In a rare public statement, the actress wrote of the decision to not invite her aunts and uncle to the ceremony: “Their actions were very hurtful to me at the most difficult time in my life.”
Billie Lourd has long preferred to keep her personal life as private as possible, but the actress has taken the rare step of releasing a public statement to quiet family discord by offering her side of the story ahead of a special ceremony honoring her late mother, Carrie Fisher.
In a statement received by The Hollywood Reporter, Lourd first apologizes to “anyone reading this for feeling the need to defend myself publicly,” adding that she’s only doing so after being “publicly attacked” by her family members in statements given to TMZ and posted on social media. She then confirms that she did not invite Fisher’s brother, Todd, and half-sisters, Joely and Tricia Leigh Fisher, to Thursday’s Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony, and that “they know why.”
“Days after my mom died, her brother and her sister chose to process their grief publicly and capitalize on my mother’s death, by doing multiple interviews and selling individual books for a lot of money, with my mom and my grandmother’s deaths as the subject. I found out they had done this through the press. They never consulted me or considered how this would affect our relationship,” reads Lourd’s statement. “Though I recognize they have every right to do whatever they choose, their actions were very hurtful to me at the most difficult time in my life. I chose to and still choose to deal with her loss in a much different way.”
The family suffered tremendous loss when the beloved Star Wars icon passed away in Los Angeles at age 60 on Dec. 27, 2016. One day later, Fisher’s mother, the legendary performer Debbie Reynolds, passed away at age 84. On June 5, 2018, Todd Fisher published the memoir My Girls: A Lifetime With Carrie and Debbie. Joely Fisher published a memoir as well, Growing Up Fisher: Musings, Memories and Misadventures in 2017. For her part, Lourd leads a relatively private life, preferring to share pieces of it via Instagram where she sometimes posts tributes to her mother and grandmother on anniversaries, birthdays and special occasions. Her interviews are few and far between, and typically tied to acting projects like the recent Ticket to Paradise.
Category: Articles & Interviews
Actor Billie Lourd—who is known for her roles in Scream Queens, American Horror Story, and Booksmart as well as for being the daughter of actor Carrie Fisher and power agent Bryan Lourd, not to mention the only grandchild of Hollywood royalty Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher—met producer Austen Rydell back in January of 2011 while they were both attending NYU. Austen proposed in June of 2020 (according to his Instagram engagement announcement, Billie said “duh!” instead of “yes” when he popped the question), and their son, Kingston Fisher Lourd Rydell, was born in September.
The couple’s wedding took place this past weekend in Cabo San Lucas, and the two worked with planner Mark Seed to bring their vision to life. Festivities kicked off with a floral-Friday-themed rehearsal dinner. “I am a little bit of a procrastinator, so I didn’t start looking for my rehearsal-dinner dress until late January,” Billie admits. “I’ve always loved Oscar de la Renta’s floral designs, so I went to the store to find a white floral gown. When I arrived, they asked me when my wedding was, and I confidently replied, ‘March!’ They looked at me quizzically and said, ‘2023?’ I didn’t realize people started planning for this whole wedding thing over a year in advance and awkwardly smiled, ‘2022…’ The saleswoman smiled and told me most of their dresses are custom and take at least six months to make, but she would see if they happened to have anything in stock in my size. She went in the back and then came out with my absolute dream floral-Friday dress—a floor-length gown with flowers delicately embroidered all over it. I hit the jackpot. I decided to hem it short in the front and long in the back, and it turned out incredible.”
“I have always been a massive fan of their work and thought their elegant, ethereal, unique style was a perfect fit” – Billie Lourd
For the ceremony on Saturday, the bride wore a custom off-the-shoulder Rodarte dress. “I discovered Kate and Laura [Mulleavy, Rodarte’s designers] after they interviewed my mom for an article in 2014 and immediately fell in love,” Billie says. “So when I started thinking about who I wanted to design my wedding dress, they were the first people who came to mind. I have always been a massive fan of their work and thought their elegant, ethereal, unique style was a perfect fit for my—kind of—elegant, ethereal, unique personality. I also felt a strong connection to them because of their connection to my mom and because they are California gals just like me!”
Billie Lourd’s incredible wedding dress
Billie went to the Rodarte studio in downtown L.A. to begin the design process and quickly fell in love with what would ultimately become her dress. “The first dress they brought out for me to try on turned out to be exactly what I wanted—every gal’s dream!” she says. The only thing that needed to be changed was the color, as the original dress was green and Billie envisioned herself in classic bridal white.
