Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds’ ‘Bright Lights’ Documentary Director: We Were ‘Shocked at What Happened’

Fisher Stevens, who directed the upcoming Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds documentary, Bright Lights, opened up about the late daughter and mother during an appearance on the Today show on Thursday, January 5.

As previously reported, the Star Wars actress died at age 60 on December 27. Just one day later, Reynolds passed away after suffering an apparent stroke. She was 84.

Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher
Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher attend the 2011 Creative Arts Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Sept. 10, 2011, in Los Angeles. Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

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“We were, needless to say, shocked at what happened,” Stevens told Katie Couric. “[I] fell in love with their relationship, Carrie and Debbie and the mother-daughter relationship and actually the whole family dynamic. We want people to … basically to cherish their relationships with their families.”

Fisher approached Stevens to document Reynolds’ life after the iconic Singin’ in the Rain star revealed that she wanted to come out of retirement. Filming wrapped in late 2015, around the time Fisher reprised her role as Princess Leia in J.J. Abrams Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

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“[Carrie] felt like she had to share her mother with the public. She didn’t have that intimate time with her mother [as a child]; she was always sharing her,” Stevens told Couric. “They always sang together; they would just start breaking out in song. That was real.”

Stevens revealed that “a large part” of the film revolves around Reynolds’ health, which had been failing in recent years. In a sneak peek, Fisher is seen bringing Reynolds food (the two were next-door neighbors) and teasing her about her flip phone.

Fisher Stevens with Carrie Fisher
Fisher Stevens and Carrie Fisher attend a photo-call for ‘Bright Lights’ during the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival at the Palais des Festivals on May 15, 2016. Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

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“I’m concerned because my mother is not feeling well,” Fisher says in the clip.

Stevens told Couric: “A lot of the film became about Carrie caring about and caring for her mother… Debbie started filming, and she was fine at the beginning, and then it started to happen, her health.”

Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds premieres on HBO on Saturday, January 7, at 8 p.m. ET.

Watch a sneak peek in the video above.

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