In new documentary, Billie Lourd talks about subbing for mom Carrie Fisher in ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’

(NEW YORK) — Actress Billie Lourd is opening up about her late mother, Carrie Fisher, in a new feature-length documentary that goes behind the scenes of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Lourd, 27, who played Lieutenant Connix in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, helped chronicle how the movie incorporated Fisher’s character, Princess Leia, into the franchise’s Episode IX, which was filmed after her death — with Lourd’s help filling Leia’s boots.

“It’s kind of a gift from her or her forcing us to make a decision to make her the star of the movie. Probably both,” Lourd said with a laugh in an exclusive preview clip from the documentary.

In Rise of Skywalker, Lourd portrayed Princess Leia in a flashback that featured the character’s Jedi training for the first time ever. Computer effects were then used to swap Billie’s face for her mother’s. 

The documentary, which is available on March 17 with the digital release of The Rise of Skywalker, gives viewers an inside look at how filmmakers dealt with the scene’s technical obstacles.

“You see the saber fight between Luke and Leia and we were trying to use two performances between Mark and Carrie at the appropriate age,” said visual effects supervisor, Roger Guyett.

“The reality of having to do a scene with someone who isn’t actually there [any longer] was very difficult,” Lourd said. “I sort of had to walk off and have a moment.”

“Being back has been incredible, painful surreal — all of the adjectives that you can come up with probably I felt,” said Lourd. “I’m so happy and she would be happy that it’s her movie too.”

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