“We got married on the beach at sunset, so I really wanted something that reflected the vibe of the ocean-y setting,” she says. “We decided to make the underlayer of the dress out of sequins. The underlayer of my personality is also made of sequins, so it just felt right,” she jokes. “The dress came out even better than I could’ve ever imagined, and I feel so beyond grateful to Laura and Kate for making it all happen.”
A team of friends
Michelle Ceglia did the bride’s hair, and Eryn Kruger Mekash was on makeup. “I have worked with Eryn since Scream Queens season one in 2015 and Michelle since American Horror Story: Cult in 2017, so getting to have two women I know and love so much with me at my wedding was just incredible.”
For jewelry, Billie wore her engagement ring—a diamond that was originally in the ring that her dad proposed to her mom with and that Austen had reset. She also wore a pair of vintage Neil Lane diamond studs that her dad gave her (something old); her mom’s favorite ring, a blue fire opal that she wore all of the time (something blue); and a ring that her mom had given to one of her closest friends (something borrowed).
The bride’s shoes were made by René Mancini and completed her wedding-day look. “My dad was walking around town shopping and came upon the store and found the perfect shoe,” Billie explains. “They reminded him of the shoes my mom used to wear in the ’90s. But he had the same experience I had with my rehearsal-dinner dress. It was a month before the wedding, and they told him they take four months to make the shoes. He talked to Mohamad, the manager of the store, and told him when the wedding was and asked him if he could somehow rush them, and he magically made it happen! When he came to pick up the shoes, it turned out my dad’s hunch about my mom was right. Mohamad told him that my mom used to shop at their store in New York City in the ’90s. The perfect shoe turned out to literally be the perfect shoe. It was serendipity!”
Austen opted for a Tom Ford tuxedo, and all of Billie’s best friends were in Halston.
The ceremony was intimate, with just family and the closest of friends in attendance. “We wrote our own vows and sobbed the entire time,” Billie says. “Word to the wise—always wear waterproof everything!”
“It was magical. I could not have dreamed up a more perfect wedding.” – Billie Lourd
Her mother’s two best friends Gavin DeBecker and Bruce Wagner officiated. “It was the most hysterically brilliant and touching officiating in the history of officiating,” Billie says. “And in true Carrie fashion, we threw glitter in the air at the end of the ceremony. It was magical. I could not have dreamed up a more perfect wedding.”
After the ceremony, Billie changed into an after-party look, also by Rodarte. “It was inspired by my glam-ma Debbie Reynolds’s iconic dance outfits that she used to wear in all of her shows and is probably the most fun party outfit of all time,” Billie says. “I am obsessed beyond belief. I’m probably going to make it into an art piece in my house because it’s way too legendary to just hang on a hanger in a closet. I have never had more fun in any dress ever!”
See more pictures and read the acticle here.
The romantic comedy will be directed by Ol Parker.
Billie Lourd is negotiating to join George Clooney and Julia Roberts in Universal Pictures’ Ticket to Paradise, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
The romantic comedy will be directed by Ol Parker, who helmed Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. Lourd is set to play a recent college graduate who travels with her best friend for a holiday in Bali.
Clooney and Roberts will play a divorced couple that also travel to Bali to stop their daughter from repeating an error they made 25 years earlier. Lourd’s screen credits include Booksmart, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and the American Horror Story TV series.
Parker and Daniel Pipski wrote the script for Ticket to Paradise, and Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner of Working Title will produce alongside Sarah Harvey and Deborah Balderstone.
Clooney and Grant Heslov will produce for their Smokehouse Pictures, alongside Red Om Films’ Roberts, Lisa Gillan and Marisa Yeres Gill.
Lourd, Clooney and Roberts are represented by CAA, while Parker is represented by UTA, Knight Hall Agency Ltd. and Management 360.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Fresh off her Emmy nomination for Netflix’s “Ratched” (a second season is on the way!), Sarah Paulson is getting set to return to the world of “American Horror Story” once again for the show’s upcoming tenth season, which is set to premiere on FX sometime later this year.
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Paulson teases her latest “AHS” character.
Paulson tells the outlet, “The character I’m playing this year on Horror Story has some issues, let’s just put it that way. I have a hair color I’ve never had in life nor in the show. That’s what I can tell you. And I have a great name. I have a great name, which I can’t tell you.”
At this time, the theme for “American Horror Story” Season 10 is unknown. Stay tuned.
The cast will also include fellow “AHS” regulars Evan Peters, Kathy Bates, Billie Lourd, Finn Wittrock, Lily Rabe, Leslie Grossman, Adina Porter and Angelica Ross.
