Isla Fisher on sto­ry­telling and mak­ing a mean bowl of matzo ball soup.

“I learnt to be funny to make friends and shake off the stigma of be­ing the short, redheaded girl”

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - In­ter­view by NI­CHOLAS FON­SECA

You have said you are a “goody-twoshoes”. So is your ven­ture into writ­ing kids’ books with the Marge se­ries just an ex­cuse to get loose and un­la­dy­like? I wouldn’t say that’s the mo­ti­va­tion, but there’s def­i­nitely fun to be had liv­ing vi­car­i­ously through Marge. She’s this ebul­lient char­ac­ter who can do what­ever she wants – to get in­side her imag­i­na­tion and write that is won­der­ful. I love act­ing, but in some ways this is a much more sat­is­fy­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Where do you write? I love to write at this cof­fee shop near my house. Ev­ery time I have writer’s block, I or­der an­other crois­sant. It’s ter­ri­ble – carb over­load. If I have ideas, I say them into my iphone’s dic­ta­phone app and email it to my­self later. I’ll do that in car­pool, be­cause I seem to spend most of my life in car­pool. Are you a quick writer, or does it take you a while? Well, I’m not a writer. I’m an ac­tress. And act­ing is just an­other way of telling sto­ries. But no, I’m not quick, though I’d like to hope I’m im­prov­ing. Sto­ries were an im­por­tant part of my child­hood be­cause I had a com­pli­cated cul­tural iden­tity: I was born in Oman to Scot­tish par­ents and moved to Aus­tralia when I was six. I was in a new school ev­ery year from pri­mary school through to high school. I had to learn to be funny to make new friends and shake off the stigma of be­ing the short, redheaded new girl with ex­tralarge ears. And on the day my ma­te­rial sucked and no­body wanted to eat lunch with me, I hid my nose in a book. Surely hav­ing three young kids helps you take off on flights of fancy when you write? As a mum, I felt like I was los­ing my au­di­ence when it came to bed­time en­ter­tain­ment. The kids were sick of my an­i­mal noises and im­pres­sions of their friends’ par­ents. Did hav­ing chil­dren lower your thresh­old for gross-out hu­mour? You know what? I al­ready had a pretty puerile sense of hu­mour. I didn’t come from some sort of rar­i­fied bub­ble when it came to gross stuff. My first job, aged 11, was pick­ing up horse poo in the heat of West­ern Aus­tralia, putting it in a bag and sell­ing it on the side of the road. I had broth­ers; I played with slime. They would roll me up in a rug and make the dog lick my face. I played in the dirt. And again, I sold horse poo for a liv­ing! You’ve been liv­ing in the US for a long time. Name one Amer­i­can tra­di­tion you still can­not get be­hind. Peanut but­ter and jelly. I don’t un­der­stand it. Peanut but­ter is such a ro­bust, gooey thing – to mix it with jam? Luck­ily, I have never had to make a peanut but­ter and jelly sand­wich for any­one. No­body in my fam­ily has asked, but I’m al­ways braced for the mo­ment it hap­pens. Speak­ing of cul­tural changes, you con­verted to Ju­daism ahead of your mar­riage to Sacha Baron Co­hen. Have you learnt to make a good matzo ball soup? Of course. Of course I can make a good matzo ball soup! But I will be hon­est: I have never made

matzo from scratch. I buy the packet and then just roll it into balls. Last year, in the film Keep­ing Up With The Jone­ses, you got to kiss Won­der Woman’s Gal Gadot. She’s quite tall, you’re not. Did you have to wear killer heels for that? I was al­ready wear­ing them be­cause I was sup­posed to be dressed like a sexy spy. But Gal did kindly bend down, so it worked fine. It was def­i­nitely one of those mo­ments, though: I was look­ing at Gal Gadot, dressed in this one-piece cat­suit, and I thought, “It’s like we’re in two dif­fer­ent movies. I’m a hob­bit and she is a James Bond god­dess. Why am I here? I need a lad­der to reach her.” Let’s just say it was a very hum­bling ex­pe­ri­ence. You’ve said it was nerve-rack­ing to dress your hus­band as Ali G for the Os­cars in 2016. With the ben­e­fit of time, though, would you do it again? Oh, yeah. Be­cause the ma­te­rial he did had ev­ery­one howl­ing with laugh­ter. I think they want those shows to be funny and sub­ver­sive and sur­pris­ing – it’s en­ter­tain­ment, isn’t it? In your AACTAS ac­cep­tance speech last year, you thanked Don­ald Trump for “show­ing the world that un­qual­i­fied or­ange peo­ple can win things”. But if you had to forgo be­ing a red­head, tell us: would you choose to be blonde, brunette, black or mil­len­nial pink? Wow. [Pauses.] Brunette, and I know that’s bor­ing. Blonde is tough over the age of 40 if it’s not nat­u­ral. On me, any­way. I don’t want to of­fend any­one with blonde hair. I’ve just got too many freck­les to go there.

``i seem to spend most of my life in car­pool´´

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