Billie Lourd on Healing After Her Mother's Death: "Now I Get to Be Just Billie"

Billie Lourd is making a name for herself in Hollywood with her roles in Scream Queens and the upcoming season of American Horror Story, but she knows she has some big shoes to fill. Following the tragic losses of her mother, Carrie Fisher, and grandmother Debbie Reynolds, the actress is trying her best to carry on their legacies and ultimately make one of her own. In her first interview since their deaths, Billie opened up to Town & Country in its September issue about fame, mental illness, and how for the first time, she feels like she can finally be herself. See her best quotes ahead.

  • On coping with the loss of her mother and grandmother: "If life's not funny, then it's just true — and that would be unacceptable. Even when she [Carrie] died, that was what got me through that whole thing. When Debbie died the next day, I could just picture her saying, 'Well, she's upstaging me once again, of course — she had to.'"
  • On her decision to become an actor: "My mom pointed me toward it. The first thing I did was Star Wars: The Force Awakens. [On set] my mother would pull me aside and be like, 'It's weird that you're so comfortable here. This is the most uncomfortable environment in the world. If you're comfortable here, you should do this.'"
  • On what she doesn't want to repeat from her parents: "From my mom, maybe living too out in the open. It's good to a certain extent. It's good to be authentic, to help other people, but if it's not helping other people, then don't do it. There were a couple incidents I wish she could have kept to herself. But, you know, that was the beauty of her."

  • On life after her mother and grandmother: "I've always kind of lived in their shadows, and now is the first time in my life when I get to own my life and stand on my own. I love being my mother's daughter, and it's something I always will be, but now I get to be just Billie. It's a lot of pressure, because she [Carrie] had such an incredible legacy, and now I have to uphold that and make it evolve in my own way."
  • On growing up around her mother's drug addiction and mental illness: "A lot of people have had experiences like mine, too. Tons of people grow up with mentally ill parents who have drug problems . . . It's such a common thing, and people really don't talk about it."
  • On how she met Ryan Murphy, creator of Scream Queens and American Horror Story: "I went to Silver Lake for this birthday dinner and ended up sitting next to Ryan. He was like, 'What the hell are you doing with your life? And I said, 'I've started acting. I've gone on 10 auditions and I don't know what I'm doing, but I'm going to try.' And he said, 'You need to be on my show Scream Queens.'"