The most surprising addition to the cast? None other than Macaulay Culkin!
Source: Bloody Disgusting
Actors Billie Lourd and Austen Rydell announced the birth of their son on social media on Friday. The new parents named their child Kingston Fisher Lourd Rydell to pay tribute to Lourd’s late mother, the actress Carrie Fisher, who died in 2016 at the age of 60 from a heart attack.
The “American Horror Story” actress shared a photo of the newborn’s feet with a caption reading “Introducing Kingston Fisher Lourd Rydell,” with several blue hearts and crown emojis.
Several fans and celebrities said they were surprised to hear the news, as Lourd had not previously said she and Rydell were expecting.
“WAIT WHAT????” actress Jamie Lee Curtis wrote. American Horror Story co-star Cody Fern commented “The sneak attack.”
Several of Lourd’s costars also weighed in, including Star Wars star Mark Hamill.
“Congratulations to #BillieLourd & #AustenRydell on the arrival of their firstborn child: Kingston Fisher Lord Rydell!!!” he wrote. “I can’t think of another baby with both ‘KING’ AND ‘LORD’ in their name. Nice.”
Congratulations to #BillieLourd & #AustenRydell on the arrival of their firstborn child: Kingston Fisher Lord Rydell!!!
I can't think of another baby with both "KING" AND "LORD" in their name. Nice. 👍👶🎂♥️ pic.twitter.com/BJrvh8pARe
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) September 25, 2020
Fisher made her film debut in 1975, but her big break came when she starred as Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy. Lourd worked alongside her mother in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” before Fisher’s passing. A day after Fisher died, her mother and Lourd’s grandmother, actress Debbie Reynolds, died of a stroke at 84.
Source: CBS News
I grew up with three parents: a mom, a dad and Princess Leia. I guess Princess Leia was kind of like my stepmom–technically family, but deep down I didn’t really like her. She literally and metaphorically lived on a planet I had never been to. When Leia was around, there wasn’t as much room for my mom–for Carrie. As a child, I couldn’t understand why people loved Leia as much as they did. I didn’t want to watch her movie, I didn’t want to dress up like her, I didn’t even want to talk about her. I just wanted my mom–the one who lived on Earth, not Tatooine.
I didn’t watch Star Wars until I was about 6 years old. (And I technically didn’t finish it until I was 9 or 10. I’m sorry! Don’t judge me!) My mom used to love to tell people that every time she tried to put it on, I would cover my ears and yell, “It’s too loud, Mommy! Turn it off!”–or fearfully question, “Is that lady in the TV you?” It wasn’t until middle school that I finally decided to watch it of my own accord–not because I suddenly developed a keen interest in ’70s sci-fi, but because boys started coming up to me and saying they fantasized about my mom. My mom? The lady who wore glitter makeup like it was lotion and didn’t wear a bra to support her much-support-needed DD/F’s? They couldn’t be talking about her! I had to investigate who this person was they were talking about.
So I went home and watched the movie I had forever considered too loud and finally figured out what all the fuss was about the lady in the TV. I’d wanted to hate it so I could tell her how lame she was. Like any kid, I didn’t want my mom to be “hot” or “cool”–she was my mom. I was supposed to be the “cool,” “hot” one–not her! But staring at the screen that day, I realized no one is, or ever will be, as hot or as cool as Princess F-cking Leia. (Excuse my language. She’s just that cool!)
Later that year, I went to Comic-Con with my mom. It was the first time I realized how widespread and deep people’s love for Leia was, even after so many years. It was surreal: people of all ages from all over the world were dressed up like my mom, the lady who sang me to sleep at night and held me when I was scared. Watching the amount of joy it brought to people when she hugged them or threw glitter in their faces was incredible to witness. People waited in line for hours just to meet her. People had tattoos of her. People named their children after her. People had stories of how Leia saved their lives. It was a side of my mom I had never seen before. And it was magical.
EXCLUSIVE: Somewhere in heaven, Debbie Reynolds must be smiling down. Her granddaughter, actress Billie Lourd, will guest star on the final season of NBC’s Will & Grace, playing Fiona Adler.
Fiona is Grace Adler’s (Debra Messing) niece, the daughter of Grace’s older sister (portrayed on the show by Mary McCormack), and granddaughter of Bobbi Adler, the role played by Reynolds on the original series.
In the episode, taping on Sept. 25, Fiona is reconnecting with her “cool aunt,” Grace (Messing).
“The episode is especially meaningful because of Billie’s relationship to the show,” Will & Grace co-creator/executive producer Max Mutchnick said. “We’re thrilled to have Billie. And best of all — she’s really good.”
