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July 17, 2011

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Cross-dressing comedian

SINCE breaking out of Britain's comedy ranks, Eddie Izzard has carved out a strong career in Hollywood movies and TV. His HBO comedy special "Eddie Izzard: Dress to Kill" earned him two Emmy Awards, and his movie credits include the two "Ocean's Eleven" sequels.

Izzard, 49, a transvestite, is now voicing a role in animated movie "Cars 2," which opened in US movie theaters last month. He sat down to talk about his role in the film and his plans for a new career - in politics.

Q: Sir Axlerod, your character in "Cars 2," is a former oil baron who puts on a race to show off his new clean-burning fuel. Relate to him much?

A: My dad worked for an oil company and I do like business. I'm into retail. I like good merchandise and I like good ideas, so that's what I channeled in to Sir Miles Axlerod. He represents all the positive businesses like Google and Apple who try to do something different in a good way. Except he has a slight twist and an interesting aftertaste.

Q: You had your own series "The Riches" on US cable network FX and this past year appeared on the Showtime series "United States of Tara." Any plans for more television?

A: I'm developing a political drama with FX. We're working toward shooting a pilot. There are hoops you have to jump through before it gets to a series but I'm a determined bastard. I'm a transvestite that's got this far.

Q: Beyond that - films, TV, stand-up - any other long-term career goals?

A: Films are my first love. But I'm not going to back off stand-up now. And I'm going into politics in nine years.

Q: A cross-dressing politician? Gay or straight?

A: I'm not gay. I'm not even bisexual. I'm a straight transvestite. A wannabe lesbian. I wanted to be (actress) Carrie Ann Moss in "The Matrix." That was my thing. If I was a woman, I'd want to be an action transvestite, a kind of feisty girl.

Q: So, what office would lesbian transvestite politician Eddie Izzard run for?

A: I'll be mayor of London or MEP (Member of the European Parliament) or MP (Member of Parliament).

Q: Why politics?

A: I'm a radical centrist. I think most of the world is around the center of politics and that's where I want to be. I like people setting up businesses and creating wealth. I distrust the right wing and I don't like fascists. They keep rearing their heads and we fought a war to get rid of them. It should be about the people, about having a safety net and fighting to have health care for people.

Q: You've performed your stand-up shows in French. Any plans to tackle other languages in foreign countries?

A: I will do it in German, Russian and Arabic. Languages are a case of hard work and repetition. For Russia, I'll spend two months learning the language before I start the shows. I'll be in deep immersion, speaking Russian morning, noon and night.


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