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Carrie Fisher Talks Death in 2009: ‘You Gotta Make It Funny, or You'll Just Be Destroyed'

The actress discussed her play "Wishful Drinking," a look at Fisher's own Hollywood hangover

It seems almost prescient now, when "Star Wars" actress Carrie Fisher sat down with NBC Bay Area nearly a decade ago and said there was one thing that couldn’t be made comical.

“I think probably death is really not funny,” Fisher said ahead of a 2009 repeat performance of her one-woman show “Wishful Drinking” at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

That was seven years before her death at age 60. A representative for her daughter, Billie Lourd, made the announcement Tuesday, saying, "She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly."

"Wishful Drinking" described itself as an “uproarious and sobering” look at Fisher's own Hollywood hangover, detailing parts of her life as a single mother born to celebrity parents, battling addiction and weathering the ride of manic depression.

Fisher said the point of the show — which she said played to mostly gay men and women, sci-fi lovers, drug addicts and the mentally ill — is "making things that aren't funny ... funny."

For instance, she learned to work humor into talking about the difficulty of being hospitalized for mental illness, she told NBC Bay Area. 

But asked if that included death, she pondered. "Not having experienced it, I think no," it's not funny, Fisher said.

Then she paused and changed her mind: "You gotta make it funny, you'll just be destroyed or something...I think you've got to make it funny as soon as you can."

Fisher later adapted "Wishful Drinking" into a book of the same name, in which she mentions, as part of an anecdote about the first "Star Wars" filming, her wishes for her own obituary

Fisher recounts the first day of filming, during which she says "Star Wars" creator George Lucas approached her about her undergarments.

"You can't wear a bra under that dress," Fisher recalls Lucas telling her.

When Fisher asked him why, she says he responded: "Because...there's no underwear in space."

Years later, Fisher says Lucas approached her about the anecdote after one of her "Wishful Drinking" performances and explained in greater detail his claim.

"What happens is you go to space and you become weightless. So far so good, right?" she writes. "But then your body expands??? But your bra doesn't — so you get strangled by your own bra."

That, she says, inspired her idea for her own obituary.

"Now I think that this would make for a fantastic obit — so I tell my younger friends that no matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra."

Fisher had a close and personal experience with death when, her best friend, R. Gregory Stevens, was found dead in Fisher's Beverly Hills Home in 2005. 

"Having someone die in your bed isn't funny, " Fisher said, taking a pause. "That took a long, long time" to make funny, too.

Fisher's death comes with the latest "Star Wars" movie playing in theaters. While Fisher is not in the film, a digital likeness of her character, Princess Leia, appears. Days before her death, she was wryly tweeting about "death marching ever closer.

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