Reynolds played Bobbie Adler in 12 episodes from 1999-2006, earning an Emmy nomination in 2000. The Will & Grace revival did a tribute episode following Reynolds’ Dec. 28, 2016 death, which featured Grace taking Will back to her family home for her late mother Bobbi’s birthday.
Lourd has returned to the American Horror Franchise. She is starring on AHS: 1984, which premiered last night on FX.
EXCLUSIVE: Billie Lourd is set to return to American Horror Story for the upcoming eighth installment of Ryan Murphy’s FX anthology series. Additionally, Lourd has been cast opposite Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein in the Annapurna/Gloria Sanchez feature Booksmart, directed by Olivia Wilde in her feature directorial debut.
In Season 8 of AHS, Lourd joins fellow AHS alums Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters and Kathy Bates, and new cast member Joan Collins, who will play Peters’ grandmother.
Following Season 7’s American Horror Story: Cult, which dealt with political themes, Season 8, set some 18 months in the future, will be “heightened,” Murphy revealed last month at a FYC event. “It’s not necessarily as real and grounded as the past season. We’re sort of getting back to Asylum, and Coven. That’s the tone of it.”
It’s also rumored the new season will be called American Horror Story: Radioactive, but there’s been no confirmation of that or the storyline. Murphy has confirmed that Season 8 will begin shooting around June 16.
In Booksmart, from Annapurna and Gloria Sanchez, on the eve of their high school graduation, two academic superstars and best friends suddenly realize that they should have worked less and played more. Determined never to fall short of their peers, the girls set out on a mission to cram four years of fun into one night.
Chelsea Barnard, David Distenfeld, and Megan Ellison produce for Annapurna; Jessica Elbaum, Will Ferrell, and Adam McKay for Gloria Sanchez.
The original script was written by by Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins, with Initial revisions by Susanna Fogel, and current revisions by Katie Silberman. Filming is currently underway in Los Angeles.
Lourd made her TV acting debut as Chanel #3 on Ryan Murphy’s Fox horror-comedy anthology series Scream Queens and later joined the cast of AHS Season 7 as Winter Anderson/Linda Kasabian. On film, she most recently reprised her role as Lieutenant Connix from Star Wars: The Force Awakens in the most recent film, Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Lourd is repped by CAA.
In an interview on “The Ellen Show,” Billie Lourd revealed that she originally auditioned for the role of Rey in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
“J.J. Abrams called me to come in for ‘Star Wars’ because he couldn’t find someone for the lead,” she explained. “I went in and he ended up giving me this tiny role with a couple lines and I was super excited. I didn’t know what was going to happen, ended up going and fell in love with it — was weirdly singing Jersey Boys on set, really comfortable.”
The lead role, of course, ended up going to Daisy Ridley. She will reprise the role of Rey in the upcoming “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” due out in theaters Dec. 15, 2017.
Lourd continued that after her experience on “Star Wars,” her mother Carrie Fisher suggested that she pursue acting more seriously. “I came home and my mom said, ‘You know, this is really weird that you’re comfortable here, this is one of the most uncomfortable environments in the world. If you’re comfortable here, you should do this.’”
Lourd went on to star in Fox’s “Scream Queens” before its cancellation in May. She also spoke about getting to act alongside her late mother on “The Force Awakens.”
“It was incredible,” she said. “I’m a big believer in things happening for a reason and I think I ended up in that movie for a reason. It was really incredible for us to have that experience together.”
‘American Horror Story: Cult’ Trailer Relives 2016 Election Night
The first look at FX’s politically charged seventh season reveals a polarizing plot with Ryan Murphy horror spin.
American Horror Story: Cult is ready to relive the 2016 presidential election.
The official trailer for the FX anthology series released on Tuesday begins in Michigan 2016 on election night, with Sarah Paulson’s character screaming in horror at the results that Donald Trump has been elected president.
In another home not too far away, Evan Peters’ blue-haired maniac offers an emphatic reaction, thrusting his body up against his television screen in shrill delight.
The polar opposite responses are meant to serve as an entryway into the American divide showrunner Ryan Murphy has promised to tackle with the latest cycle of his horror anthology.
“[Cult is] about illuminating and highlighting people who don’t have a voice in our culture — people who are ignored by the current administration and who are afraid and feel terrorized that their lives are going to be taken away,” Murphy told The Hollywood Reporter about this season, which has been revealing more about its cast and plot each week as the horror story inches its way closer to a Sept. 5 premiere.
Trump’s win triggers several phobia’s for leading lady Paulson’s character, who is named Ally Mayfair Richards and is married to Ivy (played by franchise newcomer Alison Pill).
