Billie Lourd‘s life has not been easy whatsoever over the past many months. Back in December, her mother, Carrie Fisher, who was best known for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars films, passed away. One day later, Fisher’s mother, Debbie Reynolds, another famous actress who was in films such as How the West Was Won and Singin’ in the Rain, passed too. It could be a traumatic experience for anyone but losing both your mother and grandmother so quickly and suddenly would be tough. Yet, Lourd said she needs to find some sort of lightness to different situations.
“If life’s not funny, then it’s just true-and that would be unacceptable,” Lourd told Town and Country. “Even when she [Carrie Fisher] died, that was what got me through that whole thing. When Debbie [Reynolds] died the next day, I could just picture her saying, ‘Well, she’s upstaging me once again, of course-she had to.” She said her mother was the reason for her becoming an actress in the first place.
“My mom actually pointed me toward it,” Lourd said. “The first thing I did was Star Wars: The Force Awakens. JJ Abrams called and said they couldn’t find anybody for this one part and would I come in and read for it. I didn’t get the part, but I got another extra part with three lines. The thing is, I was bizarrely comfortable on set.” She said her mother found it funny that she was so comfortable on set.
“My mother would pull me aside and be like, ‘It’s weird that you’re so comfortable here. This is the most uncomfortable environment in the world. If you’re comfortable here, you should do this,’” Lourd stated. Her grandmother made quite the influence on her too.
“Debbie was still encouraging me to put an act together,” Lourd said. “Literally three days before she died, she was like, ‘What numbers are you going to put in your act? Who are you going to impersonate?’ I said, ‘I don’t think people do acts as much anymore.’” But, that wasn’t the end of it. Her grandmother gave her some stern advice.
“And she came back, ‘That’s why if you do one you’ll be more successful than anyone else. The act is a dying art, and someone needs to revive it,’” Lourd recounted. She, especially, thanks her mother for everything she was taught by her.
“Now, looking back and watching her interviews, I try to model what I do after her,” Lourd stated. “She was so good at it. She would get so annoyed with me if I ever did a fake interview. She’d say, ‘Tell the real story.’” For Fisher, her mother, the real story would be tough for anyone to swallow.
Following her death on December 27, 2016, from cardiac arrest on a flight from London to Los Angeles four days earlier on December 24, cocaine and other opiates were found in her body at the time of her death. She also had methadone in her body too. She may have needed a rehab for heroin to get rid of these addictive issues she battled. Yet, Lourd was not afraid to accept the fact her mother struggled with addiction all her life at the time of Fisher’s death.
“My mom battled drug addiction and mental illness her entire life,” Lourd told People. “She ultimately died of it. She was purposefully open in all of her work about the social stigmas surrounding these diseases.”
While the death of Lourd’s mother was not easy, she was glad she made the statement she did at the time.
“And it ultimately helped so many more people, and that’s why I made that statement,” Lourd said. With both her mother and grandmother gone, she said she is finally coming out into the light and becoming her own woman.
“I’ve always kind of lived in their shadows, and now is the first time in my life when I get to own my life and stand on my own,” Lourd said. “I love being my mother’s daughter, and it’s something I always will be, but now I get to be just Billie.”
Lourd certainly has a bright future ahead of her with Star Wars: The Last Jedi about to come about and a role in The Billionaire Boys Club. While her mother may have needed a rehab for heroin due to her drug difficulties, it seems Lourd has learned to avoid much of that substance abuse and remain focused on the totality of her life.