Isla Fisher packs one-two summer-movie punch

  • Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2013 12:01 a.m.
Clockwise from bottom, Dave Franco, Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher and Woody Harrelson, in a scene from the film, “Now You See Me.” (AP Photo/Summit Entertainment, LLC, Barry Wetcher, SMPSP)

Now you see her — twice.

Yes, that’s Isla Fisher appearing in two of the first major films of the summer-movie season: the latest adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” as well as the crime caper “Now You See Me.”

“It’s really exciting,” Fisher says. “I guess I don’t feel any pressure because I’m not the lead in either movie.”

In “Gatsby,” she’s the ill-fated Myrtle Wilson — logging precious, but little, screen time. In “Now You See Me,” Fisher plays one of a quartet of magicians who use their talents to take back money from immoral millionaires and return it to the people they bilked. The film boasts an all-star cast, including Morgan Freeman and Woody Harrelson. “And Mark Ruffalo is chasing after us, and Melanie Laurent and Michael Caine,” she added in a recent interview. “(It’s) basically a lot of people nominated for Oscars, and then me, a SAG member, committing these heists.”

During filming of “Now You See Me,” Fisher had a close call.

“I was chained under water,” the 37-year-old Australian-raised actress recalled. “I had a quick release on my wrists and a quick release on my feet, but the chain that was tying my wrists to my ankles ... got looped around the bottom of the tank. I’d already been under for two-and-a-half minutes, and I couldn’t get up for air. And I did have a moment of, just, ‘Oh, my gosh. Not in a swimming costume. No one wants to go in a swimming costume.”

Fisher, who has two children with actor-husband Sacha Baron Cohen, seemed poised for name-above-the-title stardom after a breakout performance in the 2005 comedy “Wedding Crashers” and headlining the 2010 comedy “Confessions of a Shopaholic.”

But that success did not catapult her to leading-lady stardom. Instead, she’s stayed steadily employed as a working character actress. “I naturally gravitate toward people who don’t mind getting ugly,” FIsher said. “That’s why I think I’ve not really enjoyed the ‘ingenue’ road, or at least it has not been offered to me, because I’m willing to pull a bad face, and to sweat a bit. Or glow.”

“Now You See Me” opens May 31.

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