Carrie Fisher Called Harrison Ford Affair a "Three-Month One-Night Stand"
The writer revealed her affair with her Star Wars co-star 40 years after it took place.
Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford are known to several generations of fans as Princess Leia and Han Solo—an unlikely pair who reluctantly fall in love while battling the Empire. But, for decades after the original Star Wars trilogy was released, fans believed that the romance was just between their characters. After all, Ford was married to his first wife Mary Marquardt at the time, and they had two young children.
But, in 2016, Fisher dropped a bombshell when she revealed that she and Ford had, in fact, had an affair while shooting the first movie, 1977's Star Wars. She opened up about their behind-the-scenes relationship in her memoir The Princess Diarist and answered questions about it during interviews to promote the book. During one TV appearance, the When Harry Met Sally star referred to the affair as a "three-month one-night stand."
Read on to find out more about the on-set romance that both actors kept secret for decades.
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Fisher fell hard for Ford.
In 2016, The Guardian published an excerpt from The Princess Diarist, in which Fisher opened up for the first time about developing feelings for her co-star. The actor was 19 to Ford's 33 at the time they started filming, and she explained that she tried to act more confident on the set than she actually was. (It was only her second movie.)
Fisher wrote that she first got together with Ford following a birthday party for director George Lucas. The affair continued on for three months as they worked together.
"A tiny part of me felt like I'd won the man lottery and here I was both counting and spending the money," she said in her book. "I looked over at Harrison. He was… God, he was just so handsome … So how could you ask such a shining specimen of a man to be satisfied with the likes of me? No! Don't tell me! The fact is that he was! Even if it was for a short while. That was way more than enough."
She also wrote that the relationship meant more to her than to him. "I'm sure on our relative lists of priorities, I might have ranked as high as number 15 on his agenda, while Harrison was my number one," Fisher said.
She never thought it would last, however.
"It was a three-month one-night stand," Fisher told hosts Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford when she promoted the book on Today. Asked if she fell in love with Ford, Fisher said, "I think eventually I did, think," and added that she was "infatuated." She also clarified that no one knew about the affair, including their co-star Mark Hamill.
Speaking to The Guardian, Fisher said of Ford, "I don't think, until now, he knew the intensity of my feelings," and reasoned that he may have bought the image she was trying to project. "He perceived me as this very confident, experienced girl," she continued. "I don't think he had all the information! And when he got it, he behaved accordingly, and he didn't have to do that."
Asked how he changed, Fisher responded, "He softened a bit, you know, to the degree that Harrison can soften. And we stayed together for the remainder of the film. It was never going to be more than that. I didn't think it was going to be even that."
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She warned Ford that she was going to tell the world about it.
In the interview with Today, Fisher talked about telling Ford that she was going to write about the affair in The Princess Diarist, which incorporated the diaries she kept when they were making Star Wars.
"I said I found the diaries and said I was probably going to publish them," she explained. "And he sort of just said, 'Lawyer!' He was being funny. I'm sure he doesn't like it." She added that they were both overwhelmed by the attention the reveal brought. "I'm quite sure by now he really doesn't like it. I'm liking it less now," she said with a laugh. "It's just way too much."
They only discussed their affair once after it ended.
After filming on the first movie wrapped, Ford and Fisher carried on as if nothing hadn't happened between them, even though they were brought back together to more Star Wars movies not long after. "I think it was reabsorbed," she said of their feelings for each other. "You can see in our body language that we are comfortable with each other."
Fisher did say that they acknowledged the affair while working on the new trilogy of Star Wars movies. "On this last film [2015's The Force Awakens], I noticed that two people were flirting and they had a big age difference like we had, and I pointed it out to him, and he said [she puts on his deep-voice deadpan], 'Well, I hope it goes well for them,'" she told The Guardian. "I think it's the only time we've ever referred to it." Asked if he might have winked when he said it, she replied, "No. He's not a wink person."
Ford said having their relationship come to light was "strange."
In a 2017 interview with GQ, Ford was asked whether it was "strange" for him that Fisher had revealed the secret affair after so many years. "It was strange," he responded, "For me." He said that he hadn't read her book but declined to speak any further on it, since Fisher had died after going into cardiac arrest on a plane in December 2016, only one month after the book was published.
"Oh, I don't know. I don't know. You know, with Carrie's untimely passing, I don't really feel that it's a subject that I want to discuss," Ford explained.