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Interview: Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver from The Riches

Interview: Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver from The Riches

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In The Riches, Izzard and Driver play Wayne and Dahlia Malloy, Irish Travellers from rural Louisiana. In season one, Wayne, Dahlia and their three children broke all ties from their community when an unfortunate auto accident provided them the opportunity to assume the identity of a deceased, wealthy and “normal” family. Seduced by the idea of a bigger life as “H. Douglas and Cherien Rich” and armed with the keys to a new house in a posh neighborhood, the Malloys soon found suburban life more twisted and challenging that any of their previous stings.

We had the honor of sitting down with Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver to discuss the upcoming season and how the writers’ strike affected the series. Here’s what they had to say:

I’m wondering what you would say about what did doing just seven episodes mean to the season? What did it mean to the storytelling?

E. Izzard: Well, obviously, it’s seven episodes because of the strike. I think the writers were obviously aware of this beforehand, and so we built a sort of cliffhanger halfway through the season. So it really didn’t hurt us in any way. I think they’re seven very strong episodes. The first season, if you watched it all the way through the tone does move around somewhat. The second season, we just sort of knew where we were going, we locked down, we got on the railway lines, and we just went full steam ahead. So I think it makes it like a tighter punch, and we’re coming out now. It’s a great time to come out, because there’s a lot of stuff normally out on television, not all of it is back on television. So we’re very happy to come out, do seven, and give it a big smack in the face.

M. Driver: Yes, I agree with that. It’s true. Everybody got hammered by the strike. And whilst we all support the writers, I would have loved to have done a full season. I don’t think the show suffered. I think it’s going to leave the audience wanting more, which is a really good way to end a season at all, and the addition of Jared Harris to our cast I think has added a kind of weight and a danger that’s really fantastic.

Do you think a viewer could start the second season without having seen any of the first season?

M. Driver: I honestly think that condensed trailer that you get at the beginning of any new season is enough to fill you in on where you’re at. And really, if you just read a blurb that says, “A couple of con artists and their kids trying to steal the American dream, move into a rich neighborhood in Louisiana,” you’re kind of good to go. I mean, I think that’s what’s wonderful about our show is that you can explain it really quickly, it’s high concept, and the characters are very immediate. And certainly, we pick up literally 15 seconds after where we left off at the end of season one, so you’re coming straight in, in a really dramatic place. I don’t know, I think people will just jump on.

Eddie, You were talking about the tone of last season kind of jumping around. How would you place the tone this season and how did you find that tone?

E. Izzard: I think the tone is more locked down. We went through this tone in last season. I think we ended up at the end of the season with this tone. It’s somewhat darker. Some of the episodes in the first season were slightly funnier, and they’re not, the funny comes out at very dry and bizarre circumstances in this season. It’s a drama with some quirky things going on in it. It’s just very sure and it’s dark and compelling, and it’s a train ride. So, yes, I loved that, and I think Minnie did as well. We liked where it was going the second season.

M. Driver: Yes.

E. Izzard: We’re keen to go on through the ninth season.

It seems like there’s a cliffhanger at the end of or during every episode. I mean, at every moment, it looks like they’re about to be found out. I mean, it seems like it’s just frantic that way, that they’re about to be discovered.

M. Driver: We’re serializing the show more this season and I think engaging and keeping an audience in a different way. And you really do, do that by there being a cliffhanger at the end of every episode. The noose is definitely tightening. That’s what this whole second season is about. If it’s a bad scene, we get away with it in the first season. Now, the more successful we get, the more desperate and dangerous it becomes. The truth, or what that means to each of us, is really at the center of this whole season, and it does lead to a dramatic ending at the end of every show.

I don’t know if I should ask what happens, but it seems like you’ve got parallel stories, at least in the first couple of episodes where you’re splitting apart. Is that sustained or …?

E. Izzard: I think the whole family is actually kind of somewhat exploding, and there’s a worry that does it take everyone in different directions and you’re not really focused on the show, but it doesn’t seemed to happen that way. So, yes, we are all sort of driving off in somewhat different directions in our brains and in actuality.

Even though this is going to be a seven episode season, are there any notions of doing a quick turnaround and launching into a third season well ahead of schedule?