“Since election night it has all been getting so much worse,” Ally tells Cheyenne Jackson’s therapist, Dr. Rudy Vincent, of her coulrophobia — a fear of clowns.
Meanwhile, Billie Lourd’s character, Winter Anderson, tells Kai Anderson (Peters) that children “fill her heart with dread” and gives Ally and Ivy’s son a Twisty the Clown doll. The clown, played by John Carroll Lynch, is a fan-favorite villain from previous cycle Freak Show and his return was all-but confirmed by Murphy in recent weeks.
“If you get people scared enough, they will set the world on fire,” Kai says amid a montage of clowns and dread. The trailer ends with Kai standing before the cult’s symbol and whispering “Join me,” a phrase that has been heavily utilized in the season’s unique and interactive marketing campaign.
The 11-episode season begins on election night, but the real events only serve as a jumping off point for the season. No actors will be taking on the roles of Trump or Hillary Clinton. Cult’s opening credit sequence, which was absent during last season’s mysterious Roanoke, showed what is presumed to be cult members donning Trump and Clinton masks amid images of bloodied American flags.
This season’s returning cast also includes Emma Roberts, Frances Conroy, Mare Winningham and Adina Porter, along with newcomers Colton Haynes, Leslie Grossman and Lena Dunham (for one episode).
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Scream Queens breakout Billie Lourd is set as a lead opposite Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters in the upcoming seventh season of Ryan Murphy’s FX anthology series American Horror Story. In addition to returning AHS stars Paulson and Peters, Lourd joins fellow new addition to the horror drama franchise, Billy Eichner.
As usual, details about Lourd’s character are being kept under wraps. Also little is known about the premise of the new AHS installment beyond the fact that it is set in the aftermath of the recent presidential election, with the first episode taking place on Election Night.
Lourd made her TV debut as fan favorite Chanel #3 on Murphy’s Fox horror-comedy anthology series Scream Queens. Murphy is known for assembling a troupe of actors whom he crosses over from one project on his roster to another, including Paulson and Cuba Gooding Jr. (American Crime Story, American Horror Story), Emma Roberts (American Horror Story, Scream Queens), Lea Michele (Glee, Scream Queens) and Matt Bomer (The Normal Heart, AHS).
Lourd, daughter of the late Carrie Fisher and CAA managing director Bryan Lourd, will next be seen opposite Taron Egerton in the feature Billionaire Boys Club and will reprise her role as Lieutenant Connix from Star Wars: The Force Awakens in the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi, co-starring alongside her mom. She is repped by CAA.
Source: Deadline Hollywood
Billie Lourd, the daughter of iconic Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher, told PEOPLE in May that her mother was “incredible.”
Fisher, 60, suffered a massive heart attack aboard an 11-hour flight from London to Los Angeles on Friday when she went into cardiac arrest. She died Tuesday morning.
“It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning,” according to a statement released by family spokesman Simon Halls.
The 24-year-old, who made an appearance in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, spoke to PEOPLE in May about her mother and grandmother Debbie Reynolds, who debuted their documentary, Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, at Cannes earlier this year. (It premieres on HBO in 2017.)
“I’m always proud of my mother, she’s killing it right now. She’s incredible,” she said.
Lourd, whose father is talent agent Bryan Lourd, also opened up about working with her mother on the Star Wars franchise, explaining it’s “really trippy.”
“We’re watching each other. And we’re still being mother-daughter, even though it’s like, actress-actress,” she said.
“She’s awesome,” Lourd continued about working with her mom in the next installment of the film. “And it was even better in this one. She’s great and she looks great. She’s killing it.”
Lourd told Entertainment Tonight at the 2015 premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens that her first memories of the iconic films were of her “kicking and screaming.”
“[Fisher] was begging me to watch it,” she said. “I was like 4 years old.”
Fisher, who was beside her daughter, interrupted: “Do I seem like a beggar? They did not hire me because I was a beggar.”
“She begged me to watch it,” Lourd countered. “I obliged.”
“She was six!” Fisher responded.
“I was like four!” Lourd jokingly shouted back.
Message from Ann, webmiss of Billie Lourd Network: I’m very sorry for the loss of your mother. We all admired her. May she find peace in heaven.
On a weekly basis, Billie Lourd evades murderers for a living. Fictional, of course, but even so you may expect this actress’ fears to be in the realm of masked maniacs, axe-wielding psychopaths or even really sharp knives. But when asked what scares her, Billie’s answer is a much more pragmatic one. “Parking lots,” she deadpans over the phone in LA. “I don’t trust them; how do they hold all those cars up? And I’m the same with really tall hotels – don’t trust them at all.”
