It’s just hours before the New York premiere of “Wedding Crashers” and actress Isla Fisher is a nervous wreck. In between fielding phone calls, she rifles through an overstuffed blue suitcase in her Four Seasons hotel room for the appropriate undergarment to wear beneath her purple Matthew Williamson dress.
“Aha! Nude G-string!” she crows, pulling it from the jumble and jumping up and down. “Jessica said I had to get one.” That would be Hollywood stylist Jessica Paster, who’s dressing Fisher for her turn in the spotlight.
After all, this is Fisher’s moment. “I’ve done a few films, but smaller parts. ‘Wedding Crashers’ was a big break for me,” she explains, suddenly sitting still. The 29-year-old’s scene-stealing turn as man-crazed bridesmaid Gloria Cleary could launch the career she’s been waiting for since starring back home in Australia in the hit soap “Home and Away.”
The stillness only lasts a second, though. Then the 5-foot, 2-inch firecracker is bounding up to answer the door for a bellhop delivering a Gucci suit for her fiancé, Sacha Baron Cohen, better known as his comedic character, Ali G.
Fisher is no stranger to comedy, having studied clowning and miming at London acting school Jacques le Coq, which she’s quick to point out is also the alma mater of Geoffrey Rush and Emma Thompson. The juggling skills she learned there, not to mention growing up with four brothers, helped her handle the potentially overwhelming duo of co-stars Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. “When I saw Vince,” she admits, “I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, he’s so tall. He’s a circus freak!'” (Vaughn is 6 feet, 5 inches.)
“Owen and Vince were gentlemen,” she says, pausing and adding with a wicked grin, “at least to me.”
It’s easy to see why. Fisher is anything but your typical Los Angeles starlet. She and Cohen live in the Hampstead neighborhood of London, and Fisher travels to Los Angeles only for work. She keeps a “zippy” Mini Cooper there at a friend’s house. And when she does come to America, she brings her Australian habits with her, including jars of Vegemite for breakfast and Tim-Tam chocolate biscuits. She wears Australian fashions, too, professing a fondness for Colette Dinnigan. “I’m a bit of a comfort girl,” she admits. “I have a love-hate relationship with fashion. Fashion kind of repulses me when there are real issues. But it’s always fun to get dressed up and be glamorous.”
This story first appeared in the July 14, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
With that, the doll-like actress jumps up to get the door again — this time for a mustachioed Cohen and, right behind him, her hairdresser, ready to prep her for her big closeup.