Carrie Fisher’s ‘Wishful Drinking’

Had we known that it would be her last interview on public radio, maybe we could have dived deeper into the richness of Carrie Fisher’s life than her role as Princess Leia when it aired on NPR’s Fresh Air last month.

True, she was about to publish her third memoir — “The Princess Diarist” — which revealed an affair with Harrison Ford when she was filming the first “Star Wars” at age 19. There was also some chatter about gold bikinis and Jabba the Hutt and the icons of our youth, so we can’t really blame Terry Gross for following the gossipy scent of Hollywood.

For something deeper, we have to go back to a previous memoir — “Wishful Drinking.”

In a 2008 interview, NPR Talk of the Nation host Neal Conan introduced us to the Carrie Fisher we didn’t know and the one we shouldn’t forget: the one who talked openly about her personal struggles. The one that leaves lessons for everyone who survives her.

“If I make it a secret,” she said of her history of mental illness and alcoholism, “I make it a secret. It has enormous power. Then I have to be scared that you’re going to find it out about me.”

“Then you have problems, and problems don’t have you,” she said.

“Wishful Drinking” was a one-woman show of Fisher’s. It was an HBO documentary and a great way to remember her today.