Izzard wants to be a
dad at 50
Comedian Eddie Izzard surprised his fans when he came out as a transvestite in 1991. Now, 15 years later, he has done it again by announcing he wants to have children.
Izzard, who is in a long-term relationship with a woman he declines to name, has told the Evening Standard he plans to have "kids at 50".
"That's the plan, that's what's in my head," said the 44-year-old comic. "I've never really gone into my relationships because partners tend to say they'd rather not be judged on the things I say.
"As soon as you start talking about it, it becomes a game. I can't get my head around those people who sell their marriage photos for 50p to the Ham & High or Cat Lover's Weekly."
Izzard - who attributes his need to perform to the death of his mother from cancer when he was six - says that his sexuality has been a subject for speculation because the transgender community is misunderstood, powerless and hidden in the closet.
"There's a ton of [transgender] people out there and they have to come out, ideally in their teens or twenties," said Izzard, the son of a former BP executive.
"The gay and lesbian communities have pressure groups and political influence. They've got it moving but the transgender community is way behind them."
Izzard, born in Aden and raised in Bexhill, East Sussex, was a lone figurehead for the cross-dressing community until potter Grayson
Perry won the Turner Prize in 2003. "It was like the Fifties, when Quentin Crisp was the only known gay person in England," he said. "What was great about Grayson winning the Turner is he's a straight transvestite like me. Until he came along, people thought I was making this stuff up.
"The only annoying thing about Grayson coming out is that there is only one Grayson Perry. We need 20 Grayson Perrys. The creative people have to do it first because we don't have bosses to stop us but we need transvestite accountants, newsreaders, weather-transvestites...
"It would be great if we got to a point where everyone got bored of the whole thing."
Izzard is in London to promote the film My Super Ex-Girlfriend, in which he plays a nerdy villain obsessed with Uma Thurman's neurotic character G Girl. "Uma was great," he said.
"I don't think she comes from a comedy world but she really threw herself into this role. Between takes, she knits furiously - her children are always covered in wool."
Izzard established himself as a stand-up comedian in the West End in the early Nineties before taking up acting, on stage in The Cryptogram and Edward II and on the big screen in Velvet Goldmine.
But his early attempts at a Hollywood career were either cameos in flops such as The Avengers and Mystery Men, or roles in cult films such as
The Cat's Meow and Shadow Of The Vampire. "It hasn't been exactly easy," said Izzard. "But I'm a tenacious bastard."
This month he is to star as a chef in a two-part drama called Kitchen for Channel 5. He has also made a pilot for a drama series called Low Life on the FX channel, in which he stars alongside Minnie Driver as "the head of a family of grifters and con artists" who take over the lives of an American family killed in a car crash.
Izzard said: "It's the role I've always wanted because it's a lead. It's funny, it's challenging and I'm gonna have to work like a dog on it.
"What Hugh Laurie has been doing with House is what I'm hoping to do on this. I still live here, I'm still British-European, but I need to work [in America] because that's where the big playing field is."
• My Super Ex-Girlfriend opens in cinemas tomorrow.