Day Of The Triffids: Eddie Izzard

[from The Manchester Evening News]

EDDIE Izzard reveals: “I carry a distinct amount of rage with me from my mum being ripped out of my life, which is very pushed down.

“So I try and channel that. I liked the idea of this character. I thought it was good to get my teeth into. I jumped straight in and enjoyed it.”

Comedian, Hollywood film star and marathon man Eddie makes his BBC TV drama debut as sinister Torrence in The Day of the Triffids (BBC1, Monday Dec 28, 9pm).

The two-part story is based on John Wyndham’s best-selling post-apocalyptic novel of the same name, first published in 1951.

In the not too distant future, man’s search for an alternative fuel supply leads him to uncover the ominous Triffid, a crop that seems to have a life of its own.

When spectators gather worldwide to watch a solar storm, billions are left blinded and the few sighted survivors watch as society collapses into chaos.

Meanwhile the Triffids find their way out of captivity and are free to roam the planet with a fatal sting and a taste for human flesh.

This latest adaptation has an all-star cast including Dougray Scott, Joely Richardson, Vanessa Redgrave, Brian Cox and Jason Priestley.

Torrence is on a plane when the solar phenomenon occurs but keeps his sight after deciding not to watch it. “The plane crashes but he’s the only person who survives by the bizarre means of getting all the life jackets out, surrounding himself with them in a toilet and inflating them to use as airbags.”

Eddie, 47, was just six when his mother Dorothy, a nurse, died of cancer. Does he think she’d be proud of what he’s achieved? “Yeah, I hope so. She did amateur dramatics. I’ve just been sent a whole load of pictures of her singing on stage at Christmas in 1958.”

The path from comedy to dramatic acting was a long one for Eddie. “It’s like stand-up. I couldn’t do stand-up when I first started. It was a year and a half between the first two gigs. But apparently I’m now quite good at it.”

Those who have seen his stage act may have heard the tale of how he broke into Pinewood Studios when he was 15, having spotted the film mecca’s location on the end credits at the cinema. “I took a train to London, a tube to Uxbridge and a bus to Iver Heath,” he recalls.

“So I march up to the entrance and say, ‘Hello, I want to be in films. Can I have a look round?’” The security guard’s negative reply is not repeatable here.

Undaunted, the teenage Eddie circled the site and discovered a second service entrance. Having observed people coming and going, he walked in as if he worked there. “I realised you have to be moving quite fast, because then you’re doing something, as if on an errand.

“I usually didn’t tell anyone when I was doing these things,” he smiles. “I left boarding school to audition for the National Youth Theatre. I worked out that I could just leave and no-one would know.”

With a power vacuum in Downing Street, the obsessive Torrence realises that he has an opportuntiy to step in and take control. Determined to rule over the remaining sighted population and keep the blind away from the centre of London, he cannot forsee the approach of the Triffids towards the capital.

“Torrence is very fixed on what he wants to do. Ambition is a brilliant thing. It depends how you use it. I wanted him to have this quality that would seem charming. Like Hitler was supposed to be charming. He was this benign uncle unless you were on the other side of that sociopathic divide.

“As Hitchcock said, ‘All the villains should be charming.’ The more I relax and fold into roles, the more it’ll get interesting.”

Eddie, also a guest on Friday Night With Jonathan Ross (BBC1, tomorrow, 10.35pm), has had a very busy 2009, including running 43 marathons in 51 days for Sport Relief and a huge comedy tour which called at the MEN Arena last month.

But film is his first love and he’s happy to have finally made it into a BBC drama, having been careful not to typecast himself on screen.

“I’ve done a comedy show but I haven’t done a sketch show or a sitcom, to try and get through to roles like this. If you think Robbie Coltrane and Cracker or maybe Alan Davies and Jonathan Creek, you just not have to do comedy shows. And I got to work at Pinewood,” he laughs.

“I seem to be better as the fine wine approach to a career in film, fermenting it over a number of decades. I also broke into Elstree as well. A mini career of breaking into studios and stealing make-up.”

Written by Momo in: Day of the Triffids,TV |

No Comments »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.


the man | the myth | the shoes | groovy news | recent updates | photo gallery | current tour info | tour archives | stage & screen | the hive | board | shop eddie | fun stuff | feedback | faq | sitemap | eddienet | site survey | guestbook | email Momo | home

site design by:  auntie momo designs    [FEEDBACK]     Providing the latest in Eddie news since July 1999