TV GUIDE CHAT


TV Guide: The incredibly funny Eddie Izzard is starring in the upcoming Mystery Men. Eddie also appeared in Velvet Goldmine and The Avengers. He has performed his one man shows Dress to Kill and Glorious the world over. His next role is as Lenny Bruce in the play Lenny opening July 28 in the West End, in London. For more info check out www.izzard.com. Thanks for coming.

Izzard: Hello to everyone who's written crazy questions!

tmlions: We are Eddie-deprived here in the states. PLEASE get 'your people' to work on videos in NTSC format!

Izzard: I'm working on deals at the moment. And the videos and CD's will come out at some time in the future. But I don't want to do a bad deal, and I don't think you people would want me to do a bad deal either. So have patience, they'll all get there in the end.

Elwood_Blues_UK: I've heard a rumour about a remake of The Italian Job with you appearing in it. Is this true?

Izzard: No. I am a nut on the film The Italian Job, and I know a new print of the film is being released in Britain very soon. But if there is a remake being made, I haven't been approached.

anniehiggy: It's fascinating how one director's approach to the crux of a play will differ significantly from another director's approach to the same written piece. What is the directorial style of Sir Peter Hall in the rehearsal process of Lenny?

Izzard: Well Peter Hall (we don't use the Sir because it sounds a bit poncy) is known for being a very text-driven director. In the play Lenny, I'm doing a lot of Lenny Bruce's standup. And Lenny liked to improvise as much as he could. I like to improvise as well — as much as I can — and so it's been quite a weird experience for Peter. He has had to deal with me ad-libbing away from the script and going all over the place. But he's been very good. He's let me ad-lib — which must have freaked him out — and I have tried to keep to the text as much as possible on the scenes about Lenny Bruce's life. So I have enjoyed the experience. And I hope it works for the public.

kathryn_dc: How's the Allure magazine 55-lipstick trial going?

Izzard: I have already completed the Allure magazine 55-lipstick trial. The results were printed up in Allure magazine some time at the end of last year. I road-tested the lipstick in my standup show and I recommended about ten of them. I can't for the life of me remember which were the best. But I've got a lot of lipstick now. I'll never need to buy lipstick ever again.

Elwood_Blues_UK: Did you dare do your infamous Sean Connery impersonation to his face when you worked together on The Avengers?

Izzard: I did do an impression of Sean Connery to his face in New York, at the opening of Art, the hit play that he is a producer of. I was with Julia Ormond and she did an impression and I did an impression and he just looked at us and said "So when are you going to do these impressions?" So either he rated our impressions as very bad or he hadn't noticed that we had done them. I wasn't sure if he was joking or not.

pinksugarlee: You have a great wardrobe. Who is your favorite designer?

Izzard: Jean-Paul Gaultier. He has a great sense of humor and I've worn his clothes in my last three shows. I've been trying to meet him for the last four years but he is a bit elusive. I will meet him one day and I think we'll get on. Cause I speak French (a bit).

zellinde31: Are you nervous about the Friday reviews in London?

Izzard: Yes. But we had two weeks of previews, so hopefully we'll be cooking before they come and review it. So far, we have done two performances and the reaction seems to be positive. I'm enjoying it, even though it's exhausting and I never seem to stop talking.

bandit11798: You have quite a following on your official web site's message board. Are you kept abreast of anything that goes on there?

Izzard: Yes. I drop in and read the messages on the message board at different times. I try to keep abreast of people's comments and it is an interesting source of feedback. After the gig I played at Wembley Arena people came online 10 minutes after the gig finished and just left loads of comments, which was very interesting reading. I don't necessarily do what everyone advises or says, but it is interesting to read it.

angelicgoddes4: What is Mystery Men all about?

Izzard: Mystery Man is about a bunch of losers who believe they have superhuman powers — but they don't. There is a Mr. Furious who just gets angry. There is The Shoveler who is very good with a shovel. And there is The Spleen who just has a very hyperactive spleen. And Invisible Boy who believes he is invisible, but only when people don't look at him. So they are the good guys, and I play Tony Pompadour who is a bad guy with big hair. I die in the end (like you would expect). I hope it's fun.

Burn baby burn...disco inferno...

 

godsmacks_baby: Have you ever fallen on the stage when wearing those pretty open-toed shoes?

Izzard: No. I don't think I've ever fallen on stage in heels. I think I would remember that. I have fairly good balance in high heels now, because I have practiced a lot (being an executive transvestite).

lori_kc: Are there any plans to eventually bring Lenny to the U.S.?

Izzard: Yes. If we get a good reaction here in London we will bring Lenny to Broadway some time next year.

lea_elaine: Are you enjoying your experiences portraying Lenny Bruce? Do you find his a difficult style to mimic?

