ISLA FISHER is an Australian actress and author. Her films include Wedding Crashers and The Great Gatsby. She has also voiced characters for many animated films, including Rise of the Guardian, and appeared on TV in series such as ‘Arrested Development’.
Isla is not new to being published, having a popular series of books for younger readers called ‘Marge in Charge’. Mazy the Movie Star Hollywoof is her first picture book. Good Reading caught up with Isla to find out what books she’s reading, which ones give her a giggle, which ones she recommends, and who she’s inviting for dinner.
What are you reading now?
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. I’ve read it before, but I found it on the bookshelf of the house I’m renting and decided to read it again.
What were your favourite books as a child?
I always loved Winnie the Pooh and I was so inspired by the ‘Mr Men’ series that I wrote my own version of 30 little books when I was seven. Laughter is such a great way to connect with kids. From the time kids are babies they laugh at anything, from blowing a raspberry to silly rhymes as they get a bit bigger. But stupidity is the bedrock of humour, so any books with stupid characters made me laugh as a kid and still make me laugh today.
Which books have made you laugh out loud?
I find David Sedaris’s books hilarious but I most often laugh out loud when I’m reading with my kids. We often read together. My middle child loves ‘The Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ and ‘Dork Diaries’, which are so funny. My little guy and I crack up at Horrid Henry and my eldest daughter is laughing at ‘The Confessions of a Shopaholic’ series.
Reading books is a great opportunity for parents to connect with their children, and there are often teachable lessons that bring up some interesting discussions within our family.
Which books have made you cry?
I read The Fault in our Stars by John Green, which wrecked me, but normally I avoid books that make me cry. I don’t watch movies or TV shows that are sad either. It’s emotionally draining enough watching the news every day, worrying about the world and climate change.
If you had to choose three books that you’d encourage everyone to read, what would they be?
1. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
2. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
3. Nineteen-Eighty-Four by George Orwell.
What inspired you to write your picture book, Mazy the Movie Star Hollywoof ?
Our own dog, Maisy, inspired the book as she can be a very pampered pooch. Her fur requires a lot of maintenance (she’s an English sheepdog), which made me start thinking about what life in Hollywoof would be like for Maisy if she was a movie star mutt.
What was the most enjoyable aspect of writing Mazy the Movie Star Hollywoof ?
I think seeing it all come together with the illustrations was the best part. This is my fifth children’s book, but it’s my first picture book, and Paula Bowles’ illustrations are adorable. I was blown away. She surpassed all my hopes for the characters, and it was a joy to see it all come together. No matter how much fun the story is, fantastic illustrations bring a story to life.
Will Mazy have more adventures? Can you give us an inside scoop?
Yes! Mazy and I are signed up for more books so get ready for some Mazy fun ahead.
If given the opportunity to host a dinner party and invite six people, authors or not – alive or deceased – who would they be?
Emily Brontë, Shakespeare, Nelson Mandela, The Queen, the Dalai Lama, and my grandmother, Anna Lang.
Follow Isla Fisher on Instagram here.