Billie Lourd is building a new life for herself after the tragic deaths of her mother and grandmother, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, last December.
In the new Town and Country cover story, the “American Horror Story” actress talks to co-star Sarah Paulson about moving on from tragedy, and a new chance to define herself the way she wants.
“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,” Lourd said. “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.”
Lourd, 25, has been pursuing her own acting career for some time, appearing in “Scream Queens” as well as “American Horror Story”, but she admits her mother played a part in her choice of vocation. Lourd appeared in a small role with Fisher in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”.
Lourd appeared in a small role with Fisher in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. “[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,'” Lourd said.
Fisher died at 60 after suffering a heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles, with her own mother passing the next day.
“If life’s not funny, then it’s just true – and that would be unacceptable,” Lourd said. “Even when she [Fisher] 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.'”
In June it was reported that Fisher’s autopsy found cocaine in her system at the time of her death, as well as traces of other drugs including heroin and ecstasy. The “Star Wars” actress had openly battled drug addiction for years, as well as bi-polar disorder.
“A lot of people have had experiences like mine, too. Tons of people grow up with mentally ill parents who have drug problems,” Lourd said. “It’s such a common thing, and people really don’t talk about it.”