Isla Fisher tells the ‘tooth’ about Rise of the Guardians
Here are some quirky things you should know about Isla Fisher.
• Born in Muscat, Oman, she was raised by her Scottish parents in Perth, Australia.
• At 18, she published the young adult novels Bewitched and Seduced by Fame.
• Notoriety arrived with her teen rebel role in the Aussie soap Home and Away.
• She was a student at a Paris clown school once attended by Emma Thompson.
• In London, she worked in repertory theatre, where she was paid with compliments but no money.
And there’s more. Her break in America arrived with a co-starring part as Mary Jane in the 2002 Scooby-Doo movie and her breakout role followed three years later with her performance in Wedding Crashers as Vince Vaughn’s wacky date.
She’s married to comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, and the couple have two daughters, Olive, 5, and Elula, 2. But that’s not necessarily why she agreed to play Tooth Fairy in the 3D animated cartoon Rise of the Guardians, which opened Nov. 21.
In the Peter Ramsey-directed fantasy, Tooth Fairy unites with her friends and fellow Guardians: Santa Claus, a.k.a. North (Alec Baldwin); Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman) Jack Frost (Chris Pine) and the silent Sandman. Their mission is to fend off the evil intentions of Bogeyman Pitch (Jude Law), who is taking over kids’ dreams.
Only Jamie (Toronto’s Dakota Goyo) holds out, which gives hope to good dreams and the Guardians who are trying to thwart the sinister Pitch.
The DreamWorks film, four years in the making, is based on stories by author and illustrator William Joyce, who won an Oscar for an animated short, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.
By the time the DreamWorks team invited Fisher in for a discussion about her voicing Tooth Fairy a few years ago, they were prepared to dazzle her.
“It was overwhelming how much work they’d already put into the story and the movie before I even came on board,” recalled Fisher, 36, at a hotel in Manhattan. “It was so beautiful, original and magical, and it felt epic.”
Certainly, Fisher had her own impressive voice-work past. She received positive notices as Dr. Mary Lou Larue in 2008’s Horton Hears a Who! and Beans in last year’s Rango.
She’s been busy in the live-action world, too. After Wedding Crashers, she was in the thriller The Lookout with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the Andy Samberg farce Hot Rod and the romantic comedy ensemble Definitely, Maybe opposite Ryan Reynolds. She also enjoyed her first starring role in 2009’s Confessions of a Shopaholic.
This fall she was in the raunchy romp Bachelorette with Kirsten Dunst, Rebel Wilson and Lizzy Caplan. Next spring, Fisher is co-starring with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire in
Baz Luhrmann’s film of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
Before shooting The Great Gatsby back home in Australia, Fisher endured the long process of adjusting Rise of the Guardians dialogue and tweaking lines during multiple visits to the recording studio.
“I was very annoying because I made them show me parts of the movie on a regular basis,” she said. “Then I would go back and fix things that didn’t ring true for my character.”
Apparently, all’s well that ends well. Rise of the Guardians is getting generally positive reviews from critics. But parents may be faced with the dilemma of answering the “Do you believe?” question after watching the movie with their kids.
Unfortunately, Fisher doesn’t have a ready-made reply.
“I just think it’s a personal choice for every family,” Fisher said. “You know, it really depends on your religious affiliation and how you were raised and the rest of it.”
The news came quickly for the red-headed child growing up in Perth with six brothers.
“Yes, there wasn’t much emphasis on being nice or naughty,” Fisher said. “You know, there wasn’t much discipline. We were sort of more relaxed at home, which I’m grateful for.
“So I was six when I stopped believing in Santa,” she said. “One of my brothers broke it to me, along with the Tooth Fairy. It was a massive blow, and I actually remember feeling very betrayed by my parents.”
Then she added with a cheeky smile: “At least I was able to beg more openly for the stuff I wanted the following year.”