E. Izzard: That’s an FX kind of question really.

M. Driver: Yes.

E. Izzard: The network have their decisions based upon, they talk to the Oracle in Greece, and …

M. Driver: Turkey, …

E. Izzard: Yes.

M. Driver: … we might get picked up, we might not.

E. Izzard: John Landgraf is very passionate about this, and so we’re very happy to be at FX. But they’ve obviously got things to bear in mind, but from our point of view we’re going on.

M. Driver: Abso-bloody-lutely. I mean, if it were just up to us and Dmitry Lipkin we’d be working every day of the year.

E. Izzard: We think through the line, at the pilot I was getting that they wanted to toast season four. So we constantly think through this thing all the way to a future end. So whether anyone wants it or not, we’re still here, we’re going the full length.

Well with that in mind, you’re kind of alluding to that, but do you have a notion of how this is playing out over the next few seasons?

E. Izzard: Having been in on one big group meeting; it’s all ideas and theories and maybes, and nothing really gets locked down until we actually shoot it, like minutes before we’re shooting we’re fine tuning things. But the writers, nothing is nailed to the floor, but it is this big long journey of how far can we steal the American dream.

M. Driver: Yes, and neither should it be nailed down. I think it would be incredibly inflexible and boring if it were, because it leaves no room for life and spontaneity and an idea born in a moment. It doesn’t leave any room to have an impact. And I think that’s what so great about Dmitry and Dawn and Nicole and Wendy and the rest of the guys, is that they’re inspired by the moment. I mean they have sort of rough outlines. I think that scares networks, frankly. They’d love to have it locked down in a tiny box so they could look at it and say, “This is what it’s going to be.” But the reality is that it’s organic and it’s constantly evolving, and there’s stuff that Ed will say or that I’ll say or the kids will say that will change an idea of plot line or story line … they want to incorporate that, so it’s more fluid.

Minnie, I watched the four episodes that were sent to us for the second season, and I have to say your scenes with your parole officer and also with your war of conscience are really wonderful. I’m wondering if Dahlia is going to continue opening up and growing and kind of getting out of her closed off ways, or if we’re going to see more of her trying to break out of this Traveller’s mindset?

M. Driver: Well, I think it’s like a Pandora’s box, and probably with all of the characters, but from my point of view with Dahlia, yes, she’s led by the truth, or her version of the truth, in this season and wanting to kind of cleanse herself of all of the deceit. She wants to be this new person, but I don’t think she has any idea of who the old person is. So wanting to be somebody new presents a huge challenge, and it’s very interesting and very kind of psychologically challenging to follow her down this rabbit hole. But she definitely continues to expand, like all the characters, in sometimes an incredibly destructive way and sometimes she blossoms. It’s wild. It’s very cool.

Eddie, your scenes especially with Hugh Panetta and Gregg Henry are hilarious. I was wondering how many takes it took to get the mojo scene, when you were trying to explain your theory on the mojo.

E. Izzard: That actually wasn’t too many takes, that just seemed to lock in, and that’s only three or four takes. It’s quite a fine thing because there’s an element of my thing where I can go up and both make things up in a second, which maybe is useful in The Riches. A lot of it isn’t, because it’s too weird and surreal, and that one seemed to be an interesting scene where I could just sort of just go off slightly on a tangent and I seemed to reach some things which sort of fit without sounding too bizarro. So, yes, it’s great working with Gregg. Gregg just gives so much out of scenes that you’re not expecting it from him. He just comes back like a train. So it’s great working with him.

I really love the relationship between Wayne and Dahlia, and I was wondering how it’s all going to evolve in season two?

E. Izzard: Yes. Well at the moment it’s heading towards a sort of train wreck, and we won’t wreck the train. I’ve always thought that their ambition is similar, because they’re quite different people, but they’ve got this ambition thing. They kind of want it all and in different ways. And I think that’s going to keep them together, and there’s a love that’s underneath it. They’re both lost children as well, so that …

M. Driver: Yes, yes very much. They’ve been so much a unit and suddenly they’re getting a taste of what it is to be, to exist separate from this nucleus. And whilst that’s obviously an integral part of being a human being, it is definitely what they discover about each other stuff to tear them apart. So it’s kind of interesting. It’s like they’re choosing the individual over the whole in this season. They’re choosing to kind of explore their own territory and believe that they are right, you know. What’s that great thing about, I think it was my mom who said that great thing, she’s like, “In a relationship, what do you want to do, do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?”

