This much I know: Eddie Izzard

[from the guardian.co.uk]

The comedian, 49, on the Iron Man triathlon, spiders and doing stand-up in French

I plan my life with military precision. I plan very, very far into the distance, 20 or 30 years ahead. I’m going to do an Iron Man next year. In 2020 I’m going to run for Mayor of London or become an MP. I can tell you all this off the top of the head, but there’s room for spontaneity.

There is something rather relentless about me. I’ve been pushing to be an actor since the age of seven, it just took me a long time to get here. My school reports say: “Eddie is a very determined child”, and it bothers me that I can’t remember what I did that term to be seen as so determined.

The secret to running is thinking. If you have an enquiring mind, like mine, you can understand how I got through 43 marathons. I looked around me, took in the history of the places I was passing through, and let my legs take over like a machine.

I’ve been sticking with a “boy” look for quite a while. First there was boy-mode, then I established girl-mode; now I’m back in boy-mode because I’m auditioning for more acting roles. Somebody on Twitter recently said: “You can’t do that, you’re a transvestite person.” But I can. It’s my life. And I will. I can go “flame on” and “flame off”, like a superhero covering himself in fire, then making it disappear.

I have totally come to terms with being 50. In fact, I am 50. Well, I’m not. I’m 49 and three-quarters. But I feel ready.

Learning a language is not rocket science. Every French person can speak French, every German person can speak German, and there are no Mandarin Chinese people sitting in the corner saying, “Our language is too hard, we can’t do it.” Last year I did 71 stand-up gigs in French; next I’m going to do Russian, Arabic and Spanish.

One of my greatest fears is spiders on my face. I can’t walk down a path where there are bushes on either side and cobwebs in between.

I try not to have treasured possessions. The iPhone is very useful and there are family members close to me, but my mum died when I was a kid and I don’t think I’ll ever get over that. I hate the idea of getting attached to someone and then they pass on. People say time heals, but it doesn’t.

There is something to be said about crying on aeroplanes in the middle of the night. I do it frequently. You know, long-haul flights where you have a glass of wine, watch a movie and bawl your eyes out? Altitude makes people lose it.

My homes in London and LA are usually empty. They are not very lived in but my body is. I feel very alive. I’m living this life and that makes me happy.

Can I choose between comedy and acting? I don’t have to. That is the beauty.

Eddie Izzard plays Long John Silver in Treasure Island, starting tonight at 7pm on Sky 1

Written by Momo in: Interview |

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