Please don't hurt me, dear Geek Out! readers, but I'm really not a sci-fi fan convention kind of person.
Which is why the fact that I went to Dragon*Con, one of the biggest sci-fi conventions in the country, should tell you how much I love "Star Wars" heroine Carrie Fisher.
To put it another way, I once joked to my mom, "I'm thinking of developing a crippling drug addiction to deal with all the stress in my life." Her response: "You mean, so you can write a hilarious autobiography like Carrie Fisher?" Yes. Exactly.
I love Fisher's smart writing, her brutal honesty and her self-deprecating sense of humor enough to brave the crowd of 40,000+ people at last weekend's Dragon*Con. I sat in the front row of the audience at her panel, grinning like a total dork at Princess Leia and writing down everything she said, just for you. Well, mostly for me. But also for you.
So, here are some things I learned about the fabulous Ms. Fisher:
1. If you are a big enough fan, she'll make out with you.
During the Q&A portion of Fisher's D*C panel, a fan asked her for her name card as a souvenir. Fisher said yes and invited her down to the front to get it, then proceeded to lean across the table and give the woman a kiss smack on the lips. "Just in time for same-sex marriage!" Fisher proudly announced after the lip-lock.
2. She has a love-hate relationship with George Lucas.
In her bestselling memoir and one-woman show, "Wishful Drinking," Fisher tells her readers, "George Lucas ruined my life."
One reason for that? The costumes she had to wear in as Princess Leia in Star Wars. Fisher told the D*C crowd that while she hated the white dress from "A New Hope," the famed metal bikini in "Return of the Jedi" was the worst of all.
"When I laid down, the metal bikini stayed up," she explained. "So Boba Fett could see all the way to Florida."
But Fisher also enjoyed working with Lucas, even though, according to her, he "doesn't have a personality, per se."
"My best memory with George" was writing “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles”, she said. "He bought me a lamp for doing it. And Sean Lennon broke it."
3. Dan Aykroyd saved her life and she almost married him in return.
Fisher starred in "The Blues Brothers" with Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi. Belushi set her up with Aykroyd (whom she calls Danny, by the way), and after a Brussels sprout-related mishap, the two ended up engaged.
"I almost choked on some kind of vegetable that I shouldn't have been eating: Brussels sprouts!" Fisher explained. "So he had to give me the Heimlich maneuver. He saved my life, and then he asked me to marry him. And I thought…wow, what if that happens again? I should probably marry him."
"When I was going to have the kissing scene with John, he went around the set singing 'My Best Friend's Girl,'" she added, laughing.
4. She has drugs named after her.
"There is a marijuana called Princess Leia," Fisher informed us. "My daughter's boyfriend tried to get a discount."
5. She has a kind of awesome fashion sense.
Thanks to a partnership with diet company Jenny Craig, Fisher has lost a lot of weight recently (she joked that she's trying to get back in the metal bikini), and she looks fantastic.
At the Dragon*Con panel, she was positively adorable in a black, long-sleeved A-line dress with two giant, hot pink polka dots on the side pockets.
She also had dangly, matte gold Pac-Man earrings. Pac-Man earrings! One was Pac-Man, and the other was a ghost.
And, as usual for Fisher, her face was covered in glitter (she makes the sparkly mix herself). She once explained to Craig Ferguson that the glitter is her attempt to embarrass her daughter, Billie, 19.
6. She's infectious.
Fisher is very open about the fact that she has bipolar disorder, and regularly writes and speaks about the topic. Her Dragon*Con panel was no exception.
Multiple fans stood up to say that they, too, suffered from the disorder, and thanked Fisher for her willingness to talk about it. In response, she jokingly apologized to the crowd: "It's infectious, you know. I've created an epidemic of bipolar people." (In case any fellow con-goers are starting to get worried, it's not, and she hasn't.)
"It's a very good crowd to be in," she added, taking a drag on an electronic cigarette. "You gotta have balls to be bipolar."
7. She loves her fans as much as they love her.
"It's really hard to be self-loathing when you have a group of people like yourselves," Fisher told panel attendees. And, in return, she gave them what they wanted to hear:
"I can tell you shit," Fisher intimated to the audience as soon as she walked out and sat down. "Or I could make up stuff about Star Trek people. They're all bad in bed."
8. Her books are her memory.
Fisher has undergone electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) as part of her treatment for bipolar disorder. One unfortunate side effect of ECT is that it can cause memory loss. Luckily, Fisher has preserved many of those lost memories in her novels.
"It's fun for me to go back and look at them because they are very autobiographical and I have a bad memory," she said. "So it's like having this memory in bookstores. I was reading 'Surrender the Pink' and I remember my relationship with Paul [Simon] that I'd forgotten. It's stuff that I'm embarrassed by now, though."
Her favorite title? "’Delusions of Grandma,’ because I wrote it when I was such a mess," said Fisher. "I was so emotional. That book is the rawest. I like that one."
