Isla Fisher Talks Performing Escapist Tricks, Her Chemistry with the Cast, THE GREAT GATSBY, and More on the Set of NOW YOU SEE ME
Last year on the set of Louis Leterrier’s Now You See Me, Isla Fischer, who plays the role of an escapologist, was asked what she wanted to participate in the movie. Her response:
“I read the script and I loved it. It just had elements of an interesting movie, a good story, interesting people were attached and so many weird contrasting elements — romance, action, a heist… It just seemed like a mixture of a bunch of different movies, like a lovechild of Clash of the Titans meets Ocean’s Twelve.”
In an interview, Fischer spoke about her character, her chemistry with the cast, the magic behind the scenes, how the film made her feel, the script adjustments, and more.
Here are a few highlights from the interview:
- Fisher’s character is an escapologist and she describes her as like a lion tamer with regards to her lack of fear.
- Fisher found the escape tricks hard to do in rehearsal, but once the cameras rolled the pressure kicked in and it became surprisingly easy.
- When she read the script, she felt like the film was the lovechild between Clash of the Titans andOcean’s Twelve.
- To prepare for her role in the film, Fisher watched the documentary Make Believe about teen magicians. She also watched all of Houdini’s work and Dorothy Dietrich.
- Louis shot the movie so that the camera was always moving, so the cast ended up doing a lot of takes of each scene.
Question: Can you tell us about your character? And underneath that magic, who is she?
ISLA FISHER:She’s an escapologist, an illusionist. She’s like a lion tamer — she’s fearless — but she’s also vulnerable, particularly around Atlas, Jesse Eisenberg’s character, because they had a romantic history and I guess he’s so much more focused on the work and she tries to get his attention and it doesn’t really work out for her. She’s a really great character to play. She’s just so confident, so sassy, and she’s such a firecracker. She’s really worn off on me. I find myself strutting around my everyday life and being a lot braver in situations where I wouldn’t necessarily be as brave before. I feel like all the characters I’ve inhabited, I’ve always taken away a few traits and kept them for myself and this character I feel like hopefully it’ll be her confidence.
Can you talk about the escapes you’ll be doing? I know that there’s one in a tank with piranhas. How hard is it to do that kind of stuff and be involved in those kinds of things?
FISHER:You know what? It’s surprisingly hard during rehearsal, but once they’re shooting, there’s something about the presence of the camera and the pressure, or maybe it’s just you’re lost in your character, but it becomes startlingly easy and you just go into a zone where you’re able to… I mean, I was able to hold my breath for a couple minutes. I practiced for a while to get up to that but it was wild. I was chained, right at the bottom of a huge tank and it was great fun, I really loved it. That was my favorite day. They did heat the water, before you think I’m that crazy. It was like a Jacuzzi. I mean, please. It’s like Hollywood’s idea of roughing it for the day, being in a Jacuzzi water.
If they threw one of us in there, do you think we’d last nearly as long as you have after all that training?
FISHER:I think you would if it was your job and you wanted to like… I don’t know. I really enjoyed playing Henley. She’s just fearless, she’s so tough, and she’s aggressive and she’s the strongest in some ways, and wildest and bravest one of the gang. And on top of that, the smartest, she builds all of the really complicated machines. I don’t want to give away anything.