Behind every hero is an embarrassing sibling
This secret agent is the total package.
MI6 has a brand new tool.
Director: Louis Leterrier
Writer(s): Sacha Baron Cohen, Phil Johnston, and Peter Baynham
Genre: Action, Comedy
Filming: Filmed in Essex and Hertfordshire, England and South Africa in 2014
Box Office: Has made a total of $25,182,929 worldwide; $6,874,837 from the US and $18,308,092 internationally. Performed best internationally in Australia ($2,815,615) and the UK ($7,564,877). Opened at #8 at the US box office taking $3,258,327, and $2,676,420 on opening weekend in the UK.
Runtime: 83 minutes
Rating: US: R, UK: 15
Nobby (Sacha Baron Cohen), a sweet but dimwitted English football hooligan, reunites with his long-lost brother Sebastian (Mark Strong), a deadly MI6 agent, to prevent a massive global terror attack and prove that behind every great spy is an embarrassing sibling.
Nobby has everything a man from Grimsby could want: 11 children, the most gorgeous wife (Rebel Wilson) in the northeast of England, and numerous welfare scams that keep the checks rolling in. There’s only one thing missing: his little brother, Sebastian, whom Nobby hasn’t seen in 28 years. Nobby sets off to reunite with Sebastian, unaware that not only is his brother MI6’s deadliest assassin, he’s just uncovered plans for an imminent global terrorist attack. On the run and wrongfully accused, Sebastian realizes that if he’s going to the save the world, he’s going to need the help of its biggest idiot.
Sacha Baron Cohen … as Nobby
Mark Strong … as Sebastian
Rebel Wilson … as Dawn Grobham
Penelope Cruz … as Rhonda George
Ian McShane … as MI6 Head
Annabelle Wallis … as Lina Smit
Gabourey Sidibe … as Banu
Scott Adkins … as Pavel Lukashenko
Sam Hazeldine … as Chilcott
Tamsin Egerton … as Carla Barnes
Johnny Vegas … as Milky Pimms
Ricky Tomlinson … as Paedo Pete
UK – February 24th 2016
Australia – March 10th 2016
US – March 11th 2016
Japan – June 4th 2016
Available now on DVD, Blu-ray, and video-on-demand/streaming online.
Isla plays Jodie Figgis, an MI6 agent who is one of Sebastian’s handlers. Jodie is based in the MI6 office, offering guidance to Sebastian who is out in the field. When Sebastian is wrongly accused of assassinating an important political figure, he relies on Jodie to help him find the true perpetrator. Jodie is aware of the potential consequences of this, so must avoid her colleagues and boss finding out what she’s doing, and stay loyal to the brothers. Jodie is a “straight and serious” character, Isla says, she is part of the MI6 “grounded” world of the film and is an anchor of sorts to the film. While she seems to lack some confidence, Jodie is determined to do her job properly and ensure Sebastian and Nobby stays on course – “My character, Jodie Figgis, is a new up-and-comer operative, she doesn’t have much confidence, she doesn’t really know what she’s doing and it’s only when she’s forced to really help Mark Strong’s character, Sebastian Graves, foil a plot does she realise what her capabilities are,” Isla says.
Photos: Gallery at Isla Fisher Web
Videos: Videos at Isla Fisher Web
• None of the film was actually shot in the town of Grimsby; Sacha Baron Cohen did not ask to film there/they were not allowed to.
• This is the first time Isla and her husband Sacha Baron Cohen have appeared in a full movie together; they did previously shoot a scene for The Dictator together, but this was only included as a deleted scene on the DVD/Blu-ray.
• Isla’s character was previously named Sarah Welles, then Margaret.
• Isla and Rebel Wilson previously worked together on Bachelorette (2012).
• Isla admits she wouldn’t have taken this part if it hadn’t been for her husband being involved in the film.
• Isla and Sacha wanted to see the response of an “average American family” to this film, so called upon their friend Courteney Cox to introduce them to one – the Kardashians. See their reaction here. Isla said the family loved the movie.
