James Blunt Says Friend Carrie Fisher Felt Pressure to Lose Weight for Her ‘Star Wars’ Return

British singer James Blunt said that his friend Carrie Fisher’s death in 2016 came as she was “mistreating her body” to reprise her iconic role as Princess Leia and allegedly receiving pressure about her weight for her Star Wars return.

Blunt was at the Hay Festival in Hay-on-Wye, Wales over the weekend discussing his memoir, Loosely Based on a Made-Up Story, when he began to discuss Fisher, a close friend who he’d at one point lived with while writing his smash-hit debut album, 2004’s Back to Bedlam. The singer told the crowd about seeing Fisher the day before her death; she was found unresponsive on a plane, having had a heart attack and died days later on Dec. 27, 2016.

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“I was with her the day before she died, when she came down to my house,” Blunt told the crowd. “And she’d been really mistreating her body, and 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 added that Fisher always put a lot of pressure on herself. [She] started using drugs again and by the time she got on the plane, she had effectively killed herself. They say it was heart failure of some kind, but she had taken enough drugs to have a really good party,” he said.

At the time of her death, Fisher had already completed filming Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) and was set to be featured in Star Wars: the Rise of Skywalker (2019).

After making her mark on the big screen as Princess Leia in Star Wars (1977) and the two sequels that rolled out in 1980 and 1983, she returned to the character for the first film of the trilogy for 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Emails for comment sent to a rep for Lucasfilm and The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson were not immediately returned.

Fisher has previously spoken there being an expectation to lose weight before she began shooting her first appearance as Princess Leia in more than three decades. “Nothing changes, it’s an appearance-driven thing,” she said in 2015. “I’m in a business where the only thing that matters is weight and appearance. That is so messed up. They might as well say get younger, because that’s how easy it is.”

Blunt also said at the Hay Festival that Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd, blames him for her death. Rather than an aggressive approach in confronting Fisher over her drug abuse, as was the case with another close friend, he says he was more laissez-faire.

“I took a different approach and did them [drugs] with her, pretending to myself that I would guide her to redemption one day — just not today. As a result, her daughter Billie blames me in part for her death, and no longer speaks to me.”

A toxicology report found Fisher had cocaine, heroin, MDMA and methadone in her system.

At the time of the report’s release, Lourd said, “My mom battled drug addiction and mental illness her entire life. She ultimately died of it. She was purposefully open in all of her work about the social stigmas surrounding these diseases. She talked about the shame that torments people and their families confronted by these diseases. I know my Mom, she’d want her death to encourage people to be open about their struggles. Seek help, fight for government funding for mental health programs. Shame and those social stigmas are the enemies of progress to solutions and ultimately a cure.”

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