Gone but certainly far from forgotten. The actors from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker have nothing but positive things to say regarding Carrie Fisher’s posthumous appearance in the franchise’s latest installment.
Richard E. Grant opened up to Us Weekly exclusively about what it was like to have the late actress included in the new film, which also marks her final acting project following her 2016 death. “I got to know Carrie when I was doing LA Story here with Steve Martin [in] 1990, and we became friends,” the 62-year-old English star told Us at the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker premiere at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre on Monday, December 16.
“To be in her final acting [project], in this movie or be it via unused footage, [it] was very emotional to see,” he continued. “It’s been seamlessly done. You wouldn’t know that it hadn’t been shot specifically for this movie.”
The Dracula star, who plays General Pryde in the new flick, also regarded the way in which Fisher was incorporated as “brilliant.”
Naomi Ackie shared with Us the significance Fisher’s appearance in The Rise of Skywalker had on her. The 27-year-old Lady Macbeth actress noted how hard the filmmakers “worked” to “beautifully” include Fisher posthumously.
“I never had the chance to meet her personally, but I really feel like I got to know a side of her — by watching this — that people might not have seen,” the British star, who plays Jannah in the movie, said on Monday.
Fisher died on December 27, 2016, four days after suffering a heart attack while aboard a flight from London to Los Angeles. She was 60 years old. Her mother, Debbie Reynolds, died the following day at age 84 after experiencing a stroke.
Fisher was survived by her daughter, Billie Lourd, 27. The Scream Queens alum told Us in a statement, after her mother’s coroner’s results were released, that Fisher “battled drug addiction and mental illness” her whole life.
“She ultimately died of it. She was purposefully open in all of her work about the social stigmas surrounding these diseases. … I know my Mom, she’d want her death to encourage people to be open about their struggles,” the Booksmart actress’ statement read. “Seek help, fight for government funding for mental health programs. Shame and those social stigmas are the enemies of progress to solutions and ultimately a cure. Love you Momby.”
Before her untimely death, Fisher played Princess Leia in five previous installments of the Star Wars franchise. J.J. Abrams, who directed the latest Star Wars flick, explained why he felt it was crucial to feature the late star’s character in the final film from the “Skywalker Saga.”
“We couldn’t tell a story without Leia,” Abrams, 53, told Yahoo Entertainment on Wednesday, December 18. “We couldn’t find a way where ‘The Skywalker Saga’ comes to an end and Leia is not present.”
He noted that “it’s all Carrie” when audiences see Fisher in The Rise of Skywalker, because they were able to incorporate her by using repurposed footage of the star.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters nationwide on Friday, December 20.
With reporting by Nicole Pajer
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