Carrie Fisher feels fantastic after her 35-pound weight loss, but said she was pressured to lose weight for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."
Carrie said film producers ordered her to lose at least 35 pounds if she wanted to reprise her role as Princess Leia in "Star Wars 7," Celebrity Health & Fitness reported (see video).
"They don’t want to hire all of me – only about three-quarters!" said Fisher. "Nothing changes. It’s an appearance-driven thing. I’m in a business where the only thing that matters is weight and appearance. That is so messed up."
Carrie, who has struggled with weight for decades, said her weight loss secrets were diet and exercise.
I did it the same way everybody has to – don’t eat and exercise more. There is no other way to do it. I have a harder time eating properly than I do exercising."
In June 2013, both Fisher and her co-star, Mark Hamill (who plays Luke Skywalker), were ordered by film producers to embark on a strict diet and workout regimen to get back in shape to reprise their iconic roles. Carrie was told to lose 35 pounds.
Fisher, 59, and Hamill, 64, have each gained a noticeable amount of weight in the 37 years since they first played the iconic Star Wars heroes.
“Mark and Carrie need to be as close to their appearance in the earlier movies as possible," sources told the Sun. "Producers are keen to help out and have offered support. The budget is huge so there will be no expense spared.”
Fisher said she was looking forward to shooting "Star Wars 7" because it'll motivate her to slim down. "I'm glad they are doing a new movie because they are sending a trainer to my house so I can get in really good shape," she said.
The 5-foot-1 Carrie, who once weighed 180 pounds, lost 50 pounds in 2011 on the Jenny Craig diet (for which she was a rep). Fisher slimmed down to a size eight in nine months by following a 1,500-calorie-a-day diet and doing 45-minute cardio workouts five days a week.
Carrie, who weighed 105 pounds when she played Princess Leia in the early 1980s, said she hated looking at her own reflection in the mirror in recent years because of her weight.
I couldn't look in the mirror. I saw pictures of myself where I didn't look like myself. I thought I was getting old. It turns out [I] was mostly getting fat."
Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder at Age 28
Fisher than regained the weight shortly afterward and suffered several public emotional breakdowns. In 2013, Carrie was hospitalized after suffering a bipolar episode on a cruise ship where she had been performing.
Fisher was in the middle of a guest performance on board the vessel "Holland America Eurodam" when she began singing off key while she allowed her dog to defecate and urinate on stage.
Bipolar disorder, which afflicts about six million Americans, is marked by extremes in elevated or irritable moods with periods of depression. Treatment usually involves a combination of drugs and talk therapy. Actress Catherine Zeta Jones recently revealed she suffers from bipolar II disorder.
Fisher, who has been open about her past drug abuse, addiction to prescription medication, and bipolar disorder, continues to get electro-convulsive therapy every six weeks to keep her mood swings under control.
"[Electric shock therapy] just puts you to sleep," said Fisher. "There are no convulsions. It actually really helps. I don't have to take as much medication. It gets a bad rap. The only way it's shown in films is as a punishment."
Fisher is now doing well, thanks to drug and talk therapy. Carrie discussed her drug addiction, electroshock therapy and weight struggles in her memoirs, Wishful Drinking, and Postcards from the Edge.