Isla Lang Fisher (born 3 February
1976) is an Australian actress and author. She began acting on Australian
television, on the short-lived soap opera Paradise Beach before playing
Shannon Reed on the soap opera Home and Away. She has since been known for
her comedic roles in Wedding Crashers (2005), Hot Rod (2007), Definitely,
Maybe (2008) and Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009).
Fisher was born in Muscat, Oman, to Scottish parents from Bathgate and
Stranraer. They resided in Muscat because of her father's job as a banker
for the United Nations. Her name, after the Scottish island of Islay, is
pronounced eye-la; she has four brothers. Fisher spent her early years in
Bathgate before moving with her family to Perth, Western Australia, when
she was six years old. Fisher has said that she had a "great" upbringing
in Perth with a "very outdoorsy life". She began appearing in commercials
on Australian television at the age of nine, before going on to win roles
in popular children's television shows Bay City and Paradise Beach. She
attended Methodist Ladies' College and appeared in lead roles in school
At the age of 18, with the help of her mother, she published two teen
novels, Bewitched and Seduced by Fame. From 1994 to 1997 she played the
role of Shannon Reed on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. After
leaving the soap, Fisher enrolled at a theatre and arts training school in
Paris and went on to appear in pantomime in the United Kingdom. She also
toured with Darren Day in the musical Summer Holiday and appeared in the
London theatre production, Cosě.
In 2002 she had a part in the film version of Scooby-Doo as Mary-Jane,
Shaggy's love interest (wearing a blonde wig) who is allergic to dogs.
Subsequently, Fisher was taken on by an American agent. A larger role in
Wedding Crashers, alongside Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, in 2005 won her
the Breakthrough Performance Award at the MTV Movie Awards. While
promoting Wedding Crashers, she was officially crowned the 1000th guest on
Australian talk show Rove on 2 August 2005. She entered the set ahead of
Owen Wilson, winning the title by two metres. In 2006, Fisher starred as
Becca, a Manhattan party host, in the relationship drama London
co-starring Jessica Biel, Chris Evans and Jason Statham.
In 2007, she appeared in The Lookout, a thriller co-starring Joseph
Gordon-Levitt and Matthew Goode, and Hot Rod, opposite Andy Samberg. She
was scheduled to appear in The Simpsons Movie, although her appearance was
cut from the final version. In 2006, she starred in Wedding Daze with
Jason Biggs. In 2008, she starred in Definitely, Maybe, with Ryan
Reynolds, Elizabeth Banks, Rachel Weisz, and Abigail Breslin, and had a
voice role in Horton Hears a Who! Fisher has also co-written a script
entitled Groupies with Amy Poehler, as well as another project entitled
The Cookie Queen. She starred in the movie adaption of the book
Confessions of a Shopaholic, which opened on February 13, 2009. In the
film, Fisher played a college graduate who works as a financial journalist
in New York City to support her shopping addiction.
Fisher has spoken out against the lack of opportunities for comediennes in
In January 2010, she was cast in the movie adaption of Burke and Hare.
Fisher lives with her fiancé, English comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, and
daughter, Olive, in London and Los Angeles. She met Baron Cohen at a party
in Sydney, Australia. Fisher converted to Judaism after three years of
study, completing her conversion in early 2007 and taking on the Hebrew
name Ayala (איילה), the Hebrew word for Doe; she has described herself as
"quite observant". As of June 2009, the couple have not set a date for
their wedding. On October 19, 2007, Fisher gave birth to their first
child, a daughter named Olive, in Los Angeles.
Fisher has said that her "sensibility is Australian" and that she has a
"laid-back attitude to life" that she feels "very Australian." Her mother
and siblings live and work in Athens, Greece, while her father lives in
Frankfurt, Germany. Fisher is allergic to cats, pollen and butterscotch.
While filming Scooby Doo, her character was to sneeze while Scooby was
around, therefore to make the sneezes believable, the crew would spray
pollen up her nostrils and she would sneeze believably on screen. This
also caused lots of problems as they had to take frequent breaks and she
would sneeze in the wrong takes frequently.