Carrie Fisher Had ‘a Lot of Pressure on Her to Be Thin’ for ‘Star Wars’ Before Her Death, Says Friend James Blunt: ‘She Really Put a Lot of Pressure on Herself’

Musician James Blunt recently said at the Hay Festival in Wales (via People) that his close friend Carrie Fisher faced tremendous pressure to be thin for “Star Wars” when she reprised her iconic role of Princess Leia in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Fisher previously told Good Housekeeping U.K. in 2015 shortly before “The Force Awakens” opened in theaters that she lost 35 pounds for the movie. She died one year later in December 2016 after going into cardiac arrest while flying from London to Los Angeles.

“She’d been really mistreating her body, and she’d just got the job again of being Princess Leia in a new ‘Star Wars’ movie,” said Blunt at the arts festival, where he was speaking about his memoir, “Loosely Based on a Made-Up Story.”

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Blunt became friends with Fisher in the 2000s and even lived with her and her mother, the late Debbie Reynolds, when he was recording his debut album “Back to Bedlam” in 2004. The album proved a breakthrough for Blunt thanks to the success of singles such as “You’re Beautiful.”

“[Carrie] was really on a high and a positive, but they had applied a lot of pressure on her to be thin,” Blunt said. “She spoke about the difficulties that women have in the industry, how men are allowed to grow old, and women are certainly not in film and TV.”

“She really put a lot of pressure on herself, started using drugs again and by the time she got on the plane, she had effectively killed herself,” Blunt added. “They say it was heart failure of some kind, but she had taken enough drugs to have a really good party.”

Variety reached out to Lucasfilm, but the studio has no comment on the matter. According to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, Fisher had cocaine, methadone, ethanol and opiates in her system at the time of her death.

In her 2015 interview with Good Housekeeping U.K., Fisher said the studio didn’t “want to hire all of me” when it came time to bring Princess Leia back to the big screen. “Only about three-quarters,” she quipped about needed to lose weight.

“Nothing changes: it’s an appearance-driven thing. I’m in a business where the only thing that matters is weight and appearance. That is so messed up,” Fisher told the publication. “They might as well say ‘get younger,’ because that’s how easy it is. … I did it the same way everybody has to – don’t eat and exercise more! There is no other way to do it. I have a harder time eating properly than I do exercising. It’s easier for me to add an activity than to deny myself something. And when I do lose the weight, I don’t like that it makes me feel good about myself. It’s not who I am. My problem is they talk to me like an actress, but I hear them like a writer.”

Fisher reprised the role of Leia in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which was in production at the time of her death. Footage she shot for these movies that did not make it into the theatrical releases were used to include Leia in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” which was shot after Fisher’s death.

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