I’ve always thought Eddie Izzard was supremely funny but I didn’t realise that he’d be a really nice bloke just to know and have a conversation with until today.
I embarked on some rather silly Twitter-following very early this morning (all sparked off by Stephen Fry tweeting about Trafigura) and ended up discovering that Eddie Izzard was in Los Angeles for a documentary about his life. I missed a Q&A he gave earlier this week at a screening (bloody shame) but he tweeted that he’d be on some chatshow I’ve never heard of – Kevin Pollak.
As it turns out this is a low-budget, Internet-only chatshow that makes me want to call a few mates, drive up to Hollywood and completely overhaul because there have been some interesting guests but the format is painful. Kevin, bless him, needs an audience to be funny (plus there is a reason canned laughter tracks exist) and he is a truly dreadful interviewer, but if you press play on the show (embedded above) and come back 17 minutes and 20 seconds later you’ll find Eddie Izzard giving a really interesting interview.
Far from going off on his surreal semi-structured humour bursts, Eddie Izzard was actually in a relaxed and chatty frame of mind. I’ve no doubt that having watched a documentary about his rise he had been pondering about his life and existence and clearly had some thoughts running through his head.
What came out though was what a smart, driven person Eddie is. He has retained copyright on his DVDs (he did accounting exams), he carefully and methodically approached his career of choice, he has interesting insights into his profession. And he was clearly willing to talk about personal details: the death of his mother when he was six which, apparently, the film goes into in some detail and is the main driver in Eddie’s life; and the fact that he had had a relationship with the film’s director.
I really wish it had been me interviewing him because he was relaxed, in a small room and willing to open up. It’s rare that such a practiced and polished performer is willing to let his guard down that much. Anyway, we shall never know. It does make me want to get into Internet video though – and do a really professional journalistic job of interviewing interesting people.
Eddie Izzard’s film Believe is at Laemmle’s Sunset 5 cinema on Sunset until Thursday and then it moves to New York. Initial reviews have been very positive.