billie lourd auditioned for rey

Many people may balk at acting with their mother on the big screen, but Billie Lourd was eager enough to share the screen with Carrie Fisher that she originally auditioned to play the lead role in the sci-fi franchise that launched Fisher into stardom.

Though Lourd didn’t get the role of Rey, she still got to share the screen with General Leia Organa in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi before Fisher tragically passed away.

When The Last Jedi rolls into theaters in November, it will become a sorrowful reminder of the loss of Fisher, whose Princess — nay General — Organa remains a titan in Star Wars fans’ memories. For daughter Billie Lourd, however, The Last Jedi will be her last onscreen reunion with her mother.

Lourd got the chance to act with her mother in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, which came as a result of Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams asking Lourd to audition for the lead role of Rey. Lourd recently appeared on The Ellen Show (via Heroic Hollywood) to speak about how she entered the acting business:

J.J. Abrams called me to come in for Star Wars because he couldn’t find someone for the lead. He ended up finding Daisy Ridley, who’s an incredible actress, so talented. But I went in and he ended up giving me this tiny role with a couple lines and I was super excited, didn’t know what was going to happen.

Lourd ending up landing the role of Kaydel Ko Connix, a lieutenant and junior controller in the Resistance. While Lourd playing Rey may have increased speculation about Rey’s parentage and the family resemblance, her role as Kaydel actually allowed her to have more scenes alongside Fisher than if she played the planet-hopping Rey.

Lourd’s unexpected entry — which her parents were initially against — into the acting business is also somewhat of a parallel to Fisher’s film debut in Shampoo, a part which Fisher claimed she got because she was “hanging around a set.”

Lourd may not have gotten the lead role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but she’s continued her acting career with roles in Ryan Murphy shows like Scream Queens and American Horror Story. Not to draw comparisons between mother and daughter — which Fisher herself hated as the daughter of classic Hollywood actress Debbie Reynolds — but it could be exciting to see where Lourd goes next.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters on December 15, 2017.

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