Eddie Izzard immediately said "yes" when he was offered a role in 'Victoria and Abdul' because he couldn't say "no" to director Stephen Frears.
The 55-year-old actor-and-comedian stars as Queen Victoria's son and heir to the throne Bertie in the new movie by British filmmaker Frears, and Izzard admitted he would have played any part in the film simply because he admires the director and all-star cast so much.
Speaking exclusively to BANG Showbiz at the UK premiere of 'Victoria and Abdul' at London's Odeon cinema in Leicester Square on Tuesday (05.09.17), he said: "Stephen Frears asked me if I would play Bertie, and if he asks you to do something you say yes. Whether it was a blade of grass or a spear carrier, you say yes. I liked that I got to go toe-to-toe with Dame Judi Dench, Sir Michael Gambon and Timothy Pigott-Smith, all these great actors together. This is high level of craftsmanship. I was a street performer in Covent Garden so to be here is amazing. Talk about working your way up the ladder."
Although coming from a comedy background, the character of Bertie - who became Edward VII - is somewhat seen as the villain in the movie but Izzard revealed he always wanted to be a dramatic actor.
He said: "The comedy has nothing to do with it. When I was a kid I wanted to be a dramatic actor so playing interesting and diverse characters is what I enjoy. Bertie just wants to be king. There is a moment between them at the end of the movie, which is all true, so you are looking for different colours and a different reality to lock it down and bring people in on it. He starts off somewhat light in the script, but he gets darker and darker as it goes on and that's an interesting journey."
'Victoria and Abdul' stars Dame Judi Dench as Queen Victoria and Ali Fazal as Abdul Karim and follows the story of the unlikely friendship between the two.