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Star Wars: Carrie Fisher Allegedly Faced Sexist Pressure Before She Died

With the announcement of the "Star Wars" sequel trilogy, hopes were high for the return of the three main heroes of the pause-worthy original trilogy: Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher, who expressed regret over taking the iconic role). Decades had passed since these characters and their respective actors appeared in live-action in the galaxy far, far away, so it was big news when it came to light that they were coming back. Unfortunately, Fisher's final run as Leia shortly before her death in 2016 wasn't entirely positive.

Singer James Blunt, a close friend of Fisher's, recalled that the actor took on a lot of pressure from those in charge of "Star Wars" at that time to lose weight — something she felt was rooted in sexism since Hollywood has a track record of forcing strict body image standards on women. "She'd just got the job again of being Princess Leia in a new 'Star Wars' movie. So she was really on a high and a positive, but they had applied a lot of pressure on her to be thin. She spoke about the difficulties that women have in the industry, how men are allowed to grow old, and women are certainly not in film and TV," Blunt recalled at Hay Festival while promoting his memoir, "Loosely Based on a Made-Up Story" (via The Independent).

Fisher herself spoke on this exact subject years prior, corroborating the claims about and attributed to her by Blunt.

Fisher never shied away from highlighting Hollywood's unhealthy fixation on weight

One would be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't believe that Carrie Fisher is and forever will be the actor for the Princess Leia role. From the original trilogy to the sequels, she played the Rebel figurehead to perfection, balancing her diplomatic and action-oriented sides in addition to delivering Leia's best sassy one-liners like no one else could. Of course, she sadly had to endure some of Hollywood's worst tendencies along the way, particularly when it comes to the matter of body image. As she told Today, she was told to lose weight to play Leia in 1977's "Star Wars," despite being 19 years old and weighing just over 100 pounds at the time (via Telegraph).

Even as the industry changed and she reached icon status, Fisher still had people telling her to change her body. "They don't want to hire all of me –- only about three-quarters! Nothing changes: it's an appearance-driven thing. I'm in a business where the only thing that matters is weight and appearance," she told Good Housekeeping in 2015, joking that she might as well have been told to somehow be younger too. She added that the culture around Hollywood is too fixated on appearance, even in the most minor of interactions. "Everyone in LA says, "'Oh you look good,' and you listen for them to say you've lost weight. It's never 'How are you?' or 'You seem happy!'" Fisher said.

Evidently, the entertainment world has an unhealthy obsession with how peoples' bodies look, even if you're a legend like Carrie Fisher. One can only hope that these pressures disappear in the future, allowing actors to be comfortable in their own skin while doing what they do best on set.