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YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsIsla Fisher

The beauty with `Borat'

March 18, 2007|Paul Cullum

ISLA FISHER was born in Muscat, Oman, to Scottish parents, grew up in Perth, Australia, attended clown school in Paris (with Jacques Lecoq) and finally settled in London. But what might have been a train wreck of a speaking voice comes out as a charming Aussie lilt, although -- once again -- her American accent is flawless. Seen most recently on the arm of fiance Sacha Baron Cohen at the Oscars, she is best known for comic roles, such as the sex-crazed virgin-turned-virago opposite Vince Vaughn in "Wedding Crashers." She is also bright and quick-witted: Informed that producer Walter Parkes had first suggested her for the role -- and, as a joke, that he was unduly taking credit -- she shot back, "Yeah, I think he wrote the 'Borat' film."

"She was really smart and understood the character," says director Scott Frank.

"When I came in, I was fortunate," says Fisher. "I had a lucky thing happen where Joseph Gordon-Levitt's shoelace came undone halfway through my monologue, and I was able to do it up, and it gave a real maternal, empathetic feel to my character, which helped them imagine me in the role. I knew every girl was going to go in and do the whole black widow/vixen/femme fatale thing, and I thought, 'I'm going to just make her the most lost, injured, sweet person.' For her, making love to a guy was the equivalent of petting a kitten -- it was something she just did. "I'm not a Method actor. I work from the outside in. I find something external like a walk, a silhouette, where you're holding the tension or energy in your body, and I make that define the character. [Luvlee] wasn't grounded, so I never really walked flat-footed, I was always on my tippy-toes. In my mind, I would have loved to have never stepped on the floor -- just stepped on furniture to get to the sofa."

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