Oscar Isaac’s discussion of Star Wars: The Last Jedi with Stephen Colbert on The Late Show Thursday night was bittersweet. The actor both celebrated his first day of filming Episode VIII with Carrie Fisher and acknowledged the “heartbreaker” that was her death at the age of 60 last December.
“Actually, a large amount of the stuff I got to do was with Carrie, which was amazing,” Isaac, who plays Rebel pilot Poe Dameron, began. “I remember the first day of shooting was a scene with Carrie. I’m still… often times that first day, the filmmaker’s, everybody’s trying to get the tone and figure it out and I remember it was a scene where I come up and talk to her and she’s very upset with me and slaps me, and [director] Rian [Johnson] kept doing it over and over … It ended up being like 27 takes of Carrie just leaning in and every time she’d hit like a different spot on my face.”
While Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy told Entertainment Weekly Episode IX essentially “started over” in the wake of Fisher’s death, General Leia Organa will be a force in The Last Jedi.
“She was by far the quickest-witted, funniest, most down-to-earth, real human being as I ever had the opportunity of working with and she does amazing work in this,” Isaac said. “It was definitely a heartbreaker.”
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Star Wars fans learned a great deal about the next installment of the Skywalker Saga in the latest issue of Vanity Fair after Disney and Lucasfilm rolled out the first footage at Star Wars Celebration in April.
“I love her so much, man,” Johnson said of Fisher during the convention’s Last Jedi panel. “I just adore her. And I connected first and foremost with her as a writer. She had a brilliant mind, and I’d sit on her bed for hours, going through the screenplay, and we’d have these stream-of-consciousness ad-lib sessions. At the end, there would be a four-word line of dialogue that came from that.”
Star Wars: The Last Jedi will hit theaters on Dec. 15.