The lovely Isla Fisher covers the spring issue of Gotham magazine to promote her (thankless) role of Myrtle Wilson in The Great Gatsby. I don’t expect this post to gather much interest like most posts on parenthood simply because poor Isla has fallen by the wayside in Hollywood. She was really cute and funny in Wedding Crashers several years ago, but then she signed up for some terrible flops like Confessions of a Shopaholic and settled into voice work while also taking some time off to raise her two children with husband Sacha Baron Cohen. I get the feeling that a lot of people confused Isla with Amy Adams for awhile, but Amy’s career has really taken off in the past handful of years while Isla’s has languished somewhat. Now Isla returns in Gatsby, and she’s also appearing later this year alongside Morgan Freeman and Woody Harrelson in Now You See Me. OH, and she’s also in post-production on an untitled Elmore Leonard project in the role of Melanie Ralston, who was played in Jackie Brown by Bridget Fonda (who herself has pulled a decade-long disappearing act). Weird.
In this Gotham shoot, Isla is styled right out of the Jazz Age with a fringy, flapper-esque dress and a couple of floaty, ethereal gowns. She looks entirely gorgeous, and the interview is slightly eventful as well as she admits to being completely overwhelmed by the experience of filming Gatsby alongside Baz Luhrmann and actors like Leo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan. Isla also discusses the extended break she took from Hollywood to have two daughters and stay at home with them during their respective infancies. Like Drew Barrymore’s recent declaration that you can’t have it all in terms of maintaining both career and motherhood, Isla expresses her belief that you shouldn’t even want to have it all. Here are some excerpts:
Working on The Great Gatsby: “It was thrilling and terrifying. Given the caliber of the director and cast on Gatsby, I definitely felt out of my comfort zone. I did feel like I was going to be called out and sent home at some point–you always feel very insecure, at least I do. The set was like a playground of rich costumes (his wife Catherine Martin does them) and color and music and laughter. Everybody cares on a Baz Luhrmann film set because everyone is so effing grateful to be there.”
Will she ever collaborate with hubby Sacha Baron Cohen? “Personally, I think we collaborate on enough behind closed doors. We’re working on some really important collaborations, and I think that’s more important. Obviously, I’m a big fan of his. My favorite movie will always be Bruno, and my favorite line will always be when he looks up at the sky and goes, ‘So many stars in the sky. Makes you think of all the hot guys in the world.’ So freaking random and funny.”
On balancing work & motherhood: “I took three years off. It’s not like you’re taking a break and looking on IMDbPro to see your StarMeter falling. You’re doing the most important, incredible thing. When you come back in, the perspective has changed. I truly believe you can’t have it all and you shouldn’t want to.”
[From Gotham Magazine]
Hmm. I certainly don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to have it all because I think most women do. I think most of us would love to find enough hours in the day to make a ton of money while still managing to be the perfectly attentive mother as well, but that’s just not possible. Something always has to give even if it’s just a matter of a few hours of sleep. Even Ivanka Trump, who is on the extreme end of working motherhood with her 16-hour work days, doesn’t really have it all, but she has enough of what she wants to make it work for her.
More and more these days, it sucks to realize that women will always be judged for their respective choices in the working motherhood discussion. It seems that you can either have an amazing career and miss some of your kid’s milestone moments, or you can be a stay-at-home mom and sacrifice financial stability and a retirement fund. It’s a tough choice for sure, and there’s some middle ground there but not much to be found. Of course, men are rarely faced with the same choice, but that won’t be changing anytime soon.
Photos courtesy of Gotham Magazine