Billie Lourd is opening up about the last days that she spent with her mother, Carrie Fisher, and grandmother, Debbie Reynolds. The 25-year-old actress revealed that before her Hollywood icon family members passed away, they left her with some words of wisdom.
In December of 2016, Fisher and Reynolds died within days of each other. Fisher, who will be remembered for her iconic role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise, died on December 27. The cause of death was sleep apnea with drug use being a factor. Fisher's mother, Reynolds, died on December 28 from a stroke.
Lourd shared the details from her life with Fisher and Reynolds featured in an all-new cover story for Town & Country magazine.
The days leading up to Reynolds' death, Lourd recalled that her grandmother was giving her acting tips.
"Debbie was still encouraging me to put an act together. Literally three days before she died, she was like, 'What numbers are you going to put in your act? Who are you going to impersonate?’” Lourd said.
"I said, 'I don’t think people do acts as much anymore.' And she came back, 'That’s why if you do one you’ll be more successful than anyone else. The act is a dying art, and someone needs to revive it.’”
Billie Lourd's Last Interaction With Carrie Fisher
Up until her death, Fisher was trying to be a source of support for her daughter. Lourd explained that Fisher was intentional about finding positivity in her acting, especially on her FX show Scream Queens.
"The last time I saw her in person, this episode of Scream Queens was on, and it was a big episode for me. I had tons of scenes, and I was so hard on myself about it — I hated how I looked, hated my performance. I was really frustrated,’” Lourd said.
"She told me, 'Come over right now. I want to watch this with you.' And she made me sit down and watch it, and she forced me to see the good parts. She was incredible like that. But she was really hard on me, saying, 'Shut up, you’re great in this. Have faith in yourself. Be more confident.’"prevnext
Billie Lourd on Her Upbringing
From as early as Lourd can remember, her mother was helping shape her personality. Lourd recalled one specific incident in which Fisher taught her a valuable lesson after she was caught "stealing."
"I remember a time when I was nine years old. I got in trouble in school for stealing something out of someone’s backpack, and she picked me up and she sat me down in the car,” Lourd said.
In handling the situations like these, Lourd says that Fisher always treated her like an adult, and even used some adult language in doing so.
"And she turned to me and said, 'Are you going to grow up to be an asshole?' And I started crying. She talked to me like an adult my whole life. I always think that now: I don’t want to grow up to be an asshole!"prevnext
Billie Lourd on Continuing the Family Legacy
As millions of movie fans around the world know, Fisher and Reynolds starred in some of the most iconic films of all time. For Fisher, the Stars Wars franchise was a defining moment. As for Reynolds, she starred in classics like Singin' in the Rain and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
Lourd hopes to continue this legacy of greatness in her own career.
“I’ve always kind of lived in their shadows, and now is the first time in my life when I get to own my life and stand on my own,” Lourd said. "I love being my mother’s daughter, and it’s something I always will be, but now I get to be just Billie.”
While being the daughter of a Hollywood legend definitely has its perks, there is a certain amount of pressure that comes with it.
"It’s a lot of pressure, because she had such an incredible legacy,” Lourd said. “And now I have to uphold that and make it evolve in my own way."prevnext
Billie Lourd Learns From Carrie Fisher's Death
Lourd recently released a statement in which she opened up about her mother's death.
“My mom battled drug addiction and mental illness her entire life. She ultimately died of it. She was purposefully open in all of her work about the social stigmas surrounding these diseases," she said in the statement.0comments
Lourd says that she has learned from some of her mother's mistakes and hopes not to repeat them in her own life.
When asked if there were any cautionary tales from her parents, Lourd said: "From my mom, maybe living too out in the open. It's good to a certain extent. It's good to be authentic, to help other people, but if it's not helping other people, then don't do it. There were a couple incidents I wish she could have kept to herself. But, you know, that was the beauty of her."prev