Billie’s droll sense of humour is one of the first things that strikes you about her, though given her acting dynasty family tree, it is, she says, one of the last things that people expect. Born in the early 90s to Hollywood agent heavyweight Bryan Lourd and actress Carrie Fisher (yes, the original Princess Leia) – herself the daughter of 50s screen legend Debbie Reynolds – the 24-year-old actress has been dodging misconceptions for most of her life. “People meet me and are surprised when I’m normal and I’m like, ‘yes it’s true I actually am a real human, separate from my parents, shocker,’” she says, with a laugh. “I don’t know what they expect to get!”
But she needn’t worry. This aforementioned sardonic wit is what’s helping Billie carve out a career without any leg-ups from her relatives. Following a chance meeting with television auteur Ryan Murphy at a party (“he maybe had too much wine, I told really inappropriate stories, he laughed”) she was cast in Murphy’s genre-bending Scream Queens, a slasher-comedy series that’s part Scream, part Clueless and completely addictive.
In its debut season, in which a murderer disguised as a red devil stalks a college campus, the series – which stars original scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis as the university dean – became one of social media’s most hyped shows, with Fox announcing that it was the network’s number one new show for the 18-34 age bracket. Billie plays Chanel No. 3, an emotionless bisexual sorority girl whose biological father is Charles Manson. Even her costume, which every week featured a different pair of fluffy earmuffs (Chanel No.3 has a fear of having her ears chopped off) spawned dozens of memes. And with season two on the horizon, it looks like Billie’s just getting started.
“IF YOU START READING ALL THESE COMMENTS ABOUT YOURSELF AND WORRYING ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE THINK OF YOU THEN THAT’S WHEN IT STARTS TO GET HARD. YOU HAVE TO KNOW YOURSELF PRETTY WELL, BUT THE MORE FOLLOWERS YOU GET THE MORE HATERS YOU GET.”
Were you a horror fan before the show?
I’m the girl whose boyfriend took her to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and she stole his popcorn and ran out of the theatre! Saying that, though, I quite like old horror movies – The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby – any horror film that’s a little more intellectual than just killing people. I think it’s the music that scares the shit out of me.
Scream Queens has been a runaway success, was that the reaction that you were expecting?
I don’t know what we were expecting really because it’s such a unique genre. We were expecting the fans from American Horror Story and Glee to get it, but it turned out to be so much more than that. Our fans range from 14-year-old girls to 60-year-old gay men. I think people reacted more to the comedy than the horror – we now call it “hysterrifying”. The mystery factor is what brings people back each week, though. The great thing about the horror aspect of the show is that it toughens it up a bit. When you put a little action in a romantic comedy guys feel okay about watching it and with Scream Queens if you put a really scary killer around a bunch of girlie stuff then guys feel okay about watching it. That’s the genius of Ryan Murphy. He’s able to keep people coming back. When else will you catch any guy watching a Lea Michele and Emma Roberts show?
What can you tell us about season two?
It’s set in a hospital for one. Jamie Lee Curtis has continued her feminist crusade and she recruits all of us to work there. Zayday is already a med student, so she’s a shoe in, I’m working in the fertility or jizz clinic – for lack of a better name! – Abi [Breslin] is working in the dentist office and Emma [Roberts] is working in the blood clinic, so it makes some kind of sense that we all get recruited to work in this hospital. John Stamos and Taylor Lautner are our hot doctors, and I end up having a moment with Taylor and Emma gets with John, and the craziness just ensues from there.
Are there any similarities between you and your character, Chanel No.3?
Absolutely! I think all of us have a lot of our real personalities in our characters – Ryan is a genius like that. In real life it’s true that I’m a little bit emotionless, and maybe a bit of a hardened individual – sorry! Better than being overly emotional. I do cry sometimes, but it’s only occasionally; people are very taken aback when it happens.
Scream Queens was one of the first shows you did as an actress, while the rest of the cast are quite established – were you nervous when you joined?
Yeah, it was really intimidating. On my first day I worked with Emma, Abi, Nick Jonas and Jamie Lee Curtis, and then there was little old me. I had one line and I was so nervous about that one line, but everybody is so welcoming and supportive. Because it’s mostly an all-girls show, I was worried about rivalries too, and if you’ve been to high school it’s exactly like that. In the beginning we had to work out the dynamics, but now we’ve fallen into a rhythm, we all can make fun of each other and joke around. It’s like a family; we really are that cliché.
