Fisher: She’s invited
Until now, Aussie actress Isla Fisher was best known for her engagement to British comic Sacha Baron Cohen (aka Ali G).
But all that changed practically overnight thanks to her scene-stealing performance in Wedding Crashers as Gloria, a nymphomaniac who throws herself at Vince Vaughn.
“Since the movie came out, a lot of women have come up to me and say they really relate to the character,” says Fisher, 29, whose first name is pronounced “ila.” “That’s when I suddenly feel the need to walk away from this person. Clearly there are a lot of Glorias out there, so men beware.”
Crashers is her first broad comedy role on a résumé that includes Australian soaps and film parts in Scooby-Doo and I Heart Huckabees.
It was fiancé Cohen who persuaded her to make the jump to slapstick. “When I was going through a particularly long spate of rejections, he asked me one day, ‘Why are you going for dramatic roles you’re not going to get? You’re so funny; you should try comedy.’
“I had literally never considered (slapstick) comedy. But when he said that, it gave me confidence, because he’s so funny.”
She credits her humor to her “nomadic existence.” Fisher was born in Oman to Scottish parents, raised in Australia, attended theater school in Paris and now lives in London. “When you keep moving, you get better with finding tools to connect with people, and humor is one of them.”
Crashers’ Gloria had been intended to be a bit part until director David Dobkin saw Fisher audition. “He liked my take on her. I made Gloria as aggressive as possible and completely lacking in social etiquette.”
Fisher says she had a “minor disagreement” with Dobkin over a topless scene and the most-talked-about sequence: an encounter with Vaughn under a dinner table. To compromise, filmmakers used doubles.
Pairing the tiny actress opposite Vaughn was another source of laughs: Vaughn is 6-foot-5; Fisher is 5-foot-2. “It was great for physical comedy, but it’s difficult to get a rapport when you’re looking at his belly button,” she says.
Fisher says Crashers has inspired her to try out for more comedies. But she’ll next be seen in the low-budget drama London with Jessica Biel and Chris Evans.
As for her own wedding, Fisher and Cohen have not set a date, but she says her co-stars Vaughn and Owen Wilson are not invited. “But I’d love for Vince and Owen to crash it. All crashers are welcome.”