How the Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds Documentary Bright Lights Changed Its Director

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Apparently directing Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds had the same effect as watching it will.

“I was surprised by how much I fell in love with Carrie and her personality, who I kind of knew periphery, I didn’t know her that well, ” director Fisher Stevens told E! News about filming Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds for the HBO documentary. He teamed with Alexis Bloom, his girlfriend, for the project. “And Lexi and I both just kind of fell in love with these women and made it a love story because that’s how we felt when we were filming.”

Fisher Family Archives/courtesy of HBO

Bright Lights follows Fisher as she prepares to return to Star Wars for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and deals with her mother’s ailing health. But the show goes on for Reynolds, quite literally, the cameras capture her final public performance and her prep to accept the SAG Life Achievement award. The film is an intimate look at Fisher and Reynolds’ bond.

“It is a relationship film,” Stevens said. “We really want people to start to appreciate and love or really feel that they have a communication and relationship with their families. Hopefully this film will make people want to open up to their families more or say things that they’ve always wanted to say or be grateful for their families because this really was a film about family.”

However, Bright Lights isn’t all hugs and kisses between the two. “It’s not always happy, we see both sides to both of these women. They were complicated; they were difficult at times. We try to be as honest and revealing as possible,” Stevens told us.

Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds premieres Saturday, Jan. 7 at 8 p.m. on HBO.

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