Joely Fisher on preserving her last text conversation with Carrie Fisher — and her sister's unforgettable tweeting style

Joely Fisher and Carrie Fisher, pictured here on May 17, 2007, were half-sisters who shared the same father, Eddie Fisher. (Photo: Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
Joely Fisher and Carrie Fisher, pictured here on May 17, 2007, were half-sisters who shared the same father, Eddie Fisher. (Photo: Evan Agostini/Getty Images)

The world lost a princess when Carrie Fisher died one year ago today. Joely Fisher lost her big sister.

In Growing Up Fisher: Musings, Memories, and Misadventures, the actress from such shows as Ellen, ’Til Death, and Desperate Housewives tells stories about her famous family, including the late Star Wars star, with whom she shared a father, Eddie Fisher. The book details how their last conversation — the night before Carrie suffered a heart attack on a flight from London back to the U.S. — took place via text and topics included politics, their careers, aging, their children, and their famous mothers (Connie Stevens for Joely and the late Debbie Reynolds for Carrie). Joely said the exchange “went deep.”

When Yahoo Entertainment caught up with Joely recently on the set of Build Series in New York, we asked if she did anything to preserve that thread, which was clearly meaningful. “I say in the book that I backed it up to several hard drives. It’s not several hard drives. It’s on one hard drive,” she says. “I have it preserved.”

Joely has also found herself looking at funny old email chains that Carrie used to send to her intimates. “I was looking for something recently, and a ton of emails from Carrie popped up,” she says. “Now I can’t bear to delete them.”

Rereading some of them left her tickled, “because I feel like she was so inclusive,” Joely says of her sibling. “When I see something funny that she saw and she decided that this group of, like, 20 people should see — and I’m included in it, like me and Meryl Streep [laughs] — that gives me a little hope that she respected me enough and knew where my sense of humor lay and included me. So I have saved all that too.”

So did Carrie text and email the same way she tweeted — in that crazy style with emojis that had its own unofficial Twitter translator because it was so hard to decipher?

“I didn’t follow her on Twitter,” Joely says. “I was new to Twitter then. I know a bunch of her fans say, ‘We miss Carrie’s emojis.’ I didn’t realize [she had her own signature style] until later. When we texted, it was plain old girl speak — Fisher talk.”

A typical Carrie Fisher tweet:

Joely, who brought Growing Up Fisher to the stage on the West Coast (an East Coast leg is upcoming), says that when she wrote her memoir, Carrie was very much on her mind, both in the stories that made it into the book and in the way she approached writing it

Joely Fisher spent the holidays with her mother, Connie Stevens, and sister Tricia Leigh Fisher, as well as her family with her husband of 21 years, Christopher Duddy:

A post shared by Joely Fisher (@msjoelyfisher) on Dec 13, 2017 at 5:27pm PST

“What I recognized — primarily from Carrie — is that you sort of turn the pen on yourself before someone else can do it,” says Joely, who will be directing a film, written by sister Tricia Leigh Fisher, in the new year. “She was like museum-quality in terms of flaws. She showed us everything. That way, people can’t talk smack about you, because you’ve done it about yourself.”

During our interview with Joely, she also gave an update on Carrie’s beloved bulldog, Gary, whom the Star Wars star took everywhere and who is now a Comic Con fixture.

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