E. Izzard: I think we’re trying to be right.

M. Driver: And we’re trying to be right, exactly.

E. Izzard: We’re trying to be right at this point.

M. Driver: Yes.

How did you create that relationship between Wayne and Dahlia? Did you guys know each other before or how did that work out?

E. Izzard: We went to a laboratory and we worked for many months.

M. Driver: On a formula.

E. Izzard: On a formula, yes. No, chemistry just sort of exists or not. I think there are distinct elements of Minnie in Dahlia, and distinct elements of me in Wayne, and so it’s probably two people just coming together and …

M. Driver: We’re just really sure of our corners, you know. When Ed is really sure, and we’ll talk about it beforehand, like where’s he coming from and where’s Dahlia coming from. As long as everyone’s really clear about what line they’re holding, because then you just put them in the ring and see what happens. But as actors, we sort of try and get clear about it, don’t we, beforehand, and then just go at it and see what happens.

E. Izzard: And we will fight our corners like crazy.

M. Driver: Yes. We both passionately believe that our characters are right.

It seems that Dale is becoming a part of their con, but how is this going to work out?

E. Izzard: It’s a tricky question. When you’re asking writing questions, it’s a little tricky for us because we contribute as much as we can think or would like to, and the writers are happy with that. But the writers did actually, because of the writers strike, close down their minds.

M. Driver: They did. We couldn’t ring them about nothing.

E. Izzard: No, we couldn’t ring them. They didn’t want to think about it. They just had to do it to be strong with the WGA. So we don’t know, and I would be very interested to know.

M. Driver: I really do. I think that Dale is such an interesting and amazing character, and they’ve written him right into the heart of suddenly this … pack that he has with Wayne. I don’t have really anything to do with them this season, which has made me sad, because I love working with Todd Stashwick. I really love working with him, but I think we’re going to be seeing a lot more of him.

What’s the most challenging part of portraying these characters for you both?

E. Izzard: For me, I think there’s a technical thing, I’m still catching up on dealing with all this stuff that’s around me, these cameras, trying to push them back in your mind so that you’re sitting in the moment and not worrying, and you have to not worry about all these 100-150 people standing around you wanting you to do this right. Having done so much time on stage, I just ignore everything else, and then suddenly there’s all this stuff, and that is probably my most challenging thing is learning to just push that back, ignore, and be in the moment, and just relax and get on with it.

M. Driver: I think I just get so emotionally wound up by this character, by where she’s coming from, where she’s so high octane, 99% of the time. It can become super inflammatory – you know she’s just a huge character and I definitely get exhausted, but also get very over emotional, which is a challenge. You kind of exhaust yourself and exhaust the people around you as well. So I think that’s probably the hardest part of playing Dahlia.

With each of the characters they seem to be kind of getting cornered more and more like rats. Are we going to see a little bit of an ease up on their situation, they’re going to get a little bit more lucky breaks or is it going to get worse as the season goes along?

E. Izzard: Well, I’d say since they haven’t written the rest of the season I would assume that it’s just going to keep ramping up, and then there will be some turn at some point. It’s really difficult to fathom this, because it’s just conjecture, but logically it’s just going to keep piling it on and then around episode 8, 9, 10, 11, it’s going to turn and go somewhere else, and then we’ll have a cliffhanger. But it’s difficult for us to say more than that, because no one knows. It is weird that we get to this place.

M. Driver: I don’t think it’s going to get any easier.

E. Izzard: Yes.

M. Driver: If there are easy moments, it’ll sort of be like being in the eye of the storm. There will be pockets, but they won’t be really what’s going on.

E. Izzard: I can tell you what’s going to happen for the next seven seasons, which is that this is just going to keep ramping up and up and up and we’re just going to keep stealing more of the American dream, and the stakes will just get higher and higher.

M. Driver: Yes.

E. Izzard: It’s got to go there. That’s our place to go. How that will actually turn out, we don’t know, but it’s going to be that crazy ride.

A theme early on this season seems to me that everyone has their price, and in the … they end up returning to Edenfall for their $13 million dollars in Hugh’s deal. Is that their price, and what do you think that says about the characters?