Izzard: I am enjoying playing Lenny Bruce. I'm not doing an impersonation of Lenny Bruce, I am trying to capture his spirit. I don't look like Lenny Bruce, but hopefully he would be pleased with what I am doing. What I am aiming towards is something like what Anthony Hopkins did when he played Nixon in Oliver Stone's film. He didn't look like Nixon, but it didn't matter. After a while, watching the film, he just seemed to be Nixon. After the critics have seen the show, I'll be able to tell how good I've done.

MalkovichsGirl: Can you tell me about Burned to Light?

Izzard: Yes, it's a film about the making of Nosferatu, the German silent movie from the twenties. And John Malkovich plays Nurmau, the director, and Willem Defoe plays Schreck, the vampire. I play an idiot. I actually play the actor who goes to find the vampire in the film Nosferatu. So the film Burned To Light is a mixture of images from the film Nosferatu and the story of the making of Nosferatu. I look very weird in the film.

madcatem: Any plans for a book, as so many other comedians are putting out now?

Izzard: I have already done a book, which was supposed to be about the tour in America. It's called Dress To Kill (same name as the HBO special), and the book is on sale in England. It will probably also be released in America at some point — looking to strike a good deal (as opposed to just giving it to someone for 5).

jsby97: I know you are a film buff. What are the films you most often recommend to others?

Izzard: OK. The Great Escape. The Italian Job. Kelly's Heroes. Blade Runner. Those are four of the films that I really like, and there are lots more, but I can't remember them all. As my brain doesn't work in that way!

SweetyTweetyBird_22: What powers did you have in the movie?

Izzard: I have the power to make my hair be quite high. (I just have big hair). But I am protected by the God of hair care. He's a very 1970's God.

 

orcadiana: How well are the decorations going on your nearly-new house in Notting Hill?

Izzard: I don't actually live in Notting Hill. Someone just printed that up wrong. I live in Rio de Janeiro. Just by the sweet shop. But the decorations are coming on fine thanks.

jsby97: If you could meet any figure from history who would it be?

Izzard: Ooo. That's a good question. Noah. I'd just like to chat to him about his weird experience with all those animals. Or whether it was just a PR story for the Bible.

CriminyPete: Who do you like better — Shaggy or Scooby?

Izzard: Oh, Scooby. Scooby is Othello and Shaggy is his Iago. That analogy doesn't actually work but it sounds quite clever (even though it isn't).

lori_kc: Your character in The Velvet Goldmine reminded me somewhat of Oliver Reed's role in Tommy. Was he an inspiration to you in any way?

Izzard: Well, yes. I came to the conclusion that I wanted to do acting roles like the parts that Oliver Reed had played. I don't know whether I specifically thought of Oliver Reed when I played The Avengers because I didn't have much of a character to work off. I just chewed bubble gum and hit people. But I do like some of the better known roles that Oliver Reed played.

franco1983: Eddie, seeing as it was where you were discovered, will you paying a visit to the Edinburgh fringe festival this year?

Izzard: No. I'm afraid I'll be playing Lenny in the West End in London. So I won't be able to go to Edinburgh this year.

tmlions: Will your official site make things like posters, T-shirts, videos, etc. available for sale?

Izzard: I aim to do that at some point in the future, but we have to get set up with credit card payments and I haven't done that yet. But it will happen in the future.

zellinde31: You finish Lenny and then start your UK tour the very next day. Do you ever need a break?

Izzard: Yes. This is really a crazy thing to do — finishing Lenny and then going straight into the tour. But the only way I could do Lenny was if I squeezed it in before the tour. So that's why I'm getting no holiday. I will get a rest at some point (I hope).

Goodglymm: When performing a comedy routine in the US, do you find any major differences in the audience vs UK audiences?

Izzard: No. Exactly the same. Most people think there will be a huge difference between audiences in different countries — I don't think there is. But I think every country has several different types of audience. All I have to do when playing America is to try and encourage the right audience to come to my show. But New York, LA and San Francisco audiences seem very similar to London audiences. They get the same things.

the_laughing_gnomes: Cake or death?

Izzard: Cake (I think).

Goodglymm: What was the most difficult part about writing Dress To Kill?

Izzard: I didn't write it. I just sort of ad-libbed it over five months of performing in America and gradually built up the material that turned into the show Dress To Kill.

roxxib: What's your idea of the perfect holiday?

Izzard: I'm not sure. I'm not very good at holidays. I don't like to just lie on the beach. I think the ingredients I need are sun, but not too much, and interesting places to visit and discover — and a moped with no helmet. _

Nuith_: I really like a man who is not afraid to dress, you have the right idea. What was it that gave you the confidence to go for your look, and your politically edgy material?

Izzard: It just seemed like a good idea at the time. I came out when I was 23 and I found that human beings seem to respond to performers who are open. So I just tried to be open with them and just tell the truth as far as I can — also to talk a lot of bollocks at the same time. So truth and bollocks.

TV Guide: Thanks for chatting with us tonight Eddie. Any words before you go?

Izzard: Goodnight to all the crazy people who have written in. Sorry I couldn't answer all the questions, but I would have died in the attempt! Bye!