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Billie Lourd On The Lessons She Learned From Carrie Fisher (Good And Bad) As She Embarks On Her Own Journey As A Parent

Billie Lourd is basically third generation Hollywood royalty. Her grandmother was Debbie Reynolds and her mother was Carrie Fisher. Growing up had to be a truly unique experience being raised by Carrie Fisher, and Lourd, who is now raising a child of her own, admits that she learned a lot growing up as the daughter of Carrie Fisher, though not all of it was good.

Carrie Fisher was fairly open and honest about her life, even writing about her struggles with substance abuse in books. But that doesn’t mean that growing up as Carrie Fisher’s daughter was all bad. Speaking with the New Day Podcast, Billie Lourd says that above all, she learned from her mom to look at life with a sense of humor. Lourd explains...

The most amazing thing my mom did was provide me with the greatest sense of humor. Not to toot my own horn that I have the greatest sense of humor, but she had the greatest sense of humor. We laughed every single day. She made my life so much fun. And she was so spontaneous. She used to say, ‘If life isn’t funny then it’s just true and that’s unacceptable.’ That’s something I try to live by. My therapist says it’s not really great, it’s like an alcoholic’s excuse for like doing bad things, but it does apply in a positive way in a lot of realms of life. It also can be used as an excuse.

It perhaps says a great deal about Billie Lourd’s relationship with her mother that she sees Carrie Fisher’s statement about laughing at life as an “alcoholic’s excuse” but she makes the decision to look not at the negative connotations of that, but rather to focus on how the same idea can be used in a positive way. 

It’s clear that Billie Lourd misses her mother. We frequently see tributes to Carrie Fisher posted on Lourd’s Instagram. At the same time, the woman who is now a working actress while raising a child, admits that if her mother was still around she might not be able to do some of the work she’s been able to do. Lourd continues...

I don’t know if I would have been able to do some of the roles and some of the work that I have been able to do because I was also so busy taking care of her, is the truth. And I wouldn’t have time for those 16 hours days or had time to say yes to things that I wanted to say yes to. Because my main job when she was alive was taking care of her and making sure she was OK.

Even before Billie Lourd was a parent she was a caretaker as she needed to spend a lot of her time making sure her mother was ok. It’s possible even this helped her learn how to become a parent in her own way.

Most of us learn how to be a parent from our own parents. We find ourselves falling into the same patterns as adults that we saw our own parents in as children. We can even find ourselves saying the same words. Sometimes we can learn that what our parents did really worked, but Billie Lourd has also learned where to draw the line and do things differently...

It’s interesting how that cycle happens and how you try to do something differently than your mother, your grandmother and then sometimes doing it differently is actually worse. There’s some happy medium that we all have to try and find -- that what I’m trying to find with my son. I’m trying to be there, but also work sometimes, but be around as much as possible, but not smother him and make him feel guilty and all these things. But there’s a lot of layers… I’m working on that now and I’ll let you know how that goes. My kid’s only 10 months old.

The relationship between any parent and child is certainly a complicated one, some more so than others. It seems that, on the whole, Billie Lourd is happy with the way her own mother raised her. She clearly misses her a great deal. But Carrie Fisher may live on in some of the things Billie Lourd teaches her own child.  

Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.