Carrie Fisher accepted she will always be Princess Leia to people "long ago".

Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia from original Star Wars film

Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia from original Star Wars film

The 59-year-old actress is reprising her iconic role in upcoming movie 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' 32 years after she last portrayed the character on screen in 'Return of the Jedi'.

Carrie's career has been defined by the part 'Star Wars' creator George Lucas cast her in back in 1977 and she came to terms with that reality many years ago and so had no hesitation when director J.J. Abrams contacted her to ask her to appear in his film.

In an interview with TIME magazine, she said: "I long ago accepted that I am Princess Leia. I have that as a large part of the association with my identity. There wasn't a lot of hesitation (to do the movie)."

Carrie was also delighted to get the call from Abrams to return to the franchise that made her famous because like many actresses she feels as though there is a shortage of quality roles for women once they get beyond 40.

She said: "I'm a female and in Hollywood it's difficult to get work after 30, maybe it's getting to be 40 now."

The film sees Carrie reunited with her fellow original trilogy cast members Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill - who play Han Solo and Luke Skywalker respectively - and as all three characters have aged in the 'Star Wars' universe she insisted on wearing minimal make-up for her scenes.

She revealed: "I've seen pictures of myself with make-up on and I look like those women who look like they're wearing make-up so they can look young, and I don't think that's good."

'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' is set for release worldwide on December 18.