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Isla Fisher Didn’t Always Love Her Iconic Red Hair—Until One Thing Changed Her Mind

When you think of Isla Fisher, it’s hard not to immediately picture her vibrant red hair. A deeply intrenched part of her personal brand, her hair is coveted by the masses as a unique, striking feature that makes her stand out in the best way on-screen.

But Fisher hasn’t always loved this particular quirk. In fact, she didn’t love being a red head at all for a while—until one thing changed her mind.

Speaking to marie claire Australia about her new film, Back To The Outback, we got onto the topic of one of the film’s key themes: accepting yourself and others, despite our differences.

“When I was going through adolescence, having red hair was something that made me feel a little different to people—I wouldn’t say I naturally embraced that difference, I sort of wanted to blend in,” she admitted.

The Aussie star said it wasn’t until she grew a little older that she realised her hair colour was actually a wonderful thing.

“In my journey, and when I got older, I really realised it made me feel unique,” she added confidently.

She’s not wrong—per Healthline, red is the rarest hair colour in the entire world, with just 1-2% of the global population rocking a naturally fiery ‘do.

Fisher’s character Maddie in the new animated film also struggles with something that makes her unique. She’s an extremely rare Australian taipan snake with a deadly venom that could kill a human with a single bite, but don’t be fooled—she has a heart of gold.

At the beginning of the movie, we see her at her most vulnerable. She’s sick and tired of people being terrified at the sight of her because of her venomous fangs, and she yearns to escape to a place where she’ll be loved and appreciated for who she really is.

Given their rare features, Fisher likened her experience to Maddie: “She realises that being a [rare] venomous snake is totally okay and that she should’t be judged for that. It’s a great theme really.”

Fisher added that it was this that solidified the importance of looking for beauty within—fangs, red hair et al.

“Beauty on the inside means someone has the capacity to love and have compassion for someone else, and while there are a lot of core messages in the story (like putting aside your differences and knowing that home is where the heart is) ultimately, it helps us realise that it’s what’s on the inside that really counts.”

The animated flick (which is available to stream on Netflix) features the voice work of a host of famous Australian celebrities including Eric Bana, Tim Minchin, Miranda Tapsell and Guy Pierce. They voice a bunch of other zoo creatures who, led by Maddie, plots for their escape into the Australian outback.

Impressively, Fisher did her voice work completely remotely while she was still in Los Angeles living with her husband, Sacha Baron Cohen, and their three children.

“Because we shot this during lockdown [in 2020], I did it in my sweatpants in my closet where I had a homemade sound booth,” the actor laughed.

She sadly didn’t get to work with the star-studded cast directly, but then again, nor did those who were in Australia given the border closures and lockdowns throughout the year.

With that in mind, Isla commended the directors Harry Cripps and Clare Knight (both Australains as well) who managed to pull the film together remotely.

After completing her work on the movie in 2020, Isla and Cohen decided it was time to leave LA after almost two decades. They moved back to Australia with their kids, arriving in Sydney first before they put roots down in Perth, which is where Isla was raised.

The pair are notoriously private about their family life, rarely sharing any details about their two daughters and son. Naturally, being back in Perth has given them some well deserved time away from the limelight.

And of course, being back on Aussie soil had some other perks for Fisher. When we asked her if her personal style has changed since she moved back from Hollywood, she excitedly explained, “People are very, very stylish here.”

“People actually put style over comfort in Australia—at the moment at least! LA had obviously been locked down for so long [in 2020], so it was nice to see so may so many architectural dresses with strong prints here.”

A comedian off-screen and on, she added that her observation could have something to do with the company she kept in LA.

“Maybe it’s just my friends, but there’s a lot of mum jeans there,” she laughed, before adding, “I’m not painting all of LA with that brush! But in my group there’s a lot of exercise gear despite not being a lot of exercise… and mum jeans!”

Back To The Outback is available to stream on Netflix here.