Fisher: My mother is the greatest diplomat. Plus, she's a mothering system to everyone, including the people she gave birth to! Her generosity of spirit taught me a great deal. She always makes everyone feel included. She works very hard and always wants everyone around her to feel happy and secure. Because of that, I am the great thrower of dinner parties to feed the masses. Sometimes we just order pizzas and hang out on the floor of my dressing room.
TM: Do you like the PR part of show business?
Fisher: It's kind of a necessary evil, but I think I've gotten adept at it. I remember my ex-manager, Barry Krost, saying that the thing that he loved was watching me love it. I do love a good red carpet, let me tell you! I love being recognized, and want to be accessible. Believe me, I've seen people walk the line and not sign one autograph. I always sign, because I'm doing what I do but for the grace of God. I get to do what I love all the time. As far as interviews, here in New York, I'll did a bunch before I opened in the role, but now it's pretty much over. On the road, it was a constant thing in each new city--talking all day then doing the show at night.
TM: How did Ellen change your life?
Fisher: Doing that show has afforded me the luxury to do this. It made it possible that people would know who I was and want me to do this. I've had three years since the TV show ended, and now I can clearly look at that experience and be thankful that I can forever call Ellen my friend. I'm so proud of her and what we all did on television. I recently went to Washington D.C. with her for the Millennium March, which had close to a million people. I saw the power of what we did--what we played a little tiny part of. It changed some people's lives and you can still feel it. Politically, personally, professionally, the show and that time had an amazing effect on me.
TM: Are you a TV fan?
Fisher: Not really; we have a satellite at home, and I've become a major flipper. I don't seem to watch that much network television. I like the other stuff better--the movie channels, and my favorite: the E! Channel.
TM: Steve Kmetco is my god!
Fisher: (Laughter) I'm sorry!
TM: So what's up for the future?
Fisher: After my run here in Cabaret, I go back to LA to do Darren Starr's new TV project called Grosse Pointe. I did a really fun guest spot on the pilot; they liked me and asked me to stay. It's a single camera half-hour show--no laugh track, like Sex In the City.
TM: Who has made a difference to you in your life?
Fisher: There was a man named Dan Pietregallo, who was my mother's agent at William Morris many years ago. When I was 16 and about to graduate from high school, I was going through a tough time trying to figure out what to do with my life. He invited me to his office and spent two hours with me--me in my school uniform! He didn't take one call during those two hours. Agents just don't spend that kind of time with people they don't represent. He made me feel smart and beautiful and important and talented. He convinced me to go to college. I followed his advice and didn't start to work as an actress until after I'd graduated.
I remember writing him a letter when I was well into my first year of school, telling him how much his words meant to me and how I would someday have a great career and make him proud. So, fast-forward to two years ago, when I was shooting Inspector Gadget in Pittsburgh. He came to visit me on the set! I was so happy to see him--and he was carrying the letter I had written. It's people like that who take time and mean so much. They're the people you take on your journey.