Like many Australian actors, Isla Fisher began her career as a child in a popular TV soap – namely Home and Away. She’s since made a name for herself as a gifted comic actor in movies such as Confessions of a Shopaholic, Wedding Crashers, The Great Gatsby and more recently in The Brothers Grimsby alongside her husband, Sacha Baron Cohen. Fisher talks to us about her latest endeavour.
Can you identify with the suburban existence your character Karen has?
I am Karen Gaffney myself right now in my life. I carpool every day; I hang out with the other mums after I’ve dropped off the kids at school. It’s the life of a normal mum. I’m definitely enjoying exploring that side of myself. I love being a mum. Sometimes I do feel “this is frustrating” and I would love to spy on a glamorous couple. So that is what I am doing now in this movie. It is wish fulfilment.
What kind of comedy is involved in the film?
There is deadpan, slapstick and physical comedy – I get to check all those boxes. I am working with Zach Galifianakis who does some of the best improv on the planet, so it has been an amazing learning experience to watch him, work with him and keep up with how quick he is. It’s a very funny film about nosy neighbours. It also has action, drama and romance.
What is it like working with director Greg Mottola?
Fantastic. One of the reasons I wanted to do this film was he was directing. I love his films Adventureland and Superbad and his first film, The Daytrippers. He is great at every single style of comedy. He keeps the camera moving, he is the real deal and so collaborative.
With a family and three children, what motivates you to take a film role?
I love my work. The timing of this was perfect. It just involved six weeks work and a four-hour plane trip. I’m lucky to have my family with me. I am happy to take a hiatus and just enjoy being with my children, but I’m still driven and want to work, sometimes. My dream would be to do one movie a year.
Has acting always been your passion?
I wished and prayed to be an actress as a kid. But you never think you’re going to be the lucky one who will end up working with great directors and actors and having the kind of career I am having. It’s been a surreal experience for me. I feel really lucky and I definitely don’t take it for granted – I definitely never anticipated it.
Keeping Up With the Joneses is in cinemas now.