Eddie Izzard ‘would’ve been murdered in Nazi Germany’ for bravely coming out as trans

Eddie Izzard Sky News

“Trans superhero” Eddie Izzard said her latest role has brought home how lucky she is to live in modern times, explaining she ‘would have been murdered in Nazi Germany’ for coming out as trans.

The comedian and actor came out as genderfluid in December 2020 on the Sky Arts series Portrait Artist of the Year. It was the first programme where she began using she/her pronouns.

She spoke to Sky News on Saturday (20 March) about her latest film Six Minutes to Midnight, a thriller which based on real events and is set during the summer of 1939 just before the onset of World War II. Izzard said: “I consider being a trans superhero thing – I wanted to put it in a very positive light with superheroes because some people are so negative about LGBT stuff.”

She explained she’s been “out and open” since 1985, but said: “If we go back to the 1930s, if I [would haven] been in Nazi Germany, I would have been murdered for saying that I was trans.

Gay people were put in concentration camps. That’s what this extreme right-wing thinking will do.”

She said that many people might not expect her to be an action star “as someone with my history and coming out as trans way back in 1985”, but she said she really is an “action person”. Izzard added: “As people now know… I do a good deal of running in this film.”

Six Minutes to Midnight follows Thomas Miller – played by Eddie Izzard – who is hired by a private finishing school as a replacement teacher after the previous employee goes missing. Thomas soon becomes suspicious of the school’s German teacher Isle Keller against the backdrop of rising tensions between England and Germany in 1939.

Though the film is set during the rise of Nazi Germany, Izzard told Sky News she hoped the parallels between history and today’s polarised society will help prompt a “twenty-first century coming of age of humanity”.

“But I think while some people are saying: ‘Come on, let’s go backwards and go back to the 1930s and drag humanity backwards’,” Izzard said. “The rest of us are saying ‘no, live and let live’ and you know we can at least talk about this more.”

The film also stars Dame Judi Dench, Jim Broadbent and James D’Arcy.

Eddie Izzard’s new film Six Minutes To Midnight will be available on Sky Cinema and NOW TV from 26 March.