Rob Delaney Honors 'Brilliant' TV Mom Carrie Fisher — and Shares the Many Reasons Why He 'Revered' Her
In an essay published by The Guardian on Wednesday, Delaney, 39, pays tribute to the late iconic actress, who played his “card-carrying sadist” mother on the British black comedy.
“Like you, I was a fan first and a fan for ever,” Delaney begins, ticking off some of Fisher’s most memorable roles, in Star Wars, When Harry Met Sally and The Blues Brothers, the last of which inspired in Delaney a lip gloss and murder-fueled crush.
“I spent my teenage years fantasising about a shiny-lipped Carrie Fisher trying to murder me and my fugitive brother one day,” Delaney joked of Fisher’s Blues Brothers character, who repeatedly tried to kill John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd’s characters in the film. “So naturally I tried to seduce Carrie when we finally did work together, especially after Variety called me ‘the poor man’s Harrison Ford, who is also fat.’ ”
Delaney’s seduction efforts failed (“Despite my begging her on many occasions, we never had sex, even though our onscreen mother/son chemistry was off the charts,” he writes) but his love for Fisher only grew after meeting her in person.
“What I’m getting at here is that I revered Carrie until I met her and then I loved her,” Delaney concludes his essay. “I’m smiling thinking about her. I hope you are too.”
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Delaney revealed in his essay that Fisher is “a bigger part of series three than she was of the first two series. We couldn’t help but write more for her because she’s so brilliant.”
Fisher brought a little bit of improvising and a lot of quirkiness to the role, Delaney says.
“Carrie was the only cast member Sharon and I would let improvise. (I say ‘let’; as if we could stop her. She let us put her in our show),” he writes. “We’re a bit despotic and inflexible with our dialogue because we’re insane, but Carrie was more insane and would always, always make it funnier and better. In episode one of series two you can hear her singing an improvised song about areolae in the background of our daughter’s christening party.”
She also offered on-set moral support and “prescription” cookies.
“And she was kind too,” Delaney continues. “One day I was having a hard time because I was feeling guilty about being on set pretending to have a hard time managing a young family while my real-life wife tended to our three kids under the age of five, one of whom was a newborn. She was very sweet and understanding and the next day she brought me a tin of biscuits shaped like syringes and thermometers and other medical things and said she was ‘prescribing me cookies’.”
Sharon Horgan, Delaney’s Catastrophe co-creator and costar, also paid homage to Fisher in an Instagram post on Tuesday.
“Carrie was my friend. It took me three series but I got her in the end. She was the most generous, fun, gifted, smart, kind, funny funny funny person I’ve ever met,” Horgan wrote. “She certainly wasn’t ready to go. I’m so glad we became pals. I’m so devastated at her loss. I want to write about her more but I can’t process yet.”
At a Tribeca event earlier this year, Horgan recalled the moment she realized she wanted Fisher to play Delaney’s character’s mother on the show.
“You were giving an award at the Attitude Awards in London and you did this great speech, and Rob and I were in the audience,” Horgan told Fisher at the event in April. “I turned to Rob, and I went, ‘That’s your awful mother!’ ”
“We still to this day can’t believe that you said yes,” Horgan added.
“I did really want to play an awful person,” Fisher replied at the time. “There are not a lot of choices for women past 27. I don’t wait by the phone.”