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.
“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.
“[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.
“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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