Carrie Fisher first performed “Wishful Drinking,” an autobiographical, one-woman play, in 2006. It was a soul-baring look into the cult of celebrity, written by someone who considers herself a show-business outsider — despite her lineage of Hollywood royalty (she’s the daughter of Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds), “Star Wars” work as one of the most iconic characters in pop culture and career as a best-selling novelist. In 2008, Fisher published “Wishful Drinking” as a memoir; now, the material gets the documentary treatment on HBO. Fisher reflects on recounting her past over and over (and over) again.
Did you always imagine “Wishful Drinking” in this many formats?
No. I’m very, sort of, in the moment. I wish I could plan like that. Like, “OK, I know what I’m going to do. I’m going to write this show, and then from that, that would be a good book.” But I did think it would be good to film it. I didn’t think it would necessarily be HBO, but it’s sort of the perfect thing. To me, they’re the best channel on television. They’re doing some better stuff than movies.
At this point, are you at all removed from the material, like you’re simply performing a show rather than recalling your life?
I always felt a little removed from everything. Like, “How did I get here?” … My mother’s notion of wealth and how to live the good life, I think, came from a William Powell movie. We had a butler in a coat. It was all very abstract to me.
We’re in an age of over-share. Is putting yourself out there natural for you?
I grew up in a very public family. It wasn’t a question of going, “Hey! I’m going to say something shocking! Look at me!” It was already out there. So what I’m doing is, if you’re going to know I was in rehab, you’re going to know my way. If you’re going to know that I was in a mental hospital, that’s going to be on my terms. Otherwise, it’s just something to be ashamed of.
What’s in the “Wishful Drinking” documentary that isn’t in the stage
Well, they’ve interviewed my parents. And honestly, I
wasn’t there for the mom one, so that’ll be riveting for me. It’s mostly
the show. … And they did get this extra footage that I haven’t even
seen. So I know about as much as you do.