Isla Fisher and Sacha Baron Cohen bonded over clown school.

The couple - who have been together 17 years and have three children - both attended prestigious clown academies and Isla, 41, admitted it is one of the first things that attracted her to the 'Borat' actor.

She told The Sunday Times magazine: ''We both went to clown school. I went to Jacques Lecoq and he studied with Philippe Gaulier, then we both studied bouffon, white mask and commedia dell'arte. That definitely attracted me to him.''

And Isla - who found huge success in Hollywood with 'Wedding Crashers' - praises Sacha for showing her how funny she can be after they first met at a party in Sydney and he told her she was hilarious.

She said: ''He continued to compliment me and inspired me to have the courage to ask my agent to send me for comedic work. I auditioned for 'Wedding Crashers' and was lucky enough to get the gig.''

Sacha is known for playing outrageous characters but Isla is delighted that he is not a method actor and doesn't bring the roles home with him.

She said: ''He's not a method actor. I only have to live with the facial hair.''

Although Isla is happy to gush about her husband's career, she is fiercely protective of their private life.

She said: ''I'm so nervous to talk about my personal life. We live in this age of iPhones and tablets and Instagram and Twitter, and all privacy seems to be gone. My relationship is so important to me - it's been 17 years...

''I would feel sick to my stomach if I thought that I needed to talk about my family to sell my books or movies. It would feel like I had no integrity.''