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Carrie Fisher talks about her upcoming special ‘Wishful Drinking’

By Greg Hernandez

HollywoodNews.com: Carrie Fisher delighted us on the final day of the TV Critics Association Summer Press Tour on Saturday where she came to talk up the upcoming HBO special “Wishful Drinking.”

It’s a documentary of her successful stage show that has wowed audiences from coast-to-coast, most recently on Broadway. Wishful includes elements from a June 25 performance of the show at the South Orange Performing Arts Center in South Orange, N.J. The HBO show also will feature archival footage and interviews with friends and family.

And what a family: Mother: Debbie Reynolds. Father: Eddie Fisher. Former stepmothers: Elizabeth Taylor and Connie Stevens. Half-sister: Joely Fisher. Ex-husband #1: Paul Simon.

Carrie’s singer father famously left her movie star mother, the star of Singing in the Rain, Tammy the Bachelor and many other films, for Miss Taylor in the late 50s. It was a situation that Carrie likens to Brad Pitt leaving Jennifer Aniston for Angelina Jolie.

Her mother long ago learned to have a sense of humor about it: It is 52 years ago. She has a joke about it which is, ‘The last time I saw him, he went out to cigarettes and hasn’t come back since. I said, ‘Where did you go? down the Nile?” It’s not like she’s oblivious to the humor in the situation.”

Debbie, known to younger audiences as Grace Adler’s mother on “Will & Grace” and Albert Brooks’ mom in Mother, has remained America’s Sweetheart and starred in such classics as “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” and “How the West Was Won” and “Divorce American Style.”

But Eddie did not fair so well: “He didn’t have as big a career as Brad [Pitt’s] to destroy but it was considerable. It is very similar and I did point that out to Brad once at a party and he pretended at least to know what I was talking about. It destroyed my father but it wasn’t simply that divorce that destroyed him. It was just kind of every choice after that. … My dad, he’s not the sort of bastion of good judgment.”

Throughout the years, Carrie has made peace with her early family life and come to understand her parents relationship and their 1950s image as America’s Sweethearts: “They were crippled by that. They were never really in love. They loved being loved in a way as a couple. My mother says the went onto Yankees Stadium once and 30,000 people stood up and cheered. So literally they were a concept and born in a publicity office practically and they embraced being embraced.”

“My dad was never really in my life,” she added. “I saw him more on TV than in the planet. But I have a great relationship with him today.”

Even though she was just 21 when George Lucas cast her as Princess Leia in the original “Star Wars” trilogy, Carrie did not plan to become an actress.

“I’ve had stage fright most of my life. It was my parents thing that they did. They put me in their shows and stuff and they had me sing. I was just terrified. I’d never go into show business, the trick would have been to stay out. I preferred writing and the solitude of it. It took me to get older to realize I was sort of a spectacle anyway.”

To read more go to GregInHollywood.com.

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