Eddie Izzard: “I’m a trans superhero – but if I had lived in Nazi Germany I would have been murdered for that” | Ents & Arts News

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 Eddie Izzard:


Eddie Izzard has been open about her genre fluidity for years, but the actress and actor’s latest role has made it clear how lucky she is to live in modern times.

The comedian and actorof the last project – the period thriller Six Minutes To Midnight – set in the summer of 1939, just before the start of World War II, belongs to an era of more restricted freedoms.

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The action role involves a lot of racing. Pic: Six minutes to midnight / Sky Cinema / Lionsgate

She told Sky News, “I consider being trans a superhero thing – I wanted to put it in a very positive light with superheroes because some people are so negative about LGBT stuff.

“I’ve been open about this since 1985, it’s been a long time… And if we go back to the 1930s, if I had been in Nazi Germany, I would have been murdered for saying I was trans.

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Eddie Izzard says he uses “boy mode” to play, “girl mode” for activism. Pic: Six minutes to midnight / Sky Cinema / Lionsgate

“Homosexuals have been placed in concentration camps. This is what this far-right thought will do. ”

And while the film may go down in history, she hopes that parallels to today’s still polarized society will help spur “the dawn of 21st century humanity.”

Izzard, who announced his intention to use the pronouns “she” and “she” during an appearance on Sky Arts’ Portrait Artist of the Year at the end of last year, says that just coming out as trans has helped her find “a better place for her sanity.”

She has since clarified that she will use “girl mode” for comedy and political activism, but will return to “boy mode” for dramatic roles – like her last substitute teacher Thomas Wheatley.

Eddie Izzard and Judi Dench in six minutes at midnight.  Pic: Six minutes to midnight / Sky Cinema / Lionsgate
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Izzard with co-star Judi Dench. Pic: Six minutes to midnight / Sky Cinema / Lionsgate

However, there is more to the role of Wheatley than meets the eye, who, far from singing songs and teaching Latin, is also an undercover British spy.

With plenty of running, jumping, and fighting scenes, Izzard admits that the action lead is normally not his favorite cast (despite his crazy talent for endurance marathons who recently helped her raise over £ 300,000 for charity).

Izzard explains, “As someone with my story and coming out as a trans in 1985, people say, ‘Oh, well, you’re not someone who does action stuff’, but I’m truly a person of action, as people now know. … I play a lot in this movie. ”

The 59-year-old – who previously identified herself as a transvestite – admits it’s a risk for an artist to express herself in this way, but the fact that she is established in her career has encouraged her to put your head above the parapet without being too careful not to be excluded from future castings.

Girls of the Nazi elite in six minutes at midnight.  Pic: Six minutes to midnight / Sky Cinema / Lionsgate
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Girls of Nazi behavior practice driving. Pic: Six minutes to midnight / Sky Cinema / Lionsgate

And for Izzard, her latest film in which she not only stars, but also co-writes and produces, has a very personal resonance.

Housed in an elite Nazi girls’ finishing school in Bexhill-on-Sea on the south coast of England, Izzard – who spent a lot of time in the area as a child – was introduced to the real story in a local. Museum.

After receiving a photo of a school badge with a swastika on one side and the Union flag on the other, she knew it was a hidden slice of Nazi history that she owed reveal.

Izzard then toured the building that was Augusta Victoria College for Girls with his co-star Dame Judi Dench.

Eddie Izzard in Six minutes at midnight.  Pic: Six minutes to midnight / Sky Cinema / Lionsgate
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Izzard spent part of his childhood in Bexhill-on-Sea. Pic: Six minutes to midnight / Sky Cinema / Lionsgate

Now a home for people with dementia, its walls previously housed students, including Heinrich Himmler’s goddaughter and Joachim von Ribbentrop’s daughter in the 1930s.

In a bid to teach the girls English and allow them to network with the right-wing influencers of the time, Izzard says, “They would listen to speeches on the radio and get up and greet the radio as if they were. there at the meeting. with Hitler. ”

And the school was not unique – there were 26 girls’ finishing schools in Bexhill before World War II, a little-known fact that Izzard calls “quite bizarre.”

Calling it “a lesson from history,” Izzard says the film has special resonance for our time.

Eddie Izzard in Six minutes at midnight.  Pic: Six minutes to midnight / Sky Cinema / Lionsgate
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Augusta Victoria College for Girls was one of 26 schools in the area. Pic: Six minutes to midnight / Sky Cinema / Lionsgate

Addressing the issue of fake news, which to some seems like a very modern invention, she said that Hitler’s use of “lies as a political tool” is something we would do well to take note of.

« [Hitler] was only agitating people and appealing to people’s basic instincts but unfortunately we go again this time where people say, “Oh come on hate these people hate these people believe in the conspiracies.”

“All that’s left is garbage – some people say, ‘Let’s try the 1930s again, let’s have another party on it.’ But those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. ”

And Izzard is clear, it’s not just a movie portraying Germany as bad and Britain as good. She says it’s a much more complex issue than that.

“I always wonder if I had grown up in Germany in the 1930s, would I have joined the Hitler Youth? Would I have signed up for this thing? Would I have tried any of these uniforms?

“I hope I would have said, ‘No, this is garbage. This person is lying. And some Germans did, but you don’t hear much about these stories. ”

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Summarizing his approach to the film, Izzard concludes, “It’s a story of fighting hearts and minds with a thriller all around. ”

Actors Jim Broadbent, Carla Juri, David Schofield, James D’Arcy and Celyn Jones are also on the bill.

Six Minutes To Midnight is available on Sky Cinema and NOW TV from Friday March 26.

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