Definitely One of Our Favorite Comedic Actresses, No Maybe About It
Isla Fisher was born in Oman, spent her early years in Scotland and then her teen years in Australia. Since her move to Hollywood, she has enjoyed great success with prominent comedic roles in Wedding Crashers and Hot Rod and also has two films that she co-wrote in development (Groupies (with Amy Poelhler) and Cookie Queen). As if that hasdn’t already made for a great couple of (busy) years, Isla also just gave birth to a daughter with husband Sacha Baron Cohen…
Emmanuel Itier: You’re already so thin and you just had your baby. What’s your secret?
Isla Fisher: Nah, I don’t want to talk about it.
IF: Honestly. Motherhood is my favorite topic, but in private. Publicly, I don’t want to talk about it.
EI: What’s the main reason?
IF: Because I don’t want to draw any extra attention to her. She didn’t choose to be born into…you know–this. She deserves her anonymity.
EI: Okay, you won’t talk about your baby girl. Can we talk about what is going on with your hubby, Sacha [Baron Cohen]?
IF: No. You’re gonna hate me!
EI: Not even as your relationship with Sacha relates so much to a romantic comedy like Definitely, Maybe?
IF: Oh, right. Try it, but I probably won’t answer. [Laughs]
EI: Definitely, Maybe is all about marriage proposals. Do you remember Sacha’s proposal?
IF: Do I remember! Oh my gosh, I would never talk about that!
EI: Okay, no more personal questions: Can I ask what it was like making out with Ryan Reynolds in Definitely, Maybe?
IF: [Laughs] Sure. Ryan is somebody very easy to have that chemistry with, who smolders in the way he does. [Laughs] So we let it just race off the page.
EI: In what ways did you relate to April, your character in the movie?
IF: She’s great. She says what she thinks. I always seem to play these characters who have less social etiquette than others [Laughs]–you know, more than regular people. Or at least I get to be very naughty. But April was a part that really terrified me.
IF: Mainly because of the emotional element, but it was that fear that inspired me to take that role. So it wasn’t my first idea to take it. It was more to challenge myself. But I love great, flawed people that you can really inhabit the emotional landscape of.
EI: April starts as a copy clerk, then goes on to bigger things. What was your first job like?
IF: My first job was collecting horse poop and putting it in sacks, and selling it on the other side of the road…for a dollar! [Laughs] It was quite a lot of work. I would say that 70 poops go into one of those big sacks. Let me tell you–you have the gloves on at the beginning, and then you think, “This is taking too long,” and before you know it, there are no gloves and you’re just picking up the poop. But it’s dried poop, rest assured. I’m going to regret saying that. [Laughs] Too late.
EI: Compared to the horse poop, what was it like working with the director?
IF: He was great. I remember when I said, “Bare ass and sandpaper,” in his face, I’m sure he thought, “I don’t want April to say that.” But then it ended up in the movie.”
EI: Does love have to come at the right time in your life for it to last?
IF: I don’t know if I’ve lived long enough to know that. I don’t know. I think you can find love and the person you’re supposed to be with under really inconvenient circumstances and still pursue it, so there’s no hard and fast rules.
EI: These days, what kind of scripts are you getting?
IF: Umm, I’m just trying to think. When did I read a script last? I can’t remember! But I don’t have a strategy. I’m more just enjoying the opportunity to work. As we all know in our business, it’s a long haul to get to where you want to get to. And to even be sent a script, it seems like a luxury.
EI: Producers weren’t banging down your door after The Wedding Crashers?
IF: I just got more of, like, the girlfriend role of the male comedian.
EI: Would you say Isla is a popular name down under? It’s so unique here.
IF: You know, my name is actually quite a popular name in Scotland. People elsewhere always think it’s far more exotic than it is. In Scotland, it’s a common name.
EI: April, your character, is a Nirvana fan. Are you?
IF: I am, yep. I am a Nirvana fan.
EI: What other music are you listening these days?
IF: Hmm. Right now, Beatles music for babies, which is just this terrible synthesizer. You know, bing, bong, bing. Also world music.
EI: After all the American chick roles, do you think you’ve finally gotten down the American accent?
IF: I don’t think you ever get it down-down because, when you get emotional or cry, or get angry, you tend to slip back into your own dialect. That’s because your mouth is a muscle and it tends to forget.
EI: Definitely, Maybe is also a lot about our former president Bill Clinton. What were your personal feelings about his sex scandal?
IF: It didn’t seem to interfere with his politics. Listen, I could never, at the time, understand why his personal life was such a big deal. But clearly, I’m the only one who thinks that. All I’m saying is, it wouldn’t have been a problem in France. [Laughs]
EI: Do you think Hillary has a chance to be the next American president?
IF: Yes! I do.
EI: How was shooting Definitely, Maybe in New York City?
IF: It was great. I’d love to live here.
EI: What’s stopping you?
IF: Nothing really–nothing. In fact, you know what? I’ll think about moving here. I’ll live in my pajamas in this hotel. [Laughs]
EI: Can you walk around New York without being noticed?
IF: Yeah, totally. I can. I can, and that means a lot to me, actually–not like LA. That’s crazy there, with those paparazzi. That’s one of the benefits of never having been in a hit movie. I’m joking. [Laughs] That was a total joke!
What’s that you’ve got there?
EI: A Definitely, Maybe T-shirt the studio gave me.
IF: God, that’s so small. Is that to save money?
EI: Probably, but it seems like this shirt would just fit over only one boob. It’s definitely not high-class swag.
IF: Oh, you get swag. Why don’t I get this?
EI: You get better swag, right? Don’t you get all those great gowns to wear for the Golden Globes or the Oscars?
IF: Not unless you’re nominated.
EI: I’ve seen people walk around in that stuff, who aren’t nominated.
IF: Oh, you mean thieves. The thieves! Oh, wait. I think I have an important call. [Isla to her agent] Is that her? Okay, boobs on duty!
‘Definitely Maybe’ is in theaters now from Universal Pictures