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For many actors, appearing in a Star Wars film has to feel a bit like a dream come true, but appearing in a Star Wars film and instantly befriending one of its most legendary stars? That’s almost too good to be true. It happened for one of The Force Awakens stars, though, when Carrie Fisher introduced herself to him in a way that was truly, quintessentially Carrie.
Greg Grunberg first played Temmin “Snap” Wexley in The Force Awakens and then reprised the role in The Rise of Skywalker after longtime friend and collaborator J.J. Abrams came on board to direct the film. While the pilot doesn’t have an enormous role in the franchise, the actor still made the most of his screen time.
I have such an incredible love for Carrie Fisher. We hit it off very quickly. We're both filthy, fun, prepared actors, and we have the same sense of humor. I gave her shit the minute I saw her. On The Force Awakens, my first scene was actually a scene where she's cutting my character down, and then she walks towards me... She walked right towards me, wrapped her arms around me and grabbed my ass. And I didn't even know her!
Well, it’s safe to say that’s one way to break the ice. And it was definitely a memorable initiation into the franchise for Greg Grunberg, who says that moment was the beginning of more than one lasting Star Wars friendships:
I was thinking, 'This is Carrie Fisher! I'm such a fan! So, she did that, and JJ [Abrams] walked up to me and goes, 'Welcome to Star Wars.' From that moment on, we became fast friends; Billie [Lourd] and I are close. We all just bonded in a really great way.
He also shared a story about how he once upset Carrie Fisher when he neglected to come to her impromptu house party -- so much so that she made J.J. Abrams send him a video clip of her chewing him out. Greg Grunberg clearly cherishes these memories:
God, I miss her, and I didn't even know her for very long. In the few years that I knew her, it really was an honor to be able to work with her and to be able to say that I shared that time with her.
Because Greg Grunberg wasn’t in The Last Jedi, The Force Awakens was the only film he got to make with Carrie Fisher. Still, he praised J.J. Abrams for finding a tasteful way to incorporate Princess Leia into The Rise of Skywalker following the actress’ death. In the interview, he also defended the director against accusations that the final film in the franchise was meant as a rebuke to Rian Johnson. With the fond way Greg Grunberg speaks about his co-stars and his loyalty to his boss, it’s easy to see why Carrie Fisher was quick to befriend him.