In today's image concerned culture, a timeless movie icon like Carrie Fisher cannot simply reprise her role as Princess Leia in an instant.
Nowadays, established legends need to alter themselves as the production team deems necessary.
Carrie has spoken out about how she needed to lose around 35lbs for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The actress stated:
“They don’t want to hire all of me – only about three-quarters!”
Behind the metaphor made in jest, there is an important debate lurking. It's a multifaceted issue with no clear answer, concerning the physical transformations that actors have to undergo for movie roles.
Of course, writers and directors have a certain idea and appearance for a character, and so their artistic vision and plans should be upheld. On the flip side, these sorts of demands that are put upon actors and actresses to transform themselves physically could be to appease the general public (and movie execs), who expect their heroes to look a certain, and oft-times unrealistic, way.
Fisher's stance is closer to the latter viewpoint:
“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. They might as well say get younger, because that’s how easy it is.”
“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… We treat beauty like an accomplishment and that is insane.”
Especially for a woman in her middle-age like Carrie, the task of losing so much weight at the age of 59 is no easy feat, and should really be done in a safe and informed way.
Fisher proved that the challenge was not insurmountable, and successfully slimmed down for the role by doing more exercise rather than cutting out food. The daughter of Anakin Skywalker believed that it was easier to do more of one activity, than deny herself another.
With her unshakeable commitment and many a time proven natural talent, you can count yourselves in for an absolutely stellar performance from Carrie in the new installment of the mega franchise.