Eddie Izzard tells us what it's like to play a cat

2017-03-02 05:00

Cape Town – English stand-up comedian, actor, and writer Eddie Izzard needs no introduction.

For his latest role the renowned actor plays an ageing rocker cat.

Rock Dog which releases in cinemas on Friday, 3 March is based on a Chinese graphic novel. 

The film centres on Bodi (voiced by Luke Wilson) a Tibetan Mastiff who wants to be a rock 'n roll star. To pursue his dream he leaves the snow mountains and goes in search of legendary musician Angus Scattergood (Izzard).

See the trailer here:

Initially Izzard wasn't sure about playing Angus. 

"I was going to be playing a fading rock star cat and I felt that it was a place where people have been before," said Izzard during a telephone interview. 

He continues, "I said to the director, Ash Brannan, let's give it a try and see what happens. So I went to read with Ash and we got to a good place and I thought this could actually be fun. My character is the negative against Luke's character, the positive crazy big dog that's oblivious to reality. It was actually Ash who convinced me, he let me play."

With almost 17 years of being in the entertainment industry Izzard drew upon his experience of the creative business.

"I wasn't channelling a particular person except that he was British and he was struggling, it's an amalgamation of every rock star that has been," says Izzard. 

Izzard is no stranger to animation films; his previous credits include Cars 2 and more recently The Lego Batman movie. 

What he enjoys most about the genre is that it allows him to flex his comedic abilities. 

"I don’t want to play comedy on film. I just finished a film opposite Judy Dench, she plays Queen Victoria and I am playing her son Edward. In film, drama is really what I want to do."

He continues, "For me to use my comic ability, to play and improvise its great fun and also I can do it on my own. I come up with the weirdest ad libs from the back of my mind." 

In the film his character Angus has a lot of screen time with Wilson's character Bodi.

While in Dallas, Izzard and Wilson had some booth time which hardly ever happens in animation film.

"I was doing some production there and he flew down to visit family. We bounced off each other, it was great to improvise and that doesn’t happen very much in these films as you're usually on your own," says Izzard. 

And what does he hope audiences will take away from the film?

"That they will like the idea of going for your dreams, in real life I have sort of done what Bodi did. There's this bit in the beginning of the film where Angus is doing an interview saying, 'keep going', hopefully young kids will watch it and think yeah I'm going to do that," says Izzard.

The film opens in cinemas nationwide on Friday, 3 March.

(Photos: Black Sheep Productions)

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