the veteran actors and the newcomers in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

“What do they keep calling us? Not vintage … legacy! We are the legacy players,” she said. “There’s something a little ominous and wilted about the legacy players.”

And asked about her reaction to the newly unveiled trailer for “The Force Awakens,” she said, “I always think that whatever it is, I’m not doing it right. Isn’t that sad?”

But she said that filming another “Star Wars” film after decades away from the franchise felt “like a camp reunion.”

“I don’t like endings of fun,” she said. “And it was fun. A lot of fun.”

@NoeleneClark |@LATHeroComplex

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