• Isla says Nobby and Ali G are her favourite Sacha Baron Cohen characters; she says Nobby is a very “sweet” character.
• Isla revealed that there were some discussions about her and Sacha going back to Summer Bay (fictional Home & Away location), with Isla wearing her school uniform again to promote the movie; Isla was grateful that this idea was dropped!
• Initially disappointed that she didn’t get to make any jokes in this film, once she had seen the movie Isla decided that she liked playing the more serious role, saying that people don’t generally see her as the more serious character and it was good for people to see her in a different way.
• Isla said of co-star Mark Strong – “he devastated me in View From The Bridge” (his 2014 Broadway theatre production). She also enjoyed spending time with Penelope Cruz, who also has children, and Rebel Wilson.
• While promoting the film, Isla recalled how Sacha became jealous during the scene in which she had to kiss Mark Strong – Isla reminded her husband that he wrote the script, but he said whilst they were filming the scene that he was going to have to re-write it!
– Isla Fisher: “Watching Sacha do comedy is like watching Michael Jordan shoot hoops. It is an education in how to be hilarious and I’ve learned so much. For the rest of us, though, we had to play it straight – Sacha’s character is so heightened that we needed the whole rest of the world to feel very real.”
– Isla Fisher: “I had to be on set making sure there was no hanky-panky between those two. I had to say, ‘hey, Rebel! He’s married. See this ring? This means something where I come from.’ No, just kidding. I wasn’t there when they did those scenes – in fact the first time that I saw those scenes were on the trailer, I was like ‘Oh, I didn’t read THAT in the script’. Rebel I’ve known for a long time, so I was very happy that she’s in the movie.” (on Sacha’s kissing scenes with Rebel Wilson)
– Isla Fisher: “It was so much fun. This movie is hilarious. Sacha’s character that he’s created is so funny. We laughed all the time and y’know, he’s a perfectionist and stops at nothing to get the perfect joke and I learned a lot from working with him, which is always what you want to do when you’re on a job. You want to gain experiences and knowledge from the people around you and he’s definitely another level.”
– Isla Fisher: “I actually found it quite challenging to play somebody who, one of these people who just takes their job really seriously and needs to get stuff done, and delivering all this exposition about where people need to go – it was quite a challenge.”
– Isla Fisher: “I’m really proud of this movie, I think it’s as funny as Borat, it’s an action movie but it’s got so much heart and so much comedy and I think it’ll really connect with audiences.”
– Isla Fisher: “It’s great to see him branching out and doing comedy, because Louis has a fresh and exciting way of shooting things. He keeps the camera continually moving – it has a mercurial, animal feel. He can create this spy world but still has a great sense of humour.” (on director Louis Leterrier)
– Isla Fisher: “I’m the cheapest actress he could afford after he paid for all the explosions.” (on why Sacha cast her)
– Sacha Baron Cohen: “They are strong women, they are hilarious, and they are prepared to say what they think.” (on Aussie co-stars Rebel Wilson and Isla)
– : ”
– Jodie: “Come on Nobby, stop shooting everything and focus!”
– Jodie: “Agent Graves, your feed is live.”
– Sebastian: “Who’s this in my ear?”
– Jodie: “It’s me. And stop flirting, we’re on an open channel.”
– Jodie: “I’ve found the assassin. He’s Pavel Lukashenko. He’s on his way to South Africa.”
– Sebastian: “Good.”
– Jodie: “Yeah. And they know about your brother.”
– Sebastian: “No problem, I’m about to ditch him.”
– Jodie: “Listen, they’ll kill him and his family too if they catch him. Do you really want your brother to die?”
– Jodie: “Sebastian?”
– Nobby: “No, he’s currently on couch, smacked off his tits.”
– Jodie: “Who is this?”
– Nobby: “I’m his brother, Nobby. Can I help?”
– Jodie: “Nobby, I need you to listen to me. You’re going to have to take his place.”
– Jodie: “Ok, you need to head inside and find Lina Smit and seduce her.”
