It was the most fun Fisher had experienced on a movie in ages.
“It was great fun to get in a tank,” grins Fisher, relaxing on a couch inside Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont hotel several months later. “It’s like your childhood fantasy come true.”
“They had a guy who was off-camera, but he was quite a ways away with a traveling canister of oxygen,” Fisher recalls. “By the time I realized I couldn’t get up and beckoned for him, I had already run out of air.”
The actress knew there was a kill switch that could drain the tank in 70 seconds, but she couldn’t last that long. Yet she didn’t panic.
“Luckily, I managed to get free and stay level-headed and get out,” she says. “The director said to me, ‘Wow, I’ve worked with so many actors on big action movies, and you’re the only one who’s done all their own stunts.’ I said, ‘I didn’t know I had a choice!’ ” Fisher laughs. “I thought you just had to get on with it. It’s the Australian way!”
Plucky and game to try anything, Isla (pronounced eye-luh) is making a splash on the big screen following a semihiatus from acting. Until now, the diminutive redhead has been best known for comedies such as Wedding Crashers and Confessions of a Shopaholic. But this month, Fisher reintroduces herself to cinema audiences in dramatic fashion, showcasing her facility for more serious fare in Now You See Me, as well as in the highly anticipated The Great Gatsby. Dressed in striking flapper dresses and cloches, Fisher channels her moxie to portray Myrtle Wilson in the adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel set in the Roaring Twenties. That same fearlessness — greased by a genuine sweetness and an easygoing mirth — characterizes the way Fisher approaches everything in life.