This post has taken me quite some time to write, partly because of who it is for, and partly because it pains me that for the fourth time this year I have had to write a piece looking back at the role played by a person who had an impact on my younger years.
Sadly, earlier this week beloved actress Carrie Fisher passed away. Known to most for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise, Fisher was an actress beloved by people from many generations. Her role in Star Wars was most noteworthy to me for being one of the first strong female roles I had seen in film (my childhood film watching mainly consisting of early Disney films and the classic Star Wars films). Her determined nature as a key member of the rebellion and as a strong-willed character who could hold her own in a fight is something I can look back on and admire, particularly considering the time period that these films were initially released.
However, Fisher has also become known over recent years for her open and frank discussions of mental illness, particularly in reference to her own struggle with bipolar disorder. On numerous occasions she has spoken out about the impact her struggle had on her own life, while also working to end the stigma around mental illness that many have been working to dismiss over the last few years. Equally, she was vocal about sexism in the film industry, probably part of this stemming from her iconic role as a strong female character. Recently she openly shot back at critics by instructing them to “Stop debating if I aged well”.
I am aware her acting career stretches further than the Star Wars franchise, however this will forever be what I remember Carrie Fisher for.
RIP Carrie Fisher 1956-2016