The Confessions of a Shopaholic star talks about life after Wedding Crashers, comedy, nudity, living with Borat, and “dry humping the furniture.”
EW: Your character in Confessions of a Shopaholic, Rebecca Bloomwood, is a plum role. How did you get cast in the film?
Isla Fisher: I was a huge fan of the books and I was sent the script –- I think it was an early draft — but I didn’t really think about it again. The next thing I know, [Shopaholic producer] Jerry Bruckheimer wanted to meet with me. I was six months pregnant [Fisher and her comedian fiancee, Sacha Baron Cohen, have a young daughter] and had already gained about 50 pounds. I could barely walk. I waddled into the meeting and we spoke a little bit about the character. And I pitched a lot of jokes, which ended up being in the movie. Normally, you pitch ideas and people go, ‘Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah,’ and your ideas stay in the movie but somebody else gets the job. But Jerry picked me.
This is your first high profile role since Wedding Crashers. What kind of scripts did you get offered following that film’s success?
A lot off stuff I didn’t do. A lot of not funny ‘girlfriend’ roles in very commercial movies. That was frustrating. What’s great about today is that we have He’s Just Not That Into You, Sex And The City, Bride Wars, House Bunny, Baby Mama, Shopaholic. It feels like it’s a different time.
There’s been a lot of debate at EW about the current the movies you’ve just mentioned. On the one hand, they do frequently have great roles for women but, just as often, their message seems to be that what women should really strive for is a big wedding and a Prada handbag.
That’s a complicated topic. Am I disappointed occasionally by the lack of irony in some movies? Yes. I do consider myself to be a feminist, even though for some reason it’s considered to be a dirty word. And I do believe that Rebecca Bloomwood is a full, complete woman. She doesn’t spend the entire movie dreaming about getting a guy.
Your character pads her resume…
As opposed to her bra, which I’ve been doing my entire career.
That’s not true.
But have you ever lied to get a job?
You have to list all your special skills on a form when you get an agent. There’s fencing, stage combat, horse riding, motorbike riding, Spanish, French, German, whatever. I just ticked everything. I talk about 10 languages according to that form. I even ticked the extreme sports box.
Rebecca Bloomwood’s nemesis in Shopaholic is a blond fashionista who looks to be about 9 feet tall. Does that in any way echo your Hollywood experience as a petite redhead?
Yes. I’ve auditioned so many times and been told I’m “not sporty enough” or I’m not “sexy.”
Really? I don’t want to be creepy but you’re very sexy.
No, be creepy, and let me record it.
What does “not sporty enough” mean?
There’s all these movies like Underworld where you have to beat people up.
But your resume makes clear that you’re some sort of extreme sports fiend.
Yeah, check it out: I’ll skydive into the scene and THEN beat people up. While speaking German!
When did you realize you were funny?
Oh my gosh, I don’t think I am. But I remember I was auditioning for all these dramatic movies and Sacha said to me, you are the funniest girl I know, you have to do comedy. I remember thinking, “What is he talking about?” Then I rang my dad I said, am I funny? And he said, yes, you’re the clown of the family. I knew that I was always happy to tap into my inner idiot. My party trick usually involved humiliating myself.
Could you give an example of that?
Dry humping the furniture! I’ve always been confident tapping into my inner idiot.
What makes you laugh?
I don’t know whether it’s because I’m Australian but I think Summer Heights High is amazing. I love Monty Python, Black Adder, Fawlty Towers. I’m a huge fan of British comedy.
Speaking of which, do you get worried when Sacha goes off to film as Borat or his new big screen character Bruno?
In a normal relationship you would say to your partner, “How was your day at work? Did you pick up your dry-cleaning?” Just regular questions. I literally have to ask, “Who’s suing us? Did anyone physically attack you today? Are all your limbs in place? Is there a warrant out for your arrest?”
After Sacha and Ken Davitian wrestled naked for the Borat movie did you think, “Oh, he had better take a shower before he comes home”?
Yeah, that was bad. I remember when Sacha sort of pitched that scene to me I couldn’t stop laughing. And, when you hear a joke that’s that good, you think it’s never going to be better than it was in your imagination. But it far surpassed anything I’d ever imagined.
Have you seen Bruno?
Yes. It goes even further.