E. Izzard: I think it’s Wayne’s price. At $13 million, you could actually say a bazillion million, it’s just more than he’s ever fathomed.

M. Driver: We had a lot of discussions about this, didn’t we… I mean, we all come back, but there is clearly Cal doesn’t want to come back. I don’t really want to go back at all. Wayne wants to go back, and this is our first fatal flaw, in a way. It’s like this is the first time that we’ve shown ourselves to be, I don’t know… like it’s the first chink in the armor to me, not the killing of the people in the first …

E. Izzard: We never really meant to kill any of these people. But I do think …

M. Driver: You see him, you see that Wayne, something is different in Wayne, like you see this slight …

E. Izzard: The end justifies the means. I think he really feels that if we get just this, there’s only one chance of getting this and this is it. And maybe in the future it will turn out, though it isn’t the only chance, but at this point I think this is the only chance and he’s willing to burn the family to get it.

M. Driver: Yes, to get it.

E. Izzard: With an idea that after he’s got it …

M. Driver: He’ll put it back together.

E. Izzard: He’ll put the family back together.

M. Driver: But it’s a really Machiavellian idea, it’s the first time you’ve seen again Wayne operating outside of the unit. He’s doing something for the good of the family, but it’s not a familial decision. It’s something that he’s decided. I think that is a huge turning point. I think it says a lot that we go along with it. It says a lot about Wayne, but it’s really to me the first moment. It’s setting up the season, because you’re basically going to see that spiritual and moral compunction unit come under even more fire, or you’re going to see kind of the true expression of who these people are I think this season, and I think it begins with that $13 million.

Getting back to the question of noose tightening, one of the things that I think people who aren’t grifters always assume is that there is a different kind of mindset, and that maybe, I’ve always thought that maybe those people actually sleep better than I do, and yet it seems as if they’re always on the edge and it’s making them nervous. Are they undergoing some changes that would make them feel like there’s more at stake?

M. Driver: Well, I don’t think they sleep well at night. I really don’t. I think that they are taking a huge gamble. I mean everything is on the line. From Dahlia’s point of view, she could go back to jail in two seconds flat. Her kids could be taken away. Wayne could go to jail, I mean, will go to jail if he gets caught. And there is now a dead person involved in all of this. Everything has gotten …

E. Izzard: … two.

M. Driver: … two, yes, exactly.

E. Izzard: We argue this on the set. Then Minnie mentions there’s a dead person, okay, there’s three dead people.

M. Driver: Three dead people. They don’t count the first two dead people. They don’t count.

E. Izzard: … , because we would be down for murder for the first two, even though we say it’s nothing to do with us.

M. Driver: They would pin it on us.

E. Izzard: Sure the police, they would pin it on us.

M. Driver: Yes.

E. Izzard: Because we wouldn’t have left fingerprints, well we didn’t have gloves, I don’t know.

M. Driver: I don’t know how there was ever a scene of like us waking up in the morning, because I don’t know how they’ve ever gone to bed the night before, truly.

They are more daring than the average American, who never thinks of coloring outside the lines. Most people never even think of coloring outside the lines, and these guys have taken over somebody else’s life. Is there a difference in their personality or have they just become as scared as everybody else?

E. Izzard: Oh no, I think this happens all over America. There’s a weird thing with The Riches that when it first came up people said, “This is strange to believe, can we believe this story?” And then there was that story of a guy who kidnapped a kid and he was working at a pizza place, and then they found there was another kid that he’d already kidnapped, and these kids were going to school; crazy stories happening in America, in Europe …

M. Driver: Crazy stuff.

E. Izzard: … right at the moment, an Austrian girl was seven years living in …

M. Driver: Living with that guy.

E. Izzard: In a cupboard.

M. Driver: I think that that’s one of the things like America likes to look at itself as this kind of straightforward picket fence ideal, when the reality of what’s going on is much rarer than that, and it’s much stranger. And I think we are fictionalizing an element of kind of Americana that people don’t want to think about, which is that I think a ton of people are coloring outside of the lines, they just maybe don’t want to admit it. And here we are kind of admitting it and going, you know what, this is literally what we do for a living and we’ve got a taste for it.

