Carrie Fisher is finally in public with a secret she kept careful for 40 years: When she was 19, she and Harrison Ford, then a 33-year-old married father, had a three-month whirlwind affair During the filming of the original Star Wars in 1976.
“It was so intense,” says the 60-year-old actress-writer at PEOPLE exclusively of the romance of real life that fans of the franchise wished because Han Solo and Princess Leia captured the hearts on screen .
“It was Han and Leia during the week, and Carrie and Harrison over the weekend,” she said.
After stumbling over the often anxious newspapers she kept while filming in London, she felt the time had come to open up on the formative experience.
“It’s been 40 years,” says Fisher, who continued to write The Princess Diarist, exclusively extracted in this week’s issue.
Ford, who had a heads-up on Fisher’s book and received a draft, did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
After spending their first night together after a birthday party for director George Lucas, Fisher was shaken by self-doubt.
I looked at Harrison. The face of a hero – a few strands of hair fall on his noble and slightly furrowed forehead, “she writes. “How could you ask such a brilliant man to be satisfied with me?
Although their unlikely romance took Fisher by a complete surprise and ran its course once the film wrapped, she remembers time affectionately.
“I was so inexperienced, but I trusted him,” she said. He was kind.
For many more Fisher – and read the exclusive excerpt of Princess Diarist – pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on kiosks on Friday.