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Todd Fisher On Love From Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher’s Fans: ‘We Felt Like We Were Not Alone” (Exclusive)

Todd Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher and Billie Lourd
Todd Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher and Billie Lourd pose in the press room at the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2015.Steve Granitz/WireImage

The force is with them. Todd Fisher, who spoke to Us Weekly at the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood on April 5, says that his family is still “heavily shaken up” following the death of beloved actresses Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher. (Reynolds passed away at age 84 in December, just one day after her daughter’s unexpected death at 60.) “We took this huge loss,” Fisher says of losing his mother and sister. “They were no small girls. They were no small change. When they left the planet, they left a lot of people kind of shaken. And we’re no exception to that.”

Related: Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds Through the Years

Hit hardest, he says, was his niece, Billie Lourd. “She’s struggling.” Fisher says of the 24-year-old Scream Queens actress. “You know, she’s 24 years old and just took a huge shot. You can see her on Instagram sucking it up and acting like everything’s fine, but it’s very tough.” Fisher says he has no doubt that Lourd will take after her famously resilient mother and grandma. “She’s also Carrie and Debbie. She’s a little ball of fire, watch out.” Fisher went on to give more props to his actress niece, saying, “She’s a very cool girl, but she’s very inspirational too. She’s going to pull through. She’s just going to limp along a little bit. And she’s an excellent actress.”

Fisher also says that he finds some solace in the bond his close-knit family shared. “We all had a very close relationship,” he explains, “and nothing was left unspoken or undone, so there’s no regrets. That is important. Everyone should say what they need to say to their loved ones because you don’t know what tomorrow might bring. And so it was beautiful that we all had those moments, not knowing they were our last moments, but at least we had them and we’re all a little more OK with the loss because of that.” The producer adds that the family’s spiritual beliefs have also helped them cope. “We’re people of faith — my mother raised us that way” he explains, “and we believe we will all meet again. And without those thoughts, it would all be pretty depressing. It would be wholly unacceptable to think we’d never meet again.”

Related: Carrie Fisher's Life in Pictures and Memorable Quotes

Another huge source of comfort, Fisher adds, has been his mother and sister’s fans, who’ve reached out with messages of support from around the world. “I love it.” Fisher says. “I did not expect it exactly. We expected something, but I did not expect the width and breadth of the outpouring of love. It’s substantial. And it’s been truly heartwarming to all of us.” The producer teared up when describing the letters his family has received from fans of the Star Wars and Singin’ in the Rain actresses. “We felt like we were not alone.” he explained. “We had millions of people with us.”

Related: Debbie Reynolds' Most Unforgettable Movie Roles

Fisher, who hosted a public memorial service for both women at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills on March 25th, says that the fans were a big part of the thought process behind the live-streamed event. “The reason I did some of the things that I did was to include them in our grieving so they could feel OK” he says. 

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