How could anyone growing up in the 70’s not have had a crush on Carrie Fisher? While Luke and Han Solo had their legions of fans – I always felt partial to Princess Leia Organa, the gutsy, smack-talking hottie of the universe. Leia was the genesis of my devotion to beautiful women dressed in white, their hair up in a double bun and holding a gun. It doesn’t get any better.
Or does it? Kept under wraps in Empire Strikes Back, Leia returned with sexy revenge in a gold bikini for a generation of pre-adolescent boys, their older brothers and some of their fathers to salivate over in Return of the Jedi. Chained to Jabba the Hutt’s disgusting gut, Leia awakened a who legion of would be Jedi, willing to sacrifice themselves to have her all to themselves. Of course, in the otherwise asexual world of Star Wars, Carrie Fisher as Leia stuck out as the most beautiful creature ever to jump into hyperspace. Secretly, I wished that I could meet Carrie Fisher. Little did I know, I’d get the chance 20 years later. Sort of.
After film school, I moved to LA to fulfill my destiny of being in the picture-business. I ended up being a Ms. Beasley’s Muffin Delivery Boy. Now, this job did have its benefits. Namely, it got me on the lot of all the majors: Twentieth Century Fox on Pico Boulevard, Sony in Century City; Paramount off Melrose Ave. and Universal off Cahuenga Blvd. I also got my choice assignments when Christmas rolled around, delivering huge packages of tasty goodies to the homes of Hollywood royalty like Gregory Peck, Charlton Heston, James Coburn and Michael Douglas. But they were only prelude to my greatest movie star sighting of all.
I was loading my Honda Civic hatchback full of muffins in a back alley of Beverly Hills one sunny day, when I looked up and saw none other than Carrie Fisher, staring at me while lighting a cigarette. I stood there, arms full of muffins – transfixed. She had long, black hair down to her beautiful behind. Her dress wasn’t white but a beautiful shade of blue. Carrie continued to stare at me while she took a long drag off her cigarette. I wanted to say something clever, but didn’t dare disturb the beauty of the moment. Then she exhaled and without a word turned, walked back into the restaurant next to the muffin bakery. I watched long after she was gone, then looked down at my arms covered in powdered sugar and mashed muffins. Obviously, I’d made an impression on the princess.
Carrie will always remind me of sitting on my mother’s lap in a crowded movie theater on a hot summer’s day in Menlo Park, New Jersey and staring up at the screen watching the greatest movie ever made. I knew in those opening moments when Darth Vader and his minions capture Princess Leia, that I wanted to tell stories. Stories where princesses are as beautiful, fearless and intelligent as Carrie Fisher’s Leia.
Carrie has had quite a second act as a writer and stage performer. She’s a comical genius with the Hollywood pedigree to make an evening of stories hilariously memorable. She’s been through hell with drugs and mental illness, and I give her all the credit in the world for surviving in a town that eats its young. I hope I get to meet her again someday. But I won’t bring up our first encounter in the alleyway. Some things are better left unsaid.