Griffin Dunne Says Friend Carrie Fisher 'Lived For Every Lurid Detail' of His Sexual Encounters (Exclusive)

Even after he took her virginity, Dunne and Fisher remained close friends. In an exclusive excerpt from his new memoir, the writer and director details their relationship

<p>Courtesy of the McGrath Estate; Penguin Random House</p> Griffin Dunne (left), Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher

Courtesy of the McGrath Estate; Penguin Random House

Griffin Dunne (left), Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher

Griffin Dunne and Carrie Fisher were close friends and one-time roommates, and even when Dunne took Fisher's virginity, it didn't hurt their friendship — or Dunne's relationship with Fisher's boyfriend at the time. On the contrary, the act "was ridiculously fun, and at times even funny," an approach that Dunne writes was "revolutionary" for him. (Read on for just how hilarious his and Fisher's approach to sex could be).

As roommates do, the pair were consistently there for each other. He was there when Fisher landed her iconic role as Princess Leia in Star Wars, and walked in on her consoling James Taylor during one of their apartment’s wild parties. And in return, she offered him solace and reassurance when he needed it too.

In his new memoir, The Friday Afternoon Club: A Family Memoir, out June 11 from Penguin Press, Dunne shares these stories and many others from a star-studded childhood in a house where Sean Connery once saved him from drowning, Warren Beatty serenaded a lavish party and other bold-type names often came and went.

<p>Courtesy of the McGrath Estate</p> Griffin Dunne (left), Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher

Courtesy of the McGrath Estate

Griffin Dunne (left), Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher

When he sat down to write his new book, Dunne originally expected to go the funny route. “I thought that I'd be writing a lot of humorous, [David] Sedaris-like anecdotes,” the actor, director and producer, 68, tells PEOPLE for a story in the June 10 print edition.

But he quickly realized it had to balance lighthearted stories with dark shadows. “I let myself go into the pain,” he says. “I found there was room for both humor and tragedy.”

Below, in an exclusive excerpt from his new memoir, Dunne shares one such story about his relationship with Fisher.

<p>Penguin Random House</p> Griffin Dunne's new memoir, 'The Friday Afternoon Club'

Penguin Random House

Griffin Dunne's new memoir, 'The Friday Afternoon Club'

First of all, let me cut to the chase and say that Carrie never became my girlfriend. She knew, long before I did, that being lovers would diminish our possibilities. Carrie was a virgin when we met, and she lived for every lurid detail of my own sexual encounters: from my first kiss to postcoital anxieties I shared with no one but her. Her curiosity was so forensic that I felt like a cadaver undergoing an autopsy. I became her Farmers’ Almanac to forecast just the right conditions for when she’d be ready to plow ahead into the great outdoors of sexual confusion. 

We had both seen Deep Throat, and during one such interrogation, she tried to determine how I measured up in relation to the other male members, as it were, of that stellar cast. She floated a theory that the bigger the schlong, the smaller the brain power, an equation that had been percolating since she’d seen a friend’s little brother with a traumatic brain injury tie a Batman cape around his enormous boner. “Gotham City will never be the same,” she’d said. 

“Sometimes I think my brain is damaged,” I said. It came out so quietly I hoped the remark might be overlooked. 

“Then you must be hung like a yak!” 

“I’m not talking about that. I’m serious. There is something wrong with my brain. I can’t remember s--- that happened two days ago. I forget entire conversations, important directions, car keys, people’s names. It takes me all day to read a page from a book. There is something wrong with me. I think I was dropped on my head or something.”

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Oh f---, I was going to cry. I thought of doing something funny, maybe bursting into an imitation of Charles Laughton as the hunchback of Notre Dame ringing church bells and yelling, “Sanctuary,” when Carrie took my hand. 

<p>THOMAS BOHLEN / STARFACE / HEADPRESS</p> The author today


The author today

“You’re not stupid. You are one of the smartest people I know, which might not set the bar very high, but it doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you. I can’t believe you would think that.” 

“Can you keep a secret?” I asked. 

“There is a first time for everything,” she said, but I knew she would. 

“The boarding school my parents sent me to held me back a year. I am a year older than everyone in my class.” 

“Being a good student is very overrated. Winston Churchill, who I’m sure you are compared to all the time, was held back at Harrow. I just saw that in a documentary. My own mother flunked out of the MGM Little Red Schoolhouse, for God’s sake, not that that’s very inspiring. Who else? Einstein was academically challenged and a notorious bumblehead, and he f---ed Marilyn, let’s not forget.

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"Here is the problem, Griffin," [Fisher continued] "You are not mentally impaired in any way. You are just very, very distractable. I’ve seen you get lost driving me four blocks between here and my house. You didn’t forget where I live, you just turned up the radio to hear the new Neil Young at the very moment you should have been in the left lane but were too busy expressing your belief that Crazy Horse is better than Buffalo Springfield, which leads to your total recall of every musician, artist and comic to come out of Canada, which reminds you to again remind me to buy the new George Carlin album because you think he’s almost as funny as me, which I did and you’re wrong, he’s funnier.

"But usually, you’re right about everything else except about being brain-damaged. If I wanted to get home by a direct route, I could just call a cab. Getting lost with you is the smartest fun I’ve ever had.”

Adapted from THE FRIDAY AFTERNOON CLUB by Griffin Dunne. To be published on June 11, 2024, by Penguin Press, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2024 by Thomas Griffin Dunne.

The Friday Afternoon Club by Griffin Dunne comes out June 11 from Penguin Press and is available for preorder now, wherever books are sold.

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