Isla Fisher and Sacha Baron Cohen have a love story for the ages! The superstar couple — who are both known for their unparalleled comedic acting — have defied Hollywood odds by keeping their marriage stronger than ever after 20 years! Before they even met, Isla was on her way to becoming a household name with her hilarious roles in Wedding Crashers and Confessions of a Shopaholic, while Sacha turned Tinseltown on its head with his myriad of zany characters like Ali G, Borat and Bruno. After their union, however, they became even more successful by collaborating on films, starting a family and transplanting themselves over to Isla’s homeland of Australia.
“It is a fun ride,” Isla said on The Project about life with her famous husband. “I feel so lucky to have Sacha in my life. Now we have this beautiful family and we survived lockdown together, which you know, it is not easy for any couple.” For Sacha, he said he couldn’t have filmed the hugely successful sequel to Borat without the backing of his partner. “It’s impossible to make a movie like this without having an incredibly supporting spouse,” he said during his acceptance speech at the 2021 Golden Globes. “You need a very, very understanding wife. And I’m very lucky to have it.”
Keep reading to find out all about the adorable couple’s romance, below!
The meet cute!
While at a party in Sydney back in 2001, Sacha and Isla bumped into each other and got along swimmingly after poking fun of the other attendees together. “She was hilarious,” Sasha gushed to the New York Times in 2020. “We were at a very pretentious party, and me and her bonded over taking the mick out of the other people in the party. I knew instantly. I don’t know if she did. It’s taken her about 20 years to know,” he quipped.
Months later, Isla hilariously clapped back at her husband’s theory. “I don’t know why [he said that], he was joking!” she told The Project. “I totally loved him right away. I mean, I knew it was definitely love at first sight.”
At one point in their romance, Isla even credited Sacha with helping her focus her career. “I was losing confidence in my abilities when he recommended that I do comedy,” she told Indie London. “He felt I was really funny, so when someone as funny as him recommends that, I listened and actually auditioned for ‘Wedding Crashers,’ which ended up being my big break.”
Popping the question and converting to Judaism.
After about three years of dating, Sacha got down on one knee to ask Isla to marry him. They would go on to be engaged for three years before walking down the aisle. During that time, Isla studied the Jewish faith in preparation for her conversion to the religion. In an interview with the Evening Standard, she explained, “I will definitely have a Jewish wedding just to be with Sacha. I would do anything—move into any religion—to be united in marriage with him.”
Ahead of the wedding, in an interview with Allure, Isla revealed she had taken the Hebrew name “Ayala,” which means doe. She also said the work to convert was challenging yet rewarding. “I never saw it as a losing or gaining situation, just an embracing situation. If one wanted to be buried next to one’s beloved and they were Jewish, then one would have to be Jewish, too. That came out really weird. Scratch the burial.”
A child arrives before the big (secret) day!
In 2007, before they got hitched, Isla and Sacha welcomed their first child together, a daughter named Olive. It wasn’t until three years later that the couple decided to secretly make their romance official! With reportedly just six guests present, Isla and Sacha said “I do” in an intimate ceremony in Paris, which Sacha kept secret by pretending his father was a famous chef celebrating a milestone birthday.
“We had a secret wedding in Paris,” Sacha told the New York Times. “And the ruse was that it was my father’s 70th birthday and that he was a famous chef in England. That was how we avoided having photographers at the wedding. I trained him up to be in character. He said that his favorite dish that he created was L’oeuf Scrambled.”
Marriage bliss and another baby girl!
A year after the wedding, the couple welcomed a second daughter, whom they named Elula. Two years after getting married, Isla sounded like she was still on her honeymoon! “Choosing to be together every day is incredibly romantic. I love marriage. I think it’s a wonderful institution and it’s the most important decision you make,” she told Australia’s Sunday Telegraph. “Life is filled with highs and lows, and you have a best friend to share it with you. It’s amazing. It’s like winning the lottery, having a good partner.”
A son arrives in time for a movie collab!
In 2015, Isla and Sacha welcomed their son Montgomery while they were working on their first film together! A year after their baby boy arrived, The Brother’s Grimsby premiered, with the couple in leading roles. Isla dished on how filming went, especially since Sacha can be a bit of a method actor. “Of course [he brings his characters home]. It’s hard to drop the accent when you’re doing it all day on set,” she said on the talk show Lorraine. “This is the first time we’ve worked together. He’s such a perfectionist. He’ll do everything and anything to get the best joke possible into the movie, so it was definitely inspirational. He’s so funny on set and it was a lot of fun.”
Keeping their private lives private… except when it’s Shabbat.
Isla and Sacha are notoriously private about their children, trying to keep them out of the spotlight as much as possible. “They have rights, too. It’s a very conscious decision and truly I would feel really disgusting about myself if I used my family to sell something,” she said on Today. “It wouldn’t sit right with me. It doesn’t line up with my values. But I do have an open-door policy and people come over all of the time. I do big Shabbat dinners. Everybody gets access to my family time once a week.”
Helping friends like Courteny Cox find love too!
While Sacha and Isla enjoy their lasting romance, the pair have tried to pay it forward. When longtime friend Courteney Cox met Snow Patrol member Johnny McDaid in 2013, Sacha and Isla made sure to play cupid. After Isla told Sacha that Courteney was interested, Sacha ran up to Johnny to spread the news. “Sasha walks up to Gary [Lightbody] and Johnny … and says, ‘Hey! Courteney wants to f**k one of you from Snow Patrol. And it’s not you, Gary,'” Courteney said on The Howard Stern Show. A week later, Courteney and Johnny went on their first date.