The Scream Queens actress spoke on coping with the deaths of Fisher and her grandmother Debbie Reynolds, who died in the span of two days late last year, and her plans to continue the family’s Hollywood legacy.
Though the family’s history in showbiz doesn’t deter the budding actress so much as confirm it’s her calling. She explained:
“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.”
Aside from her role on Ryan Murphy‘s Scream Queens, Lourd is still somewhat new to the acting game.
Of course, being the daughter of Princess Leia makes for some great connections — and an audition for a Star Wars movie. Lourd said of her first acting gig:
“My mom actually pointed me toward it. The first thing I did was Star Wars: The Force Awakens. J.J. 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. 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.'”
Her mother wasn’t the only family member who encouraged Lourd to pursue acting. Grandma Debbie, days before her death, suggested she “put an act together.”
Along with showbiz success, Lourd is just as well acquainted with the dark sides of fame, which Fisher was notably honest about throughout her career.
Lourd acknowledged that her mother’s honesty is what made her authentic, but admits she won’t be “living too out in the open,” explaining:
“It’s good to a certain extent. 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 she could have kept to herself. But, you know, that was the beauty of her.”
Fisher had many pearls of wisdom that shaped Lourd’s personality — for example, asking a 9-year-old Billie “Are you going to grow up to be an asshole?” after she got into trouble at school.
But one mantra that’s helped the American Horror Story star through these particularly devastating months is to “find the funny” in life. She revealed:
“If life’s not funny, then it’s just true — and that would be unacceptable. Even when she died, that was what got me through that whole thing. When Debbie died the next day, I could just picture her saying, ‘Well, she’s upstaging me once again, of course — she had to.'”
It’s clear there’s no one better to continue such an iconic legacy!
[Image via Town & Country.]