On my radar: Isla Fisher’s cultural highlights
The actor and children’s author on a VR installation about Mexican immigrants, sitcom Nathan for You and a hilarious memoir by the breakout star of Girls Trip
Born in Oman in 1976 to Scottish parents, Isla Fisher moved to Australia at the age of six. Her acting career began in the Australian soap Home and Away and her films include Wedding Crashers (2005), The Great Gatsby (2013) and Nocturnal Animals (2016). She lives in Los Angeles with her husband Sacha Baron Cohen and their three children. Marge and the Secret Tunnel, her latest children’s book, is published by Piccadilly Press on 17 May.
Alejandro G Iñárritu’s Carne y Arena at LACMA, Los Angeles
My husband and I just saw this virtual reality installation, and it’s honestly the most incredible experience I think I’ve ever had. It’s a first-hand immersion into the experience of immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border: you hear the sound of the helicopters overhead and you can choose where you go. There’s a breeze in the room and you feel as if you’re really experiencing it. Obviously, it’s so emotional: it’s seven minutes long and I lasted two, and I couldn’t stop crying. This piece of art is so important right now, because I feel like people are finding it so hard to empathise with immigrants.
Nathan for You (Comedy Central)
This show really cracks me up. It’s an American docu-reality comedy TV series starring comedian Nathan Fielder, and it’s so freaking funny. He’s basically playing [a version of] himself – he’s a business school graduate and consultant, and his aim is to help struggling businesses, but his marketing proposals are so outlandish and he’s really socially awkward, so he says super-inappropriate things. Throughout every episode his confidence is eroded because his ideas fail – obviously, they’re terrible – but he’s just so deadpan.
The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish
This is the last book I loved. Tiffany Haddish is a standup comedian and actress, and the breakout star of Girls Trip. This is a collection of essays from her life – she grew up in one of the poorest neighbourhoods of Los Angeles and her goal in these essays is either getting a boyfriend, or breaking up with someone, or working in comedy. It feels like she doesn’t try to be funny, but she’s really hilarious. The minute I opened it it felt as if she were in the room.
King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh at California Science Center, Los Angeles
I took the kids here and the whole family was blown away. It’s about this mummy, an 18-year-old pharaoh and his quest for immortality. There’s all the rare artefacts they found inside his tomb: amazing rings and opulent jewellery that they laid alongside his mummified body. It’s such an interesting story – the guy that funded the trip, Lord Carnarvon, died six months later after being bitten by a mosquito. You learn all about the history of the tombs and, without getting morbid, the actual process of mummification is fascinating.
I know this sounds really LA, but they’re amazing. It’s like a meditative, acoustic sound comfort that washes away stress and brings you into a state of relaxation, activating your natural system of self-healing. You go into a dark room, take off your shoes, and you listen to these gongs and crystal singing bowls. Sometimes there’ll be more physical sensations, other times you can have an emotional journey or feel like you’re in a waking dream. I wouldn’t necessarily have sought something like this out – I was taken by my friend Abby – but I left feeling, at the risk of sounding pretentious, realigned.
I saw her play at Guy Oseary’s after-Oscar party. I hadn’t heard of her because, firstly, I’m not big into rap and, secondly, you can’t listen to rap around children. But she performed and was so original – she just really committed. She was wearing a trench coat, and when she started on these biting raps it really pulled you in. She’s got this new album out called Invasion of Privacy, where she’s vulnerable, and brazen, and all of these things. Even though I’m honestly never going to be a huge fan of rap, I think she’s worth checking out. She’s very cool.