Carrie Fisher was wondering recently what to do with the huge Princess Leia painting -- "in that fucking iron bikini" -- that George Lucas sent her for her birthday. "I'm sure it was regifted," she says in a voice just short of booming. "I have it in the back. It makes me look like an idiot to have it anywhere in my house. I'm going to get the giant Princess Leia doll and probably use it in my backyard like a very eclectic miniature golf course."
Not that her Coldwater Canyon house is lacking in mementoes of those space movies she starred in in the '70s and '80s. If, as she states, "My house is a collage of who I am," then Fisher is someone whose inner child is alive and well. It's a carnivalesque candyland -- there are parking meters outside, a fun-house mirror, a Skeeball game, the rear half of a stuffed lion. Lewis Carroll would feel right at home.
Carrie Frances Fisher could never be from anywhere but L.A. The spawn of Tinseltown royalty Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, she's a living monument to Hollywood glamour, talent and excess. She's done the movie-star thing, the druggie thing, the celebrity-marriage thing, even the baby-with-a gay-man thing, and has chronicled it all in semi-autobiographical novels and hilariously dishy memoirs. After enduring electroconvulsive therapy treatments to treat her bipolar disorder, she may not remember your name, but her wit remains extremely sharp.
She still performs her one-woman show, Wishful Drinking, around the country, but when she's home, she talks about her L.A. playground like the bad girl she once was. "I still have the tendency to want to be a truant, so I've organized my life so that I can sneak out to places. I hang out with shady characters."
Back in her partying days, Fisher's drug of choice was LSD: "I was demanding on acid. I demanded that you Henry Miller it up with me. That doesn't mean you had to fuck me. It means get dressed up to the elbows with everything."
Just don't ask her to meet you on the east side of town. "I actually got trapped in a part of L.A. I didn't understand. I think it's Los Feliz. I was trying to get to a friend of mine's house, Michael Tolkin, and I got completely lost and was stopping to buy electronic cigarettes everywhere."
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These days, her vices are Coke Zero, Balance bars and those electronic cigarettes, which, she says, "are beyond a vice -- they're a profession."
Fisher's next chapter, she reveals, may be another book of fiction. She's only 55, but with all this clean living, she can look forward to one day being the coolest old lady on the block. "I hope I'm eccentric in a colorful way, but I just hope I'm not someone who dresses in outfits that belong on my daughter."
Is it hard being Carrie Fisher? "Not at all," she says. "It's a privilege. I have a brain that's smarter than I am."