Eddie Izzard opens up about starring in new Doctor Jekyll with a 'fascinating' twist

Virgin Radio

12 Oct 2023, 13:49

Credit: Getty / Hammer Films

Eddie Izzard has revealed what immediately piqued her interest in leading the new Hammer horror flick, Doctor Jekyll.

Hammer Films, known for its legendary contributions to the horror genre like Dracula and The Curse Of Frankenstein, has reinvigorated Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic with Eddie playing the titular character.

In this modern take on the timeless story of double identities, Izzard brings to life Nina Jekyll, a notorious doctor who enlists the help of ex-convict Rob, played by Scott Chambers.

Little does Rob know, he's about to become entangled in a sinister master plan crafted by Nina's alter-ego, Rachel Hyde.

The world premiere of Doctor Jekyll took place last night (12th October) in London’s Leicester Square, and while chatting exclusively to virginradio.co.uk, Eddie, who also uses the name Suzy, said it was “fantastic” as a trans woman to play a trans character, but is glad there was so much more to the story, including a rather unique twist.

She told us: “The fact that a trans character does not impinge upon the story, I just happened to be trans. It was open gender casting that we did, but it's the fact that in each scene, people will not be able to tell who is actually driving the frame of this person. My body, is it Nina or is it Rachel in charge? 

“Rather than a massive body change, which in the olden days is how people did, now it's more you can't tell who is running the game. That's a fascinating place to go,” she added. 

Following on the legacy of Hammer Films was something Eddie certainly took on board after the team joined halfway through production, and for the stand-up star, she’d rather be starring in some spooky stories than watching them. 

She continued: “I have done horror before in the TV series Hannibal with Mads Mikkelsen playing someone who was a serial killer so I have been to those places, but I find it kind of easier to be in horror films than to watch horror films, especially when they get very dark. 

“Hopefully, I think some of this makes people laugh in a positive way as well, and some of it is very dark as well.”

The unwitting assistant Rob is played by Chicken actor Scott Chambers, who only had high praise for his "amazing" co-star.

Life on set often involved a lot of improvising, much to the surprise of Scott, who told virginradio.co.uk: "When we're in certain scenes, a lot of improv comes out. I love improv, it's one of my favourite things to do. To just react to what is going on and be truly in the moment. She's very gifted, and I'm very lucky to work with her."

Doctor Jekyll is set to hit UK cinemas on October 27th.