Isla Lang Fisher (born 3 February 1976) is an Australian actress, voice actress, and author.
Born to Scottish parents in Oman, she moved to Australia at age six. After appearing in television commercials at a young age, Fisher came to prominence for her portrayal of Shannon Reed on the soap opera Home and Away from 1994 to 1997, garnering two Logie Award nominations.
Confessions of a Shopaholic
Fisher made a successful transition to Hollywood in the live-action film adaptation of Scooby-Doo (2002), and has since achieved fame for her roles in Wedding Crashers (2005), Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009), The Great Gatsby (2013), and Now You See Me (2013). Her other notable film credits include I Heart Huckabees (2004), The Lookout (2007), Definitely, Maybe (2008), Burke & Hare (2010), Bachelorette (2012), Visions (2015), Grimsby, Nocturnal Animals, Keeping Up with the Joneses (all 2016), and Tag (2018). In addition, she has voiced characters in animated films such as Horton Hears a Who! (2008), Rango (2011), and Rise of the Guardians (2012). On television, she played a recurring role on the fourth and fifth seasons of Arrested Development (2013, 2018).
Fisher has authored two Young Adult novels and the Marge in Charge book series. She has been married to Sacha Baron Cohen since 2010 and has three children.
In the British black comedy Burke and Hare (2010), loosely based on the Burke and Hare murders, Fisher starred opposite Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis as a young former prostitute and the love interest of one of the titular characters. The film found a limited audience in theatres, and Variety wrote that “Pegg and Fisher, just about holding up their end of the bargain by delivering the film’s portion of sweet romance, are hardly given anything funny to say”, as part of an overall mixed reception. Fisher voiced a hot-tempered but good-hearted desert iguana befriending an eccentric chameleon in the 3D animated Western action comedy Rango (2011), featuring Johnny Depp, Abigail Breslin and Bill Nighy. The film received positive reviews and made US$245.7 million worldwide. For her role, Fisher won the Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award for Best Animated Female.
Fisher starred in the comedy Bachelorette (2012), opposite Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan and Rebel Wilson, portraying a ditzy party girl and one-third of a trio of troubled women who reunite for the wedding of a friend who was ridiculed in high school. In its review for the film, Daily Telegraph found Fisher to be “brilliantly slow as a hot mess whose main ambition is to get coked out of her skull”. Budgeted at US$3 million, Bachelorette was a commercial success; it grossed US$11.9 million in theaters worldwide and more than US$8 million on VOD. In another voice-over role, Fisher voiced the Tooth Fairy in what she summed up as an “animated Avengers”, the film Rise of the Guardians (also 2012), which earned her an Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award nomination for Best Animated Female.
Fisher found mainstream recognition in 2013, with roles in two highly successful films —The Great Gatsby and Now You See Me. The Great Gatsby, an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel, directed by Baz Luhrmann and opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire, saw her portray an ambitious social climber and the mistress of an Upper-class socialite. Fisher described as “surreal” the experience to work for Luhrmann. “He’s my dream director. I’ve only ever had a short list of people I’ve wanted to work with, and he was at the top of it. I honestly couldn’t stop smiling the whole time”. While reviewers described her role as brief, the film made US$353.6 million worldwide. Fisher garnered nominations for the Best Supporting Actress award from the AACTA Awards, the Australian Film Critics Association and the Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards. In Now You See Me, Fisher took on a larger role as an escapist and stage magician in the heist thriller Now You See Me, with Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Mélanie Laurent and Morgan Freeman. The Hollywood Reporter felt that Fisher’s portrayal was “loaded with chutzpah”, and IndieWire remarked in its review for the film: “While Fisher and Laurent bring their charm, they still don’t quite flesh out underwritten parts”. Like The Great Gatsby, Now You See Me grossed more than US$350 million globally.
Also in 2013, Fisher obtained the nine-episode role of an actress in the fourth season of Arrested Development, which was released in Netflix, and appeared opposite Jennifer Aniston, Tim Robbins, and Will Forte in Life of Crime, a film adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s 1978 novel The Switch, as the mistress of a wealthy man who refuses to pay the ransom for his kidnapped wife. The film received a limited theatrical release and favorable reviews from critics. Fisher, along with the cast of Arrested Development, received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, and describing her work on the series as a career highlight, she said: “I’ve been really fortunate in my career to work with a lot of great people and get a lot of great gigs, but my favourite phone call ever was the Arrested Development one from my agent It was very exciting”.
In Visions (2015), an independent horror film, Fisher starred as a pregnant woman who begins to experience supernatural manifestations after moving to a vineyard with her husband. Distributed for a limited release in most international markets, Visions was released for VOD in North America, and in its review for the film, Spanish newspaper Reforma wrote: “Predictable and boring, even Isla Fisher, who is usually pretty good, delivers a very boring performance”. 2016 saw Fisher star in two action comedy films —Grimsby and Keeping Up with the Joneses. She collaborated for the first time with husband Sacha Baron Cohen in the British film Grimsby, playing the handler of the best MI6 agent, and in Keeping Up with the Joneses, she starred as one half of a suburban couple who begin to suspect their new neighbors are secret agents. Both films were budgeted at over US$35 million, but only made less than US$30 million at the box office.
Based on Austin Wright’s novel Tony and Susan, Tom Ford’s neo-noir thriller Nocturnal Animals (2016) featured Fisher as the blighted wife of a motorist inside a violent novel written by a recently divorced man. The film was the winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival and was an arthouse success. Her third book and first children’s novel, Marge in Charge, revolving around a mischievous babysitter with rainbow hair who tends to bend the rules, was published in 2016. The book was met with a positive reception; Publishers Weekly noted that “spontaneity and mayhem” reign in the work, while The Daily Express found “the comic tale of the anarchic babysitter” to be “perfect for reading aloud”. Fisher subsequently authored three follow-ups: Marge and the Pirate Baby, in 2017, Marge and the Great Train Rescue, also in 2017, and Marge in Charge and the Stolen Treasure, in 2018.