By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
HOLLYWOOD—Isla Fisher is best known for her memorable performance as Vince Vaughn’s wacky love interest in “The Wedding Crashers.” She has starred in several other adult-oriented comedies such as “Bachelorette,” “Confessions of a Shopaholic,” “Definitely, Maybe” and “I Heart Huckabees.” Since 2010, the Scottish comedienne also has been known as Mrs. Sacha Baron Cohen. The couple has two children.
After making her animated feature debut as the voice of Dr. Mary Lou Larue in 2008’s animated version of Dr. Seuss’ “Horton Hears a Who?” and subsequently voiced a bug-eyed pioneer in last year’s Oscar-winning animated feature “Rango,” the 36-year-old redhead again is lending her pipes as the voice of the Tooth Fairy in DreamWorks’ animated fantasy adventure, “Rise of the Guardians.”
The holiday movie also features the voices of A-listers Alec Baldwin (as Santa Claus), Hugh Jackman (as the Easter Bunny), Chris Pine (as Jack Frost) and Jude Law (as the bogeyman Pitch). Based on a story by award-winning author William Joyce, “Rise of the Guardians” tells the story of the protectors of children’s dreams (the Tooth Fairy, Santa, Jack and the Sandman) must defend them from being destroyed by the evil Pitch, who wants to turn them into nightmares.
Fisher, who stars in the upcoming remake of “The Great Gatsby,” recently talked about playing the winged carnassials collector and her own holiday memories.
Q: What was it about “Rise of the Guardians” that made you want to be a part of it?
Fisher: The fact that Alec Baldwin was in it was really, really exciting.
Q: What do you see as the message of the movie?
Fisher: The message was actually that if you don’t believe in fear it doesn’t exist, which I think is wonderful for everyone, not just children.
Q: When you’re working on an animated movie, do you prefer to see your progress along the way or do you wait until it’s finished to watch it?
Fisher: On this one, I had to keep going and seeing the film just because I felt like I wasn’t sure when I was voicing something, which piece it was for. It was so confusing to me because the scenes kept getting rewritten, and sometimes things just didn’t work. I was very annoying and made them show it to me kind of regularly, and then I would go back in and fix things that I didn’t think rang true.
Q: How were you pitched this movie? When did you first hear about it, and what was your initial reaction to doing it?
Fisher: I was shown the artwork. They brought me into a big room. (DreamWorks CEO) Jeffrey (Katzenberg) was there. It was very overwhelming how much work they’d already put into the story and the movie before I even came onboard. At that stage, Leonardo DiCaprio was doing—I don’t know if I’m supposed to say this-—Jack Frost. But he dropped out of it. Anyhow, I just was blown away by it; obviously, (because) it’s Jeffrey Katzenberg. I thought it was just so beautiful, original, magical and epic, and it felt huge. It just felt different from anything that I had seen in the animated world.
Q: Do you think it’s important for children to believe in fairy tales? You’ve got two children, so do you try to keep that fantasy alive? How old are they now?
Fisher: They’re five and two. I just think it’s a personal choice for every family what they want to tell their kids. You know it just depends on your religious affiliation, how you were raised and the rest of it.
Q: When did you stop believing in Santa Claus, and was it a big shock for you?
Fisher: I was six when I stopped believing in Santa and my brother broke it to me, along with the Tooth Fairy not being real, at the same time. It was a massive blow, and I actually remember feeling very betrayed by my parents. But I was at least able to beg them more openly for the stuff that I wanted the following year.
Q: What was it like at Christmas when you were growing up?
Fisher: There wasn’t much emphasis on being nice or naughty as a family. You know there wasn’t much discipline. It was more relaxed at home, which I’m grateful for.
Q: Were there any children’s movies that you truly cherished, and now that you’re a mom, are there any that surprised you as you rediscovered them while watching them with your children?
Fisher: I loved “The Dark Crystal.” It was the first film I ever saw, and it was just so very magical to me, but I’ve never wanted to see it again, just in case it didn’t live up to my memory of it.