Jodie Foster explains why she turned down playing Princess Leia in ‘Star Wars’

ABC/Randy Holmes

Fans of the original Star Wars know that many young actresses tried out for the role of Princess Leia before the late Carrie Fisher ultimately landed the part.

One of those who was in the running, now two-time Oscar winner Jodie Foster, is speaking out as to why she wasn’t in that galaxy far, far away.

On The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, the Nyad star explained it all came down to a scheduling issue. At the time, she was 13 or 14, younger than Fisher who was 19 when she was cast.

“They were going for a younger Princess Leia but I had a conflict,” Foster told Jimmy. “I was doing a Disney movie and I just didn’t want to pull out … because I was already under contract.”

That said, Foster humbly noted of Star Wars, “They did an amazing job … I don’t know how good I would have been.”

She added, “I might have had different hair. I might have gone with a pineapple,” referring to Leia’s cinematic cinnamon-bun ‘do.

Foster didn’t say which Disney film it was, but in 1977, when Star Wars was released, she appeared in theaters in the studio’s adventure Saddleshoe.

Incidentally, in the making-of Star Wars documentary Empire of Dreams, Foster’s name came up when Fisher explained she unexpectedly beat the “incredible” competition and got the job “with the proviso that I go to a fat farm … to lose 10 pounds.”

Fisher went on to joke that she was nervous she’d flub Episode IV‘s famous rope swing scene, imagining the crew saying,”‘Nope! Still too tubby. Let’s bring in Jodie Foster!'”

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