Born in Oman and raised in Australia, Isla Fisher is an actress-writer and is married to Sacha Baron Cohen. The 32 year old redhead beauty is mother to their daughters; Olive, born October 2007, and Elula, born August 2010. She converted to Judaism for Sacha which she talks about today, as well as fashion and her refusal to succumb to Hollywood standards. On this warm summer’s day, she’s in New York. She will next be seen in The Great Gatsby.
At first: Let me come back to your last movie, Bachelorette: How much fun did you have doing this movie?
Yeah, it seems like we had a lot of fun. We had to plot our highs and lows because when you act drunk, or acting stoned and drunk or drunk and coked or coked and stoned, the variance, you have to work out versions. You have to work out where you are going to be at any point, so actually it is quite complicated.
Do you have old friends like these girls in the movie?
I’ve got all the same friends. They are all really good friends still.
Did you have any crazy wedding disasters like this one?
Well let me tell you, I held a bachelorette party for a friend and I took her to a strip club, which is obviously a mistake, but I thought it would be kind of fun and silly.
A strip club with men?
Yes, a male strip club, clearly. So I dressed her in her red leather dog collar, and I dressed her as a little bride and off we went to the strip club and I thought it was going to be fun and all her friends were 50 plus and everybody was super sort of freaked and grossed out, but it was like, ‘Oh, this isn’t so bad.’ And then I went to the bathroom and came back, and she had been pulled up onto stage because she was the bride and some gentleman had removed his underwear and was about to teabag her. And so needless to say, I don’t recommend bringing ones mother into these establishments.
Did she get angry at you?
No, she was so good natured. It was like a gross but amusing anecdote that I’ve told for the first time today.
What about your own?
I had a bachelor party, because obviously I’m married. It was really low-key and I was pregnant. It was really relaxed and it was nice.
What was your high school experience like?
I went to an all-girls Methodist Ladies college in Perth. We wore like a full uniform and hats and laces. I remember getting bullied when I was in primary school but in high school, I remember it being just all the girls, we were really supportive of each other. We got along and I remember doing naughty things too impress people, like forgetting my sports uniform and then being made to change and getting my sports uniform and then having to come back and show everyone. My teachers would make me do it and I would make laughable faces, but it was a pretty laid back school.
How do you keep a healthy body image and not succumb to negativity especially when you were growing up?
My mum has never said anything about weight and my friends would never talk about themselves like that. I think if you are surrounded by people that deem that kind of body fascism stuff you feel less inclined to indulge in it or encourage other people’s indulgence.
Do you ever worry about the worst and best dressed list and stuff like that?
Dressing in Hollywood has gotten so corporate now. It lacks that individuality of young artists that can’t afford it, or haven’t kind of made it so they might wear something vintage. Nowadays, everyone’s got a stylist and everyone is chastised for wearing a wrong nude pump. It’s so bizarre.
How do you think about dressing and shopping?
I hate the mirrors. They are unflattering.
What music do you like?
I’m big into The Wiggles.
Tell me a little bit about growing up in Oman…
Well I actually left there when I was quite young, so I have some memories, but they are very vague.
And you don’t go there?
I mean, I would love to come back, but it’s complicated in The Middle East at the moment, depending on where you go, even Egypt feels like, ‘Nah, I will hold off a bit.’ I go to Morocco a lot and I go to Israel a lot, a couple of times a year, but yes, I’d love to go back at some point.
Do you get back to Australia very often?
I do, I was just in Australia over Christmas. It was really great, it was amazing actually, every time I go back.
What is marriage to you? Was it something that you were dreaming about growing up, or did it change? How did the concept change when you were growing up?
I love marriage. I’m married, I think it’s a wonderful institution, I think it’s the most important thing to have a partner in crime through life. Life is tough, life is filled with highs and lows and if you have a best friend with you to share it? Come on, it’s amazing. It’s like winning the lottery. You need a good partner.
How was it to give up your religion for another one for Sasha?
Well I wasn’t really giving up a religion, I wasn’t really raised in a very religious way. I kind of grew up, I guess we did Christmas and had an Easter egg hunt, but it wasn’t really religious. I remember hearing very early on about Jesus in Sunday school, I remember hearing about Jesus walking on water, and I was always like, ‘Oh that’s really interesting,’ but I’d never really felt a strong connection. And for me, being Jewish is more of a cultural thing, but I don’t really discuss it professionally.
What’s romantic to you?
Choosing to stay with your partner every day. But a lot of things are romantic, aren’t they?
You can see Isla Fisher in The Great Gatsby in theaters May 10, 2012.