It's been seven months since Billie Lourd lost both her mother and her grandmother, and now the actress is looking back at the impact Hollywood legends Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds had on her life and shares what life is like without them.
"If life’s not funny, then it’s just true — and that would be unacceptable," Lourd explained in a cover interview with Town & Country magazine. "Even when (mom) died, that was what got me through that whole thing. When Debbie died the next day, I could just picture her saying, 'Well, she’s upstaging me once again, of course — she had to.'"
It's an apt sentiment given how Fisher and Reynolds often vied with one another for the spotlight over the years. But Lourd, who never competed with them for that, now finds herself standing center stage.
"I’ve always kind of lived in their shadows, and now is the first time in my life when I get to own my life and stand on my own," she said in the wake of it all. "I love being my mother’s daughter, and it’s something I always will be, but now I get to be just Billie. It’s a lot of pressure, because she had such an incredible legacy, and now I have to uphold that and make it evolve in my own way."
It was Fisher who led Lourd into the entertainment industry, and she's also the one who noted that the 25-year-old had what it takes to thrive in it.
"My mom pointed me toward it," the "Scream Queens" star recalled. "The first thing I did was 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens.' (On set) my mother would pull me aside and be like, 'It’s weird that you’re so comfortable here. This is the most uncomfortable environment in the world. If you’re comfortable here, you should do this.'"
Lourd also seems comfortable with the attention that continues away from the set — and she isn't afraid of making candid comments — a trait she likely inherited from her mother.
Fisher was never shy about speaking out, even when the topics weren't easy ones, as was the case with her personal struggles with mental illness and addiction. Following the star's death, Lourd wrote openly about her own perspective on that.
"A lot of people have had experiences like mine, too. Tons of people grow up with mentally ill parents who have drug problems," she said. "It’s such a common thing, and people really don’t talk about it. (Speaking out about it) ultimately helped so many more people, and that’s why I made that statement."
Read more from the interview when the September issue of Town & Country hits newsstands Aug. 8.