E. Izzard: Identity theft is here and probably here to stay.

M. Driver: Yes, exactly.

Well, I guess the impression I always get is identity thieves are probably calmer than people who are lying in bed at night worrying that somebody is going to steal their identity, and this suggests that no, everybody’s nervous.

M. Driver: Yes.

E. Izzard: Yes. Yes, I think that’s true. The only calm people are astronauts.

E. Izzard: Was that a left turn?

M. Driver: The only calm people are astronauts.

Eddie, do your comedy fans, I’m a huge comedy fan of yours, are they shocked by your character? Did they expect something when you came out with this series, and then like are they like “Wow, what’s this character you’re playing?” Do they always expect you to be funny?

E. Izzard: No, I don’t think so. I mean, I’ve been training them – I did Broadway, and generally in some pieces or with television I’ve done in Britain I’ve been trying to do dramatic work. So even though my standup is kind of weird and surreal and this isn’t that, I don’t think they’re surprised. I’m meeting people who said, “I saw The Riches and someone told me you did standup.” So …

N. Rajabi You go in the back door in your comedy audience.

E. Izzard: I think everyone’s sort of up to speed. I already put out that signal and so they knew about that.

Minnie, you’ve done so many successful movies, how do you like working in television versus … screen, is it faster?

M. Driver: It’s much faster, yes, my God, it is much, much faster. In a movie, you’re lucky if you shoot a page a day, and we’re shooting like eight pages a day. It’s a very fast pace. I just love this character. I don’t really care too much about the medium, I just want to really do good work, and she’s the best part I’ve ever had. So I kind of set myself to whatever’s going to accommodate me getting to act in the best that I can, and I love it. I absolutely love having a regular paycheck. I love going to work everyday. I love knowing when I can plan a vacation for the first time in my entire adult life. It’s just … Maybe I’m just getting old, but I couldn’t work as hard as I do, because it is eight times the work that a movie is, I couldn’t do it if I didn’t love this character in the show as much as I do, because it is so hard. I don’t know how people that are stuck on TV shows that they have no respect for and they don’t really like, … it would be the end of the world. …

Last season we saw a couple members of the family really move away from the Travellers lifestyle, especially Di Di and Sam. I don’t know how that kind of split in the family is going to widen this season or how we’ll be seeing that affect the family.

M. Driver: Well, it sort of gets a bit bigger than that. What’s different this season is it’s not so much about either going back to being a Traveller or staying and exploring being a buffer, it’s really about the stuff within each of these characters that is going to blow the family apart. The choices that they’re making, kind of emotionally that have an impact on the rest of the family. We’re definitely all going our own way in this season. So people are sort of moving towards what it is they want to create more of. Every single character is doing this.

What did you guys do like during the strike to kind of fill the time, fill the void?

E. Izzard: We did knitting.

M. Driver: … crosswords.

E. Izzard: Yes, we just sat around the campfire. We all went to the travel camp …

M. Driver: We just sat around and played songs.

E. Izzard: … Minnie can gig and I could gig.

M. Driver: Yes.

E. Izzard: And then just generally hanging around loitering with intent.

M. Driver: Exactly.

E. Izzard: It’s a criminal thing, but …

M. Driver: Ed was doing his standup all over the world. I was doing my music …

E. Izzard: I went to the city where I was born, which was happily my first time in 45 years.

M. Driver: Wow.

Eddie, what is your character’s beef with Wayne about? Can you divulge that?

E. Izzard: He stole my pencil a long time ago. We don’t know.

M. Driver: We don’t know, do we?

E. Izzard: This hasn’t been nailed, but this is out of my head and how I have the back story written in my head, is that they were the firmest of friends. They were as tight as could be. They’re almost brothers, and it went very, very bad for some reason. I don’t know quite what it is. But that’s what I think and that’s why I think it’s so bad, because they were very, very close.

M. Driver: I like that.

E. Izzard: It’s weird when we’re inside and people say, “What happens next,” and we’re going …

M. Driver: Tell them, “We don’t know.”

E. Izzard: And the writers go, “We don’t know.” And it’s quite amazing, it’s like getting in a car and you know and just going, “Oh we don’t know what’s around the corner.”

M. Driver: Yes, or if you’re going to crash.

What difference does it makes where you’re shooting it. Could you soak up more atmosphere in the south than you could in southern California or does it make any difference?

