But they wouldn’t let her!
Let me explain: Postcards From The Edge is the campily funny yet dramatically riveting 1990 movie based on Carrie Fisher‘s book about a recovering drug addict battling her manipulative, patronizing, and narcissistic mom, who was a 1950s and ’60s movie star.
Even a dropout from Ding Dong School could figure out who the characters were at least “loosely” based on, since Carrie’s mother happens to be 1950s and ’60s movie star Debbie Reynolds.
Well, in her new memoir, Unsinkable, Debbie admits that she really wanted to play the character.
But she asked director Mike Nichols to let her read for it and he replied, “You’re not right for the part.”
“Excuse me?” writes Debbie. “I’m not right to play myself, a part that I’d been creating—admittedly, unwittingly–for my daughter for decades?”
Don’t you love Hollywood???
Almost as ironically, the part went to Shirley MacLaine, who’d lost out on The Unsinkable Molly Brown to Debbie many years before. (Shirley feels Debbie undercut her price, according to the latter. But Debs says Shirley was simply under contract elsewhere and wasn’t allowed to do the film. She interestingly adds that Shirley is better at playing a hooker than a hillbilly.)
In any case, Shirley honed in on Debbie for two days to trail her and study her persona for Postcards, and Debbie admits that Shirl did really well in the role.
The two divas posed at the premiere, and when a woman cornered Debbie to offer her condolences about the film, the star replied, “It’s only a movie.”
Again, don’t you love Hollywood?