Billie Lourd Talked About Close Bond With Grandmother Debbie Reynolds Just Weeks Before Her Death

An extremely tough time. Just two weeks before she lost her mother, Carrie Fisher, and grandmother Debbie Reynolds within a two-day span, Scream Queens actress Billie Lourd shared touching stories with Seth Meyers about acting legend Reynolds.

Lourd, 24, whose father is Hollywood agent Bryan Lourd, quipped during her December 12 appearance on Late Night that Reynolds would joke that she didn’t want to be forgotten when people cite Billie’s lineage. (Carrie died Tuesday, December 27, at age 60, four days after suffering a heart attack on a plane; Reynolds died a day later at age 84 after suffering what is believed to be a stroke.)

Debbie Reynolds (L), recipient of the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, and her granddaughter Billie Lourd pose in the press room during the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.
Debbie Reynolds (left), recipient of the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, and her granddaughter Billie Lourd pose in the press room during the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on Jan. 25, 2015, in Los Angeles. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

“She gets really upset when I get called Carrie Fisher’s daughter,” Billie told Meyers. “She wants people to call me Debbie Reynolds’ granddaughter. It’s very offensive to her. … She started it.”

Billie also pointed out that before she took the role of Chanel No. 3 on the Fox slasher series, her grandmother tried to dissuade her from stepping into the limelight, even sharing journals that she wrote during low points from the Singin’ in the Rain shoot.

Carrie Fisher (L), Debbie Reynolds, and Billie Lourd attend Paley Center & TCM present Debbie Reynolds' Hollywood memorabilia exhibit reception at The Paley Center for Media on June 7, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California.
Carrie Fisher (left), Debbie Reynolds and Billie Lourd attend Paley Center & TCM Present Debbie Reynolds’ Hollywood Memorabilia Exhibit reception at the Paley Center for Media on June 7, 2011, in Beverly Hills. Brian To/FilmMagic

“When I first started acting, everyone in my family did not want me to act,” Billie explained. “It was like, I’m really rebelling by doing this. And [Reynolds] called me down to her house and had this binder of these diaries that she had written when she had first started doing Singin’ in the Rain. And she sat me down on her couch and said, ‘OK, I need you to read these, dear,’ in her ’50s-actress voice.”

“And I started reading them to myself, and she said, ‘No, dear, please read them out loud,'” she continued. “And I started reading them, and they’re all in second person, and they are somewhere along the lines of ‘You’re sitting in the makeup chair; it’s 5 in the morning; they’ve pulled out all your eyebrows, and you have no eyelashes left; your hair is a shell of itself; and all you wanted to be was a gym teacher.'”

Bille said that after reading the passages, she turned to face her grandmother, who was looking back “so earnestly with her hands crossed in her lap and was like, ‘Are you sure you still want to be an actress, dear?'”

TMZ reported that hours before Reynolds suffered her apparent stroke on December 28, she told her son, Todd Fisher, “I miss her so much. I want to be with Carrie.”

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