What have you learnt from working with Ryan Murphy?
He keeps you on your toes, you have to be ready for anything. I didn’t even realise that I was going to be a big character on the show at first and he tests you for that – if you do well in one scene he’ll give you more. If you have a good work ethic it’s going to pay off, and that’s a great thing to learn. The show is kind of like Survivor: you can get voted off the island at any point, so you have to stay on the ball!
Your parents didn’t want you to follow in their footsteps – what were their reasons?
They’ve both been in the industry for so long – my mom since she was born! They’ve seen all sides of it and they didn’t want me to be in the public eye and scrutinised to that level if I wasn’t ready for it because it can really damage you. They’d encouraged me to do anything else. My dad was like, “just get a degree in literally anything else and then you can do what you want”, but to his dismay I decided to act! Sorry Dad, I’m doing exactly what you don’t want, like all kids do. It’s my rebellion
Did you have a specific view of the film industry before you got into it? And has that changed now?
I absolutely did. I got a pretty good sense of what it was like from my parents, but it’s a completely different beast when you get into it. I try to stay outside myself a bit and make sure that I’m not sharing too much, then that doesn’t work for me, so I just try and not get too wrapped up in it. If you start reading all these comments about yourself and worrying about what people think of you then that’s when it starts to get hard. You have to know yourself pretty well, but the more followers you get the more haters you get, unfortunately.
Have you ever worried about getting jobs because of who your family are?
It’s a constant struggle, and because of that I’m kind of happy that I don’t have my mom’s last name because I really want to try and do what I can on my own. Even with Scream Queens, I would have loved to get it from an audition instead of a chance meeting. But then again this show in itself has been like an audition! It is hard sometimes, though, I don’t want people hiring me because of my parents. My whole life people have assumed that I’m going to be a certain way and when it’s just me acting normally they’re a bit like, “oh, I wasn’t expecting that”.
Did you watch Star Wars when you were younger?
Weirdly, I wasn’t that interested. My mom put it on one time when I was about six and I was lying in her bed trying to get to sleep so was just like, “Mommy, it’s too loud, turn it off.” So for a while the main issue was that it was too loud! When I got a bit older I thought it was really cool though, you know, “check out my hot mom running with a gun, she’s pretty badass!” Now that I’m in the films of course I’m a bit more into it.
And your part for the second film has been extended?
Yes, Lieutenant Connix is back. Hooked on comics. My favourite thing right now is to make up play on words for Connix [laughs]. We filmed in London for two and a half months and I’m now obsessed with Daisy Ridley. And I’m also a huge fan of Nando’s since being in London – I went like three times a week and now have a huge store of Peri Peri sauce in my cabinet.
You’d fit right in in London then! So, before acting you went to Wesleyan University before switching to NYU – why the switch?
I grew up in LA and always had the idea that I wanted to go to a classic liberal arts school in the middle of nowhere and do the whole sorority thing, blah blah blah. Then when I got to Connecticut, two hours away from New York City, the reality kicked in. None of these people had drunk before, or done anything like that, and so they were doing the classic college thing, which I was over by that point. A girl came into my room one day and threw up and I was like, okay I’m done, this is not my scene. The school was incredible and my teachers were brilliant, but it was too isolated for me. I was going to New York every weekend anyway and going to school in the city made more sense for me because I was able to work at the same time, which really motivated me. I feel like I wouldn’t be where I am now had I not been to NYU.
Among other subjects, you studied psychology – did that help you as an actress?
Absolutely. Psychology plays a huge part in acting. You have to get into the mind of your character and break them down. I mean, it’s hard to get into the mind of a crazy, deadpan, bisexual that’s Charles Manson’s daughter but if anything will help, psychology will.
A lot of actors say that anxiety plays a big role in their life – is that true for you too?
Yes, definitely. I pray for a season three, four, five, every day, because usually with TV there is more consistency, but the problem with this show is that you don’t know if you’re going to come back. I live in fear. Every script we get I turn to the back page to make sure that I’m not dead. So far I’m okay but going forward, who knows? I think I’ll always have figuring out to do, everyone does, but that’s why I got my degree – if this doesn’t work out I have a back-up. There is so much that I’m interested in – I want to write, direct, make music, I want to open a fried chicken restaurant. Maybe even get a Nando’s franchise over to the States, now there’s a plan!
“People say, ‘She only got that [role] because of her mom.’ Yeah, yeah I did.” Lourd admits with sincerity, “But what would you have done if you got offered a role in Star Wars? Say ‘no?’ That’s even more pretentious.”
