20 Questions for Carrie Fisher
The prolific performer talks about her experiences with bipolar disorder and addiction -- plus what it's like to reach a happier middle age.
Is humor essential to good health? How often do you belly laugh?
Yes! I laugh a lot, actually. A lot. I've gotten to an age where I enjoy my life. I've spent enough time struggling with it, and at this point it's living on one side of the magnifying glass; I stay on the side of making big things appear small. I enjoy myself and I have a lot of good friends, good relationships. You learn to get there. Having gone through a lot of stuff I've gone through -- I don't want to do that stuff anymore. I take care of myself best as I can. I do the best imitation of maturity I can possibly muster.
What's your guilty-pleasure, high-carb, forget-the-diet-I-just-don't-care-anymore food escape?
I eat Peanut Butter Balance Bars to the point where they should have a support group for me.
How do you atone for it afterward?
Well, I don't have a problem exercising if I'm staying in one place. But the last couple of years I've been traveling a lot, which makes it harder to maintain. I did regularly exercise for 14 years. I started back when I was in my first mental hospital. But lately travel and work have made exercising tough.
If you were stuck in a hospital room for a month and had to share confined quarters with anyone from history, who would it be?
[The poet] Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He was manic-depressive, too.
You're a renowned Hollywood script doctor. What does it take to heal bad dialogue?
Make the women smarter and the love scenes better.
Of the five senses, which do value most, and why?
Either hearing or seeing. I like listening to music. I like to read.
Your TV work is so ruthlessly funny. You were fantastic during your brief bit on HBO's Entourage this season as a nasty Hollywood blogger, and you were nominated for an Emmy in 2008 for your portrayal of TV writer Rosemary Howard on 30 Rock. Will either of these characters be making a comeback to the small screen anytime soon?
When I was little I didn't want to be an actress. I can do it, but my personality always comes along with me. I'm not an artist like Meryl [Streep, Fisher's close friend] or Cate Blanchett, people who disappear into their roles and express their art. That is not what I do. I'm a writer and it turns out later in life, a performer. I'm a persona more than a person. I'm designed more for public than private.
You appeared at the Orpheum Theater, here in L.A., at a star-studded tribute to John Lennon to celebrate what would have been his 70th birthday. How did you get involved?