Star Wars has never been a franchise known for lifting up its female characters (the few there are).
A recent deep dive by Vulture found that women other than Princess Leia were given less than 90 seconds of speaking time in the original trilogy (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi).
So it should painfully come as no surprise that while Carrie Fisher was asked to reprise her iconic role in the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it came with one large caveat: Drop 35 pounds.
“They don’t want to hire all of me — only about three-quarters,” she tells British Good Housekeeping in a new interview. “Nothing changes, it’s an appearance-driven thing. I’m in a business where the only thing that matters is weight and appearance. That is so messed up. They might as well say get younger, because that’s how easy it is.”
Even sadder, this is not the first time Fisher’s been asked to drop weight for the franchise. In a 2011 interview, Fisher revealed that she was told to lose 10 pounds from her already-nimble 105 pound frame when she first got cast in the original films.
The news that Fisher would be asked to drop weight for the latest go-round is particularly head scratching in light of comments made by director J.J. Abrams during a sit-down appearance on Good Morning America. “Star Wars was always a boy’s thing,” Abrams said. “I was really hoping this could be a movie that mothers could take their daughters to as well.”
Looks like Abrams might want to assess the message he’s sending to the aforementioned daughters he hopes will see his film.