Only In Hollywood

Isla Fisher: If you try to be perfect, you will miss out on all the fun

By: - Columnist
/ 12:50 AM June 15, 2018

Isla Fisher —Ruben V. Nepales

LOS ANGELES—Isla Fisher, aside from being a busy actress, a mom of three kids and the wife of Sacha Baron Cohen, is also a successful children’s book author. A children’s literacy advocate, the Aussie actress recently came up with the fourth book of her “Marge in Charge” series, “Marge and the Secret Tunnel.”

The 42-year-old redhead costars with Jon Hamm, Ed Helms and Jeremy Renner in director Jeff Tomsic’s “Tag,” a comedy inspired by the true story of a group of friends who stages an elaborate, annual game of tag all over the US.


Excerpts from our interview in Los Angeles:

How’s life with Sacha? It’s great, thank you.


Your husband is a funny guy. Is he as funny in real life? Yes, he’s so funny. I feel so lucky, too. I’ve worked with so many amazing comedians—even on this film—and Owen Wilson, Ryan Reynolds, Bradley Cooper and Zach Galifianakis. But nothing was funnier than working with my husband on “Grimsby.” All of his lines just made me laugh.

What was his last prank on you? We haven’t had a prank in a while. The big prank really was still the Oscars when I had to smuggle the Ali G beard, glasses, hat and, for some reason, white gloves, which seems like overkill, into my Spanx, and then put a dress over the top.

I’m just not a good mule because I get so “people please-y” and nervous, and I feel like everybody could tell I’m smuggling something. And of course, he’s super relaxed. He’s just brave. That was the last prank I’ve been involved in thankfully.

You definitely look like you have not been eating the savory cheesecake you’re known to make. Are you on some crazy exercise thing? No, I’m going to say something controversial. I’m not exercising at all at the moment, and I’ve never felt better. I was in a pattern of going to Barry’s Bootcamp and doing hot yoga. I suddenly just thought, no, this is exhausting. So now, I’m not doing anything—and I feel much better.

But by the time this comes out, I might be back in. That’s exercise and me. It depends on what’s going on in my life and whether I can fit it in. Also, it’s hard to stay motivated and inspired when you look at yourself in lycra when you’re over the age of 40.

On top of being a busy actress who is a mom and a wife, you are a best-selling children’s book author. How do you do it all? Writing has been wonderful. I’m not a real writer. I don’t do it as a craft, so it takes more work than it would for a real writer. But I enjoy being able to do something on my own terms. I can write in the carpool line, on my Dictaphone on my iPhone, at the coffee shop or during nap (of my children). It fitted into the lifestyle of having a young family. I’ve really enjoyed it.

I’m so passionate about child literacy. It’s important to get kids to read. But I don’t feel like I’m particularly good at juggling. I might give off that impression today because I’ve had my hair and makeup done and I’m in an ice blue suit.


But in reality, I feel like the balls are quite often being dropped. I’ve just learned to enjoy every moment because it’s so fleeting and not try to be perfect. It’s the message in my “Marge in Charge” books—if you try to be perfect, you will miss out on all the fun.

Isla Fisher (second from right) with “Tag” costars (from left), Annabelle Wallis, Jon Hamm, Jake Johnson, Ed Helms and Hannibal Buress —Photo by Warner Bros.

You have interesting language skills in this movie. Oh, you mean my potty mouth (laughs)? I know it’s interesting because I’m promoting my fourth “Marge in Charge” book, “Marge and the Secret Tunnel,” at the same time.

I’m talking about child literacy and my wholesome character in this wholesome world, reaching out to emerging and reluctant readers aged 5 to 8 years old, then I come to this junket. And my Joe Pesci-like character talks about tiny ginger balls (laughs). So, it’s definitely wearing two hats.

Do you have a good bullsh*t meter like your character? Yeah, don’t all Aussies? I feel like we do, like it’s built-in.

When was the last time you played tag? I’ve got a house full of small children. It’s more hide and seek. Sometimes, I just hide at my computer for a few minutes (laughs). I always get caught.

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