In rural Somerset, where grassy knolls tumble toward the Welsh coastline, there sits a small, flat-topped mesa over six hundred feet tall—Solsbury Hill—it’s on this mound of profundity that eagles fly out of the night, and where fleeting voices may be heard. It’s also the title to actress Billie Lourd’s most recent of obsessions: “I’m really into Peter Gabriel right now. I’m feeling him and ‘Solsbury Hill.’ Is that weird? I wake up to that [song] every morning and it’s like a breath of fresh air.”
It’s a balmy afternoon in Larchmont, L.A., the air less than fresh, and we’ve just walked to a local café to find outdoor seating; a prime people-watching location with a side of conversation. “Like all kids, I grew up wanting to be a neurosurgeon,” Lourd smirks, “But really, genuinely, I found it interesting.”
Obviously and earnestly so, Lourd is not like most kids, as she playfully puts it. The daughter to film icon Carrie Fisher and esteemed Hollywood agent Bryan Lourd, one can assume Lourd’s parents happily welcomed her to the family business. But to assume anything of her and her family would be selling them short.
“I always secretly wanted to act, but my parents didn’t want me to, at all. I went to performing arts camp and lied to them about why I was going. I said I was going to knit,” she laughs. “I made some pretty damn good scarves while being in The Music Man.”
It wasn’t until Billie Lourd was invited onto the set of 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens that her natural talent on-screen—in a minor role as “Lieutenant Connix”—became readily apparent: “I go there [on set] and I’m really comfortable, like my normal self; singing Jersey Boys and acting like a crazy person,” she says between sips from her iced tea straw. “My mom came up to me after the first day and was like, ‘Hey, you had a great day today.’ I told her how fun it was and she said, ‘Most people don’t feel like that. That’s very unique. You should really think about doing this.’”
And “doing” it, she is. Already slated to reprise Connix in Star Wars: Episode VIII, slated fro release next year, Lourd is best known for her role as the peculiar “Chanel #3” in Fox’s hit series, Scream Queens. Donning furry earmuffs as an homage to her mother’s double-bun of Star Wars infamy, Lourd’s ever-indifferent character says exactly what everyone’s thinking—no sugarcoating. These traits don’t seem like too much of a stretch from her natural disposition: “People say, ‘She only got that [role] because of her mom.’ Yeah, yeah I did.” Lourd admits with sincerity, “But what would you have done if you got offered a role in Star Wars? Say ‘no?’ That’s even more pretentious.”
With more success, comes less anonymity, perhaps even more so in Lourd’s case. “I don’t mind [the scrutiny]. As long as I’m a good person, have good morals, and I’m doing the right thing it’s okay if I say ‘shit’ or make little mistakes.” So what’s over the hill for Lourd? “Act, write, direct. I play music, so I’d love to release an album, open a fried chicken restaurant, start a clothing line for short people, and I want some kids. Is that too much?”
Source: Flaunt Magazine
Billie Lourd is one of those actresses that, in the slang of an earlier era, has “moxie” or “spunk.” At just 5’1″, she’s a tiny fireball that instantly fills the room. She laughs warmly while cracking jokes and makes sure everyone around her is at ease. It turns out when your mom is Carrie Fisher, your dad is CAA power agent Bryan Lourd, your grandma is Debbie Reynolds and your grandpa is Eddie Fisher, you learn how to hold your own.
The 24-year-old has made big career moves in a relatively small window of time, appearing alongside her famous mom in a small part in last summer’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens before quickly landing a lead role in Ryan Murphy’s campy primetime bloodfest Scream Queens. Shooting Star Wars was, in fact, her very first time on set and on camera, because her parents had expressly forbidden her from entering the profession until she’d obtained a degree in something else entirely. And so after graduating from NYU’s Gallatin School with a self-designed degree in “Art and Business as Religion,” she nabbed her first role and arrived on the Star Wars set under her mother’s watchful eye. “I walk on set and I’m singing Jersey Boys,” she recalls. “My mom pulled me aside that night and said, ‘You know, it’s really weird that you’re this confident on set. That’s rare. You should do this.'”
With that blessing, she quickly parlayed her way into a meatier reappearance as Lieutenant Connix in Star Wars: Episode VIII, set for release in December 2017, as well as a second season as the droll and deadpan Chanel #3 on Scream Queens. Of this latter role, Lourd says she plans to make her kids watch the show someday, just like her mom once tried to do by placing little Billie on the couch to watch the original Star Wars. “When my kids are pissing me off, I’m gonna be like, ‘Watch Scream Queens,'” she says with a laugh. “Look how cool I was!”