For fans of her work, Carrie Fisher's death is still shocking, even now, more than seven months later. But it's hard to compare that experience to what her daughter, Billie Lourd is going through — especially since she lost her mother and her grandmother, Debbie Reynolds, in the same week. Now, Lourd is opening up about Fisher's death, and even though it has to have been an incredibly difficult experience for her, it seems like she's making the best of it.
While being interviewed by her new American Horror Story costar, Sarah Paulson, for Town & Country, Lourd talked about what it was like to break into acting after being cast last-minute in a role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And now that she's started this new chapter in her life, she is ready to take on the world as her own person.
Many people can relate to the feeling of growing up in the shadow of an older sibling or their parents, but for Lourd, the situation was a bit more intense. When your mother and grandmother are both legends, how do you separate yourself from them to start your own career? That might be an impossible task, but it certainly sounds like Lourd is up for the challenge.
Lourd explained that at first, she resisted being an actor because she'd seen all of the downsides that come with it thanks to her family, but after The Force Awakens, her mom realized that she was a natural and encouraged her to go for it. She started going on auditions, and then she met Ryan Murphy and was cast on Scream Queens. The rest is history.
But since she's decided to join the family business, Lourd's main struggle seems to be finding out how to be "just Billie," creating a life and a career for herself independent from the legends who raised her. In the interview, she told Paulson:
"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. I love being my mother’s daughter, and it’s something I always will be, but now I get to be just Billie ... It’s a lot of pressure, because she had such an incredible legacy, and now I have to uphold that and make it evolve in my own way."
Lourd's positive outlook on such a heartbreaking time in her life is just more proof of her strength. Obviously, it would be much better if Fisher and Reynolds were still here, but for Lourd to take such a tough situation and make the best of it is amazing. And one of her final memories of her mother is proof of something else: how Fisher's support helped her as she embarked on this adventure.
"The last time I saw her in person, this episode of Scream Queens was on, and it was a big episode for me. I had tons of scenes, and I was so hard on myself about it — I hated how I looked, hated my performance. I was really frustrated. She told me, 'Come over right now. I want to watch this with you.' And she made me sit down and watch it, and she forced me to see the good parts. She was incredible like that. But she was really hard on me, saying, 'Shut up, you’re great in this. Have faith in yourself. Be more confident.'"
Though she wants her acting career to remain separate from Fisher and Reynolds', Lourd still carries the lessons her mom taught her about surviving in Hollywood with her. She added:
"It's good to be authentic, to help other people, but if it's not helping other people, then don't do it. There were a couple incidents I wish [Fisher] could have kept to herself. But, you know, that was the beauty of her."
Now that Lourd is on her own, it'll be exciting to see where her new adventures take her. Her mother and grandmother will never be forgotten, but it seems Lourd won't have any trouble at all standing out.