Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Isla Fisher on making it in Hollywood: Being married to Borat and Bruno star Sacha Baron Cohen didn't help me

Actress Isla Fisherappears in the new movie The Great Gatsby (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Actress Isla Fisherappears in the new movie The Great Gatsby (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Action Press / Rex Features (2343782b)
Isla Fisher and Sacha Baron Cohen
'The Great Gatsby' film premiere, 66th Cannes Film Festival, France - 15 May 2013
Isla Fisher and Sacha Baron Cohen
Isla Fisher has had to write her own comic roles
Isla Fisher has had to write her own comic roles

Isla Fisher, who married Borat and Bruno star Sacha Baron Cohen in 2010, first achieved fame in Australian soap Home and Away.

She has subsequently built a name as a comic actress in Hollywood, appearing in films such as Wedding Crashers and Confessions of a Shopaholic and plays Myrtle Wilson in Baz Luhrmann's recent big screen adaptation of The Great Gatsby.

The actress says being married to Cohen didn't help her when her stock was low in the movie industry.

“I really have had no help,” she tells Cosmopolitan. “In fact, the one time I did ask for help was after my agent in LA fired me. I was auditioning for all sorts of things but kept getting told 'no', so she just fired me! So anyway, I said to Sacha, who was my boyfriend at the time, 'Can you ask your agent if they'll represent me?' And his agent said, 'No way.' It was the only favour I'd ever asked, and I was like, 'OK… great'. But it spurred me on.”

She adds that despite what some people might think, fellow actresses have been very supportive of her career.

“Women should not have to adopt masculine traits in order to succeed,” she says. “You should be able to stay as a woman, and in tune with your femininity and still be equal. Women one hundred percent support each other in the movie industry.

"I auditioned for a movie recently and when I went in, the producer said he'd told one of its stars, Naomi Watts, that he was auditioning me and she'd said, 'She's so funny, she's a great actress - you should hire her.' What a lovely, kind and supportive thing to do for another woman.”

Fisher also has plans to come up with her own ideas behind the camera, and has found a perhaps unlikely writing partner, her mother.

“My mum and I have actually been writing a script for a thriller together,” she says. “It's really fun. She doesn't understand the rules of screenwriting, so I'm often like, 'What?! Mum, you can't kill off the protagonist on page 10!' She breaks all the rules, which makes it original at least. We've had a scream doing it.”

- LUKE BLACKALL

Great Gatsby Interview: Isla Fisher

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