Monty Python’s Eric Idle just did an interview with The New York Times in advance of his new memoir, Always Look on The Bright Side of Life: A Sortabiography. The chat is filled with insight, heart, and plenty of affable grouchiness, but of particular note is the confirmation of a story that’s long swirled around a film with which Idle has no part: The Empire Strikes Back.
In a 2015 interview with The Daily Beast, Fisher recounted a late night party with the Rolling goddamned Stones at Idle’s house that, unsurprisingly, resulted in her and Empire co-star Harrison Ford getting so tanked on something called the “Tunisian Death Drink” that their drunkenness bled into the next day’s shoot.
“We had an early call, and Eric called down and said, ‘The Rolling Stones are here!’ and I came down and it was all of them,” she said. “I called Harrison and said, ‘Get over here! This is ridiculous!’ I wonder how he remembers it. I remember that we never went to sleep, so we weren’t hungover—we were still drunk when we arrived in Cloud City the next day. We don’t really smile a lot in the movie, but there we’re smiling.”
Idle doesn’t dispute a lick of it.
We had a party the night before. We stayed up too late. We were having too much fun. Carrie Fisher had rented my house and she was staying there. We went to bed and they went to work. It turns out when they filmed the scene, they were still a little high. So yes, I’m proud of that moment.
He does, however, use the word “high” instead of drunk. Granted, it’s likely just semantics, but this was late-’70s Stones, so we’re sure there was much, much more than just Tunisian Death Drunk getting passed around. One wonders if Chewy was also invited to the party, though it would’ve hardly mattered. Chewy always looks high.