9. She's a dedicated Democrat.
Fisher has a new book, "Shockaholic," coming out sometime this fall (she's not exactly sure when, saying the process has been "a clusterf*** of insanity"). But instead of plugging her own book to the crowd, she dissed someone else's:
"Please don't buy [Dick] Cheney's book," she pleaded.
Further demonstrating her affinity for the Democratic party, Fisher added that she once dated Senator Chris Dodd. "I never was going to tell about that, but he started talking about it," she said.
10. She is privy to way too much information.
"Like many geeks here of a certain age, I was very fond of you, growing up," one male fan intimated to Fisher, causing her head to crash down onto the table in front of her and the crowd to groan.
According to "Wishful Drinking," this is not an uncommon occurrence.
11. She thinks she's a terrible actress.
"I was never that great of an actor," Fisher said, drawing protests from the crowd. By way of illustration, she repeated one of her lines from Star Wars, using her pseudo-English accent that was, admittedly, pretty inconsistent throughout the three films: "I thought I recognized your foul stench when I was brought on board."
12. She lives next door to her tap-dancing mom.
You may have heard of Carrie Fisher's mother, triple threat Debbie Reynolds of "Singin' in the Rain" and "Tammy" fame. (And by "may have" I mean "obviously have," because if you haven't, you probably aren't reading this blog.)
Anyway, Fisher lives right next door to her mom in Los Angeles. "When we're together, it's like we're a show," she said. "We're not like real humans anymore."
13. She's an awesome/terrible role model.
Okay, so maybe Carrie Fisher isn't the all-around best role model you could have. She's a drug addict. She has, shall we say, a creative vocabulary. And at the panel, she said "I'm so sorry" to a fan who described her as a role model.
But, at the same time, there's plenty to admire. She's an amazing writer and comic. She's survived bipolar disorder that went undiagnosed for much of her life. And she doesn't feel sorry for herself or take herself too seriously.
"When things are good now, they're great, because I know how bad they can be," Fisher shared.
And, of course, almost everything she said lives up to her motto: "If my life wasn't funny, it would just be true, and that is unacceptable."
Bipolar disorder (also known as bipolar affective disorder, manic-depressive disorder, or manic depression) is a psychiatric diagnosis for a mood disorder. Individuals with bipolar disorder experience episodes of a frenzied state known as mania, typically alternating with episodes of depression.`,"*
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Aykroyd gained fame on the American late-night comedy show Saturday Night Live, where he was a writer and the youngest cast member for its first four seasons, from 1975 to 1979. Aykroyd brought a unique sensibility to the show, combining youth, unusual interests, talent as an impersonator and an almost lunatic intensity. Guest host Eric Idle, of Monty Python, said that Aykroyd's ability to write and act out characters flawlessly made him the only member of the SNL cast capable of being a Python.";
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She is infections...???!! Not nice thing to say...but thanx for the warning.
Why does she sound like she's had a mild stroke?
Probbably a side effect of the electro-shock.
14. Why does she seem to crave so much attention?
She kinda creeps me out and I don't know why.
How dissapointing, she's a real person. And all fame aside, she's a good person too.
1st thing I wanted to know when i clicked the link... Who the hell is Carrie Fisher?
Which rock have you been living under?
wow you are oblivious...
She was a heron addict for many years
Really? She was addicted to long-legged birds? Did she eat them or just play with them? Oh . . . wait . . . you meant heroin, didn't you? . . . never mind.
I always wondered what was up with the fake English accent she used briefly in Episode IV.
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Go to hell Carrie Fisher. You and your celebrity ilk is what is wrong with this country. So shut the hell up. Just shut up and all the rest of the celebrities in California can shut the hell up too. Carrie Fisher was hot in Return of the Jedi while on Jabba's barge, but otherwise, "meh".
Someone needs to totally remake Star Wars from beginning to end after George Lucas dies because that f*cker keeps sh*tting all over his own creation. The latest offense is the blue ray addition where he has Darth Vader cry "NNNNNNOOOOOO!!!" like a little girl before he tosses the emperor down the shaft. Carrie Fisher says George Lucas has no personality. Who gives a sh*t? I don't care that he doesn't have a personality. That's not his problem. His problem is that he continues to sh*t on his own creation. A classic example of someone who has too much money and too much time on his hands. B( . )( . )BS!
Somebody didn't have their coffee or perhaps is bipolar too.
sooooo, why did you read this? obviously you feel strongly about celebrities.
Oh Yeah? Well, f*ck the French!!
The French would just laugh at your little winky.
Hey moron – it'a apparent you are either off your meds or you need to get a life. Star Wars is just a goddamn movie....GET OVER IT.
Hey b*tt stain! It's apparent you're a Star Trek fan! Get a life....and GET OVER IT!!
Wow. That's some rant, Badonkadonk. Very hateful. I recommend that you try some cannabis. It's difficult to feel all that anger and negativity while properly buzzed. Please try it.
Wow. I think you have too much time on your hands. Really, why so hateful?
Everywhere I turn there's another funny person. It's really beginning to drive me crazy.
Sounds like a class act. :)
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