E. Izzard: It would be great on the atmosphere.

M. Driver: Logistically, it’s just tricky.

E. Izzard: Yes, we couldn’t get the insurance for how we were doing it down there, and it just ended up being up here. It’s all budgets and all this kind of weird stuff going on.

M. Driver: Yes.

E. Izzard: And we have real problems that we have to keep avoiding mountains.

M. Driver: Yes, we have to keep avoiding palm trees and mountains here. When you give up on atmosphere, you realize you kind of when it really comes down to it, it is a fantastic backdrop and it does, but I think you tend to feel it more in a movie. You know what I mean, it’s like Dexter. Dexter shoots in Miami, right? Didn’t they shoot that whole thing in Miami, and you sort of, you have this whole flavor, but it doesn’t make him any more or less genius. I don’t know, it’s like a nice flavor to have, but it’s the one thing that you can kind of do without if the show is really good.

During the writer’s strike you couldn’t ask the writers any questions. That’s a pretty unusual thing.

M. Driver: Yes, we had no contact with these people at all, I mean, it’s weird.

E. Izzard: Yes. It was unusual for normal circumstances, but I think that’s what everyone did in the strike, anyone who was continuing just couldn’t talk to their writers. They were very firm about it, but they worked it out. They locked those scripts down as good as they could before they left.

M. Driver: We changed stuff, like we would change words, because normally if you changed anything you know you’ll be involving them. But seeing as we couldn’t do that, I mean it felt like we were rewriting whole chunks of dialogue but it was weird though, there were moments where I so wanted to ask one of them, “What the hell did you mean by this?” And you just had to figure it out.

E. Izzard: We lost an edge of the flexibility of tuning that you get when you get down to the wire.

M. Driver: Yes, exactly. But weirdly, I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but we managed to do it without them. …

It sounds like you had a little freedom in being able to interpret it the way you wanted to in some cases.

E. Izzard: Well, no, I think they give us a lot of freedom and at times they may have big arguments, and then you know …

M. Driver: It’s rare that when we’re on the set when the writers are around that you have a big spat about because everyone’s pretty much on the same page.

E. Izzard: I think you’ve got to work it out beforehand that you just can’t …

M. Driver: There’s no time.

E. Izzard: Yes, yes.

Have you had any discussions after it’s all been shot and saying, yes, you did do that the way, now that you can talk to them, have you talked about how you ended up doing some scenes where you had some questions?

E. Izzard: They seemed to be happy enough. There were certain executives who weren’t running executives who were working on it who the writers trusted, and so I think everyone seems to be happy about how it’s turned out. And happy is quite an important word, even though it sounds kind of simple, if people are not happy then they do say it and they do …

M. Driver: Yes, yes, yes.

Do you ever have people coming up to you who might recognize you from the show who might be in this line of business, who might be Travellers and say, “Hey, you know, you’re doing it right,” or “Hey, you might think about doing this, this way?”

E. Izzard: Well, I’ve interacted once, but they just took a photograph of me, and …

M. Driver: I’ve been yelled at in e-mail.

E. Izzard: Really?

M. Driver: Portraying. Yes, portraying, actually on MySpace. I have a music MySpace page, and I’ve gotten some e-mails from purported Travellers saying that we’re doing such a huge disservice portraying them as con people, and I literally couldn’t help writing back to them, “But you are.”

E. Izzard: It’s like saying there are a number of Italian people in the Mafia, and Italian-Americans, the number of Italian-Americans who are completely legitimate are probably the majority. We’re just portraying one family who happen to be Travellers. And it’s just because there’s not a lot of media about Travellers, everyone’s thinking well, this is all about everyone.

M. Driver: And the media that there has been has been about that woman and the kid and of thievery …

E. Izzard: So, you know, the Mafia doesn’t mean that all Italian-Americans are in the Mafia, you just …

M. Driver: But it does mean they all eat spaghetti.

So there are Travellers that are okay or that are not thieves?

E. Izzard: We haven’t gone around and met them all, but yes, they just love …

M. Driver: It’s not like we can find out a whole lot of stuff about this, but there had to be a certain amount of poetic license taken. When people write e-mails going, why oh why oh why did you do this so completely wrong, and it’s like because you wouldn’t tell us how to do it. It’s a very closed society. It’s very hard to get any true information. And we cobbled together with Dmitry cobbled together really great ideas from Irish Travellers.

