Isla Fisher knows that “Godmothered,” her comedic Disney+ fantasy streaming Friday, is a fairy tale that updates gender and sexist conventions to celebrate diversity and opening one’s heart.
But then there’s the pig, which is a whole other story.
NOV. 29, 2020 – Isla Fisher in a scene from “Godmothered.” Photo Walt Disney Pictures
“Godmothered,” which among its many local settings filmed in Copley Square and Marblehead has Fisher, 44, as recently widowed Mackenzie, a TV news reporter with two daughters who’s in a funk.
Along comes Eleanor (Jillian Bell, “Britney Runs a Marathon”), a fairy godmother determined to cheer Mackenzie up.
Her spells can have unexpected results, as when transforming Mackenzie’s dreary apartment into a “castle” ridiculously resembles a “Game of Thrones” set.
Fisher found her character’s “inner need was really to grieve her husband and to see the beautiful blessings before her — her children.
“She had to choose a career that didn’t really reflect where she belonged in the world — but she needed to pay the bills.
“She’s just continually struggling to get through every day rather than appreciating what’s around her.
“Also, I haven’t really played the ‘straight man’ in comedy before. I’m often cast as the ebullient funny one. So this was a good challenge for me, definitely different.”
Also very different was working with a real piglet (the film’s raccoon is a CGI creation), who had a peculiar way of filming.
“That pig was reading a different script than the rest of us.”
Translation: Whenever ‘Action’ was called the pig — and here Fisher exploded with a loud and seemingly accurate rendition of a blood-curdling pig squeal.
“And,” she added, “he had this bell on too that was going ring-ring-ring!”
It got worse. Whenever she had dialogue, “For some reason the handler of the pig was always in my eyeline and I could just see his face was so stressed. And this pig was oy! Everybody thinks pigs are like oink-oink! No, this pig was squealing.
“Also I was surprised by how intelligent that pig was. That pig worked out pretty early on, if it sabotaged a take, it was given a snack so it would go back into position.”
With that Fisher let out another mighty pig squeal. And no one was calling “Action!”
Does this mean she would want CGI pigs in her future?
“No! The pleasure I got when I didn’t have the pressure of the set or any dialogue and got to hang out with the pig in the tent was really special.”
(“Godmothered” streams Friday on Disney+.)
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