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Paul Simon Recalls Being 'Exhausted' by Marriage to Carrie Fisher: 'Mistakes on Top of Mistakes'

The legendary singer-songwriter says he was "exhausted" from "emotional upheaval" in an old interview shown in the documentary 'In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon'

<p>Ron Galella Collection via Getty</p> Paul Simon and Carrie Fisher at the premiere of the 1984 film

Ron Galella Collection via Getty

Paul Simon and Carrie Fisher at the premiere of the 1984 film 'The Goodbye People' in New York City

Paul Simon is recalling his "whirlwind" marriage to Carrie Fisher.

In the new documentary In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon, the 82-year-old singer-songwriter talks about their relationship in old interviews. In one, he recalls, “In the middle of the reunion tour [with Art Garfunkel], I got married. I married Carrie Fisher.”

Simon details a fundamental difference between him and Fisher, who had experienced a surplus of fame from her role as Princess Leia in the 1977 blockbuster Star Wars and its sequels.

“Carrie was much more show business oriented," he says. "I went along with that — that’s the world that she grew up with; she was used to it. She was used to a lot of press and things like that. It wasn’t intimidating or anything. She knew how to manipulate it and make it work for her. She was really good at it, and I wasn’t.”

Related: Carrie Fisher and Paul Simon's Turbulent Love Affair Detailed in 'Homeward Bound'

Carrie Fisher and Paul Simon at their August 1983 wedding
Carrie Fisher and Paul Simon at their August 1983 wedding

Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels, who is a longtime friend of Simon’s and served as his best man when Simon married Fisher in 1983, says in an interview, “For the engagement, we went to Greece. Paul chartered a boat. I was seasick for three days — at the rail praying for death. Other than that, it was a really fun time, and for the honeymoon, we went up to Egypt, went up the Nile.”

He continues, “There were lots of things that were remarkable about the time, but also it was two people at career peaks, and that’s always complicated. All of it was kind of a whirlwind. Carrie was in a complete fame bubble because of Star Wars.”

The couple, who had met in the late '70s while Fisher was filming the first Star Wars movie, were divorced by July 1984. In an interview after their divorce that's shown in the documentary, Simon says he was ‘exhausted’ by the time they split.

“I mean, what was I thinking? Certainly not thinking about life, you know, that you actually like have to stop," he says. "Marriage is very… it’s a hard thing to do. You have to concentrate on — not everything can happen at once, not everything is a media event. All types of mistakes on top of mistakes on top of mistakes.”

He adds, “I realized I could become exhausted by — I could exhaust myself from emotional upheaval.”

<p>Jean-Jacques LAPEYRONNIE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty</p> Paul Simon and Carrie Fisher in 1983.

Jean-Jacques LAPEYRONNIE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty

Paul Simon and Carrie Fisher in 1983.

Fisher, who died in 2016, is asked in an old interview if she thought the marriage was the “wrong thing to do.” Her response: “Yes.”

She continues, “Well, because I think, if you look at me, at the most, you can think I’m an interesting girlfriend. But a wife? I think you’re going to be disappointed. Poor Paul. He had to put up with a lot with me. I think ultimately, I fell into the heading 'good anecdote, bad reality.' I was really good for material, but when it came to day-to-day living, I was a little more than he could take.“

Despite getting divorced, the pair continued to date on and off for several years before ending their relationship for good. In Peter Ames Carlin’s biography Homeward Bound: The Life of Paul Simon, their tumultuous relationship is explained as a mix of love and personal crises, largely due to bouts of depression, personal insecurities and Fisher’s drug use.

“They fought a lot,” writes Carlin — describing one scene in which they yelled at each other and stopped just as abruptly because they were “laughing too hard to snarl anymore.”

Related: Why Paul Simon Reunited with Art Garfunkel After Bitter Split for the Concert in Central Park (Exclusive)

<p>Ron Galella Collection via Getty</p> Carrie Fisher and Paul Simon in New York City in August 1980

Ron Galella Collection via Getty

Carrie Fisher and Paul Simon in New York City in August 1980

Related: Billie Lourd Pays Emotional Tribute to Carrie Fisher at Star Ceremony: 'My Mom Isn't Just Princess Leia'

After separating, Simon went on to marry Edie Brickell in 1992; they share three children — Adrian Edward, 31, Lulu, 29 and Gabriel Elijah, 25. Fisher began a relationship with talent agent Bryan Lourd. They had one child together — actress Billie Lourd, 31.

The day after Fisher died in 2016, Simon wrote on Twitter, “Yesterday was a horrible day. Carrie was a special, wonderful girl. It’s too soon.”

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In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon is available to stream on MGM+.

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