During filming, Wilson offered friendly advice. “I remember Owen coming up to me and saying, ‘You know, you’re playing it pretty big. You might want to keep it more real,’ ” says Fisher, perfectly mimicking the actor’s drawl. Typical Fisher; she wasn’t cowed. “I remember thinking,
‘No, you’re wrong. I’m not going to play it real — I’m going to play it broad.’ And I just went for it.”
Wedding Crashers was a huge hit. Fisher got some of the biggest laughs for her uninhibited depiction of a schizophrenic nymphomaniac. (Turns out there is one thing Fisher dare not do on screen: nudity. Any love scenes featured a body double.)
“I’m willing to make a fool of myself,” Fisher admits. “Maybe because I don’t feel I’m a traditionally pretty woman, so I don’t feel that pressure to appear beautiful or to be perceived in that traditional ingénue-actress way.”
Many moviegoers would beg to differ with her assessment. She emanates luminous warmth inside the dark hotel, which resembles a vampire lair thanks to its gothic arches and inverted chandeliers. Her lustrous red hair naturally falls over her right eye, Veronica Lake style, and the only makeup on her alabaster face is a whisper of lipstick. Yet Fisher had the temerity to mostly eschew the lead parts that were hers for the taking after Wedding Crashers. Instead, the Australian opted for ensemble roles in films such as Ryan Reynolds’ romantic comedy Definitely, Maybe (2008), the Joseph Gordon-Levitt crime thriller The Lookout (2007) and Kirsten Dunst’s black comedy Bachelorette (2012). Soon, she’ll flit through an adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s novel The Switch, which stars Jennifer Aniston.
Fisher is looking to do a comedy next. Why? Because it’s a more difficult genre than drama, she says. “If comedians lost more weight for movies, or gained more weight, or wore more prosthetic limbs or noses or neck braces, then we’d get the praise we deserve,” she laughs.
Would she consider starring alongside her husband? “I’m a big fan of his, but I like to do my own stuff,” she says. Her wish list of co-stars includes comedy royals like Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig. That’s Fisher for you: ever ready for daunting challenges — but hopefully ones that come with a stunt double.
“I love to play interesting characters and to play with people who are better than me so I can learn from them,” Fisher says. “But I’m super happy with my life the way it is. The grass doesn’t look greener.”
Currently writing his first novel, The Lobster Thief, L.A.–based author Stephen Humphries also writes for Filter, Under the Radar, Prog and Rock Square. He is a hopeless juggler.