– Nobby: “What, cheat on Dawny? Never.”
– Jodie: “You need to seduce her in order to find out what Lukashenko bought from her husband.”
– Nobby: “Ok.”
• Variety: “The limited room for maneuvering granted the film’s female players, including the oft-uproarious Isla Fisher in a straight-woman role as Sebastian’s MI6 ally, is particularly dismaying; Cruz’s scarcely curved arc, meanwhile, is stymied by some panicked-feeling editorial transitions in the final third.”
• The Hollywood Reporter: “Wilson gets by in the very few scenes she’s in on sheer native charisma, while Isla Fisher (Baron Cohen’s wife in real life, and one of the finest female comedians around today) is pretty much wasted in a strictly functional supporting part.”
• Urban Cinefile: “In the mix are Rebel Wilson as Nobby’s lover, Penelope Cruz (always an asset) and Isla Fisher in a thankless role as Sebastian’s MI6 assistant.”
• Screen Rant: “Cohen’s real-life wife Isla Fisher has the most screen time after Cohen and Strong – as Sebastian’s MI6 handler Jodie Figgs – but despite being a romantic interest to Strong, Fisher very much plays second fiddle here behind the film’s leads.”
• Vulture: “Although Ian McShane and Isla Fisher are wasted, Mark Strong’s lean physique and deep vocal resonance give his Sebastian a brusque authority.”
• Roger Ebert: “And it’s also true that none of the other performers here, save maybe Ian McShane, Penelope Cruz, and Baron Cohen’s wife Isla Fisher (the movie has a big and wide-ranging cast, which also includes Rebel Wilson, and you’d never guess what kind of character she plays) escape the movie with their dignity intact.”
• Chicago Tribune: “Rebel Wilson turns up as Nobby’s randy girlfriend, Dawn, and Baron Cohen’s wife, Isla Fisher, co-stars as Sebastian’s MI-6 gal Friday. Fisher manages to remain unscathed, which is more than can be said for the other female co-stars, including Gabourey Sidibe as a South African hotel maid.”
• AV Club: “Eventually, though, The Brothers Grimsby runs out of room to fully work as a hit-or-miss comedy—and perhaps most disappointing, doesn’t reserve any of its hits for co-stars Isla Fisher, Rebel Wilson, Gabourey Sidibe, and Penelope Cruz; it’s a great, diverse female cast assembled to do not very much.”
Grimsby gets a few extra ‘Fisher Fantastic’ points for being the first film Isla and her husband Sacha Baron Cohen star in together … even though they aren’t actually on screen together. Other than that, Isla’s role is not particularly memorable – she does a great job at playing the straight-laced MI6 agent and her character grounds the story and helps move the plot along, but the role is so small and limited it’s not a showcase for Isla’s talents. The film itself will certainly not appeal to everyone, but if you go in knowing what to expect from Sacha Baron Cohen then you will enjoy it and find some funny moments. It’s not in the same league as Borat, but if you like SBC’s (and Isla’s!) sense of humour then you’ll want to see this.
Sacha promoted this movie (mostly in character as Nobby) extensively around the world, with Isla appearing at the red carpet premieres in London and Los Angeles. At these two events she posed with ‘Nobby’ on the red carpet, including feeding him chips at the London premiere. Isla and Sacha attended both the BAFTAs and the Oscars as themselves during their promotion – with the couple famously sneaking in Sacha’s Ali G costume to the Oscars for him to wear on stage when presenting, without the Oscars producers knowing! Isla also appeared on US chat show Jimmy Kimmel Live and UK chat show Lorraine to talk about the film.
• Isla Fisher Web‘s Press page (related: 2016 interviews)
• Isla Fisher Web‘s 2016 Appearances Gallery
• Isla Fisher Web‘s 2016 Magazine Scans Gallery
• Isla Fisher Web‘s 2016 video interviews
• Isla Fisher Web‘s 2016 talk show video interviews
• News & Updates for Grimsby at Isla Fisher Web
• Official Site (US)
• Official Site (UK)
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