Vanity Fair – November 2006

Vanities – Isla Fisher

Age and Occupation: 30, actor. Provenance: Muscat, Oman (birth), Scotland (parents’ background), and Australia (upbringing). The name is pronounced… “EYE-la,” and she was so named in tribute to the Isle of Islay, where many of Scotland’s greatest single malts—presumably including Mum’s and Dad’s favorites—are produced. On making her name by nympho-assaulting Vince Vaughn in Wedding Crashers: “My character in Wedding Crashers [Gloria Cleary] just jumped off the page to me. The story was dark: womanizing, misogynistic men crashing weddings. I straightaway liked the story, but when women come up to me and say, ‘I love that character, that character is me,’ I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe you’re proud of that! I was doing that ironically!'” And the laffs continue with? A starring role in Michael Ian Black’s romantic comedy, The Pleasure of Your Company (opposite Jason Biggs); an upcoming movie called Groupies, which she’s co-writing with Saturday Night Live’s Amy Poehler; and her pending marriage to Sacha Baron Cohen, also known as Ali G, also known as Borat. “I know it’s going to sound biased because I’m his fiancée, but Borat [the film-length vehicle for Cohen’s fictitious Kazakh journalist] is the funniest movie I have ever seen in my life.” But first, some serious work: Fisher takes on a meatier role in the new crime thriller The Lookout, which stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Jeff Daniels. “Both of them in the film have an impediment—Jeff is blind and Joseph is mentally challenged. It’s interesting, because when you’re acting opposite people that are not really emotionally available, you have to work so much harder.” The pedigree of her comic talent: “At 21, I studied at the Jacques Lecoq school [in Paris], which is the theater school where you learn clown and mime and commedia dell’arte, where Geoffrey Rush and Emma Thompson went. I definitely think that, particularly for strong characters, I use a lot of my skills from there. But I’d never use the juggling or the mime—there’s not much call for doing ‘the wall’ in a film.”