Isla Fisher: Seducing The Lookout
Actress Isla Fisher is a witty lady who doesn’t take herself too seriously. The Aussie import has done some great comical turns in both Scooby-Doo and I Heart Huckabees, as well as her breakout role in Wedding Crashers. But not wanting to be pigeonholed, Isla has also been busy doing among other things writing with Amy Poehler on a project called Groupies for Paramount. Currently she’s playing an unusually earthy femme fatale in Director/Writer Scott Frank’s new heist picture The Lookout, a stripper named Luvlee Lemons. The 213 sat down and talked with the rising star about her character’s unusual name, working with a top notch cast, and her hatred of badly written dialogue.
(213): Your character of Luvlee is not a typical femme fatal, as she also had a very earthy quality in the film – was that by design?
Isla Fisher: Yeah, totally. I really wanted Luvlee to be the one character in the movie that didn’t have an agenda. I felt like everybody else in the movie clearly wants something and I wanted her to be an innocent in a way, one of those women who doesn’t have a strong sense of adventure, who kind of mirrors the men she’s with and has never really belonged anywhere and has the appetite to belong. And that’s why her actions lead her into bad situations, but it’s ultimately coming from just the desire to belong. I don’t think Luvlee is a particularly smart character, I think she’s someone who’s just lost and sort of disassociated from herself in a way.
(213): What draws you to a particular project like The Lookout?
IF: More often then not it’s dialogue; I think it’s just the hardest thing in the world to say badly written dialogue, it’s just painful. It makes you want to do anything else for a living. So when I read a script and things pop off the page, then I feel inspired and excited. That’s usually the first ingredient and then on top of that obviously the filmmakers experience and the other cast and then you have a bunch of people try to advise you, but you always go back to your first instinct.
(213): Have you ever done badly written dialogue?
IF: Oh, are you kidding me? I was on a soap opera!
(213): How has life changed for you since the success of Wedding Crashers?
IF: I just have more opportunities really. Professionally I’m able to meet with people that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to get into a room with and personally I guess I’ve been given more free clothes!
(213): The relationship between Gary and Luvlee is left rather ambiguous, what do you feel was going on between them?
IF: My feeling with Gary and Luvlee’s relationship is that when she’s with Gary she kind of mirrors Gary and when she’s with Chris Pratt she’s a different person – just one of those women without a strong sense of identity. But that she loves Gary, but it’s more of a you know, not a paternal thing, but he sort of takes care of her, where as Chris represents the loss of her childhood and someone she idolized in high school. He was someone she watched at hockey games, she was never part of the cool group, she never had the opportunities to be near him and now she does obit through dubious means.
(213): But do you think Luvlee has fallen for Chris?
IF: I think she definitely has strong feelings for Chris, which is why she goes the way she does at the end.
(213): Did you come up with the name of the character or did Scott?
IF: Luvlee Lemons? No, that’s his idea!
(213): And you accepted that?
IF: Yeah, I really liked it! I thought there was a lot of comedy in the script and I thought that was really funny.
(213): With Joseph being such a complex character actor, what was it like working with him?
IF: When Joseph’s at work, he’s a very professional actor, he’s a method actor; he more or less stays in character between takes. He was playing somebody who was mentally impaired, so he sort of isolated himself on set, but witty at dinner every night with the cast and he’s just the greatest guy. I think he had to with this role; I think he couldn’t have been mucking around between takes and suddenly been Chris Pratt.
(213): What about Jeff Daniels, whom you had a great scene with?
IF: Jeff Daniels is not a method actor as far as I can see. As far as I could see, he was looking around, there’s nothing blind about Jeff Daniels in between takes. But it was a really great scene, the dialogue in that scene, I love that scene. And that scene wasn’t in the original script when I got the role, Jeff Daniels had Scott write it in for us and he was right to cause people love that scene. And it’s just a great moment to be in the kitchen with someone – Luvlee has never even seen a blind person before – trying to touch his face. Jeff Daniels is a very funny guy.
(213): How about Matthew Goode?
IF: Matthew Goode is not method at all; I mean I stay in accent when I’m shooting just because it’s too hard for me to come in and out, the sounds are just too different. And he would not at all – he was literally the moment they said cut, he sounded like a charming Brit, you know. He’s nothing like the character he plays in this movie in my opinion, that’s why he does such a great job.
(213): What’s coming up next for you?
IF: I do have a comedy coming out and I have a drama coming out after that called Definitely, Maybe with Rachel Weisz and Abigail Breslin.