Watch: Eddie Izzard talks to Yahoo about her new film
Comedian, writer, endurance runner, activist — Eddie Izzard is known for them all, but with a new movie out this week, her mind is on her acting career. And she’s only interested in dramatic roles. Even if that means writing them herself.
That’s exactly what happened with Six Minutes To Midnight, released this week on Sky Cinema. Talking to Yahoo Movies UK, she explained that having established herself as a stand-up comedian, she had to start her acting career from scratch.
“If you’re somebody who’s gone up the comedy mountain, stopped, gone to the bottom of the drama mountain and is hacking their way up – and at my age and being trans – you’re not showered with offers.
"I’ll do whatever comes my way that grabs my attention. If they’re comedy roles I won’t do them, but if they’re dramatic ones I will.”
After playing the Prince of Wales in Victoria And Abdul (2017) and a sinister landowner in Get Duked! (2019), she decided to create a role for herself in Six Minutes To Midnight, which was co-written with fellow actor Celyn Jones and the film’s director, Andy Goddard.
“It was ‘personal nepotism’, as I call it, which is what the ‘A’ listers do,” she said.
“If you’re one of the 10 most in-demand male or female actors, you might not get the role you’re after because nine other people are ahead of you. So they all develop their own stories, and that’s what you’ve really got to do.”
The role Izzard wrote was an undercover British agent working at a girls’ boarding school on the South Coast in the days leading up to the start of World War II. Uncovering a plot to kidnap a group of German students – all related to high-ranking Nazis – she sets out stop the abduction and save their lives.
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The role also reunited the actor with Victoria And Abdul co-star Judi Dench, who plays the school’s headteacher.
Getting started in acting meant that Izzard couldn’t rely on her reputation for comedy: “When I went to the bottom of the drama mountain, all the roles I got weren’t because I’m very well known in comedy, but because I’d done good acting roles. That’s how I get my next one.”
And that next one is in drama series Stay Close, which she’s currently filming for Netflix. Based on Harlan Coben’s bestseller, it’s due to hit screens this summer. Izzard co-stars with James Nesbitt, Richard Armitage and Sarah Parish.
Six Minutes To Midnight is on Sky Cinema from 26 March, 2021.
Watch a trailer for Six Minutes To Midnight