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!”