Sacha Baron Cohen, Isla Fisher bring Hollywood to Perth
Wearing a long-sleeve striped sweat and casual jeans, Australian actor Isla Fisher looked every bit a relaxed West Australian when she was snapped next to a muscled-up kangaroo at a cafe recently.
Fisher, 45, married to Borat‘s Sacha Baron Cohen, has been spotted across her home state in recent weeks, attending the country’s biggest film festival with Baron Cohen in the south-west and catching up with fellow WA celebrities including NBL legend Luc Longley and Rove McManus.
SBC hasn’t been quiet either.
The award-winning British actor and comedian (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), reportedly continued his stand-up comedy routines after a random appearance in Sydney in July as Borat, reprising his Austrian TV presenter Bruno character at Perth’s Comedy Club on September 2.
Then there were rumours circulating late last week that he was lined up to be part of the AFL’s grand final entertainment at Optus Stadium on Saturday night, performing as Freddie Mercury in a Queen set.
The AFL confirmed its list of home-grown talent on Sunday including Birds of Tokyo and John Butler. Sadly, SBC wasn’t on the rundown.
No official statement has confirmed the low-profile Hollywood glamour couple have unpacked their suitcases and permanently settled in Perth after a year-long stint in Sydney’s Bondi, but the biggest hint they’ve gone west came from Fisher.
Accepting the Screen Legend Award at CinefestOZ three weeks ago, where she was empanelled as a film jurist, Fisher took to Instagram to give us a heads up.
“It’s such an honour to be given the Screen Legend Award. I’m so proud to be recognised in Western Australia.
“This is where I was raised. This is where I feel at home.”
According to a CinefestOZ source, Isla walked the red carpet for the closing gala night event at Busselton with Baron Cohen, and judged two films for the Film Prize, River and Here Out West.
“At the Jury Lunch at Aravina Estate in Yallingup, she referred to herself as ‘100 per cent a West Australian’,” the source said.
Fisher, born in Oman to Scottish parents – her father was a banker for the UN – moved to Perth when she was six years old with her four brothers.
After appearing in TV commercials at age nine, she headed east to Sydney to star in Home and Away.
Before long, Hollywood beckoned, and she landed leading roles in Scooby-Doo (2002) and then Wedding Crashers (2005) alongside Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson.
She quickly became a darling of Hollywood, with producers offering her key roles in movies that spanned a 30-year career, in hits such as Confessions of a Shopaholic, The Great Gatsby and Now You See Me.
Fisher met Baron Cohen in 2002 in Sydney, and converted to Judaism before marrying him in 2010, living out the next decade in the US before returning to Sydney.
And now, it seems, Perth.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Fisher is looking to enrol her three children in school.
In a March interview with Stellar magazine, she said she prefers not to discuss her private life publicly, and that includes motherhood and marriage, and where they live.
“I just feel so safe. I suppose the word is cosy, when I’m in Australia,” she said at the time.
“It’s where I grew up. Even though I went to a different school every year and I kind of had to learn to be funny, to make friends quickly, to shake off the stigma of being a short, red-haired girl with large ears and an English accent, I feel a lot of my happiest moments are in Australia.
“I’m the happiest when I’m home.”
Fisher has projects on the go, with Netflix confirming she’s lending her voice to animated movie Back to the Outback alongside Eric Bana, Guy Pearce and Keith Urban.
It’s about Australia’s deadliest creatures who plot a daring escape from the zoo to return to the outback.
“Although motherhood is my favourite topic, I tend not to discuss it publicly. I feel like I want my kids, like all parents do, to live a normal life.
“All parents are just trying to protect their kids. And I feel like if they wanted to be in the public eye that’s up to them. If I give any quotes about them, that would haunt them. They will be teenagers one day.”
Fisher told Marie Claire in 2018 she liked the idea of slowing down and moving to Byron Bay, sitting on the sand eating a Vegemite sandwich, and that “juggling a family in LA isn’t easy”.
“There’s not really a culture of bringing your kids to dinner parties or to restaurants past 6pm,” she told MC.
After a year in Sydney, it now seems Perth is the mecca.
Four days ago, Fisher posted a photo of her Labrador on Instagram. It received a flood of responses, many from local WA residents saying “Welcome to Perth”.