Following their back-to-back deaths last month, HBO moved up the premier of the highly anticipated documentary on the relationship between Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds.
Titled “Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds,” the emotional film debuted on HBO Saturday night.
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Billed as “an intimate portrait of Hollywood royalty in all its eccentricity,” the 95-minute film documented nearly a year of the Hollywood icon’s lives, — leading up to Reynolds 2015 acceptance of her Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, which Fisher presented.
It was an emotional project to watch, especially after the recent deaths of both women. Fisher, 60, died on Dec. 27 after suffering a heart attack during an 11-hour flight from London to Los Angeles four days prior. Reynolds died a day after her daughter, at the age of 84.
The film explores the unbreakable, yet complicated bond between the two women.
“If my mother’s unhappy, it lives on my grid,” Fisher said at one point. “So I both want to and have to help my mother. She was very good to her mother and her mother didn’t deserve it. Debbie deserves it.”
Fisher also talks about the effects of aging on her mother, to include her fragile health — Reynolds is seen with severe bruising on her face after suffering a fall at home.
“Age is horrible for all of us, but she falls from a greater height,” she said. “Everything in me demands that my mother be what she always was — even if that was is irritating. She just can’t change, that’s the rule.”
The film also delves into their past, to include Reynolds talking about her daughter’s mental health challenges.
“Manic-depressive is a disease,” Reynolds said. “Now that wasn’t diagnosed then, so nobody knew what was going on with Carrie. When she was 13, her personality changed. So it’s a constant battle — it takes all of us to assure her that she’s loved.”
“It’s hard,” she said, as she became emotional. “It’s hard. That’s the hardest part.”
Here’s a clip of the film capturing some of the interaction between the stars:
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