E. Izzard: But we also had it from certain sources of people who dealt with people who were doing stuff that was somewhat illegal.

M. Driver: Yes, exactly.

E. Izzard: And that was what we were looking for, but this is about one family of Travellers and we’re not even a typical family of Travellers, because we’re going off to do a very crazy thing, which …

M. Driver: And I’m actually English and so are you.

E. Izzard: Yes, but it is about outsiders becoming inside, so trying to get inside, and so with most of us in the family are actually not Americans. And Shannon is American, but she’s from Florida and that was Spanish in the 1600’s.

Do each of you have like maybe a dream actor that you’d like to … cast for season three?

E. Izzard: I want Sean Connery to play a role.

M. Driver: … , yes, fantastic.

E. Izzard: Yes, … but he’s quite keen on decent money. Our money is kind of we’ll pay you in breadsticks.

M. Driver: I want Helen Mirren. I want Helen Mirren to be my half sister. Oh, God, I’d do anything to work with her.

E. Izzard: We’re just going to go for a massive star casting and have everyone turn us down. It’s just because we do pay in breadsticks and M&M’s.

M. Driver: We pay in Eddie’s one-liners. … for dinner and then you’ll get.

E. Izzard: And then say, “Hey, that looks like a pig.”

Do you think Dahlia and Wayne have any problems with the way, like with any qualms about the way they’re raising their kids? And just one little thing to add to that, how are they so loving and accepting of them, which I think is fun, I think it’s good, of Sam of the kind of transgender kid or transvestite kid?

E. Izzard: Well, transgender is the group, and transvestite transsexual is part of transgender, these are my definitions. I think Dahlia is more accepting of Sam.

E. Izzard: Wayne is saying okay as long as you’re happy. And what I’m doing with Wayne is I’m channeling what my father said to me about … and this whole thing … as long as you’re happy.

And you guys kind of have enough stuff to worry about without worrying about that I guess as The Riches.

E. Izzard: I suppose so, but I think the latest taken from Dahlia, it comes and it’s also the way Minnie played that. I think the writers picked up in the way that you [Minnie] were to Sam … I think he’s just saying I should follow the line, there’s some part of him that says that you should love your children before you start judging them.

Do they have any qualms like about how they’re raising their other kids, like do they think that it’s going to be like harmful for their future? Do they wish they could settle some place and actually meet somebody to marry, instead of having to worry about running off, or how could you think they’d deal with that? How that affects their kids?

M. Driver: Oh, you know, you’ve got to say that the bottom line with these people is that they just want to love their kids. I mean, they can just teach them what they know. They want them to know where they come from, particularly Wayne, wants to give them every opportunity to be whatever they want to be. I mean, it’s very unorthodox. It’s very different, a conventional idea of parenting, but I think love is the cornerstone of any parenting, and in that department they’re unfailing in their devotion to their children.

Out of all the episodes that you’ve done for this season coming up, which one is your favorite or was your favorite to film?

M. Driver: I’m confused about the numbers now, but it was the one, it’s the penultimate episode where there’s a huge ’70s costume party that Nina throws for her husband’s birthday, and so much goes down at this party. Pretty much the whole episode takes place in her house at this party, and there’s drugs, there’s death, there’s sex, there’s kind of destruction, and revelation, and it was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done as an actor. I enjoyed it so much and it was such hard work, but it was like shooting a movie, it really was. It was like shooting a movie in a week. It was outrageous. I loved that.

E. Izzard: Yes, yes, I liked that one.

M. Driver: Yes, it was awesome.

Is the series in Britain, is it in Australia, and if so, how is it being received?

E. Izzard: Yes, it’s in Britain, Australia, Canada. It’s kind of like it is in America, it’s getting really good reviews. We’re building up audiences. Obviously it’s coming from a different network, so I’m not sure quite what side the networks they are in all these different countries, but yes, it’s a pretty similar reaction to what it is in America.

I can’t even imagine what a fun set you all must have between the two of you and the other wonderful people involved. I wanted to ask if there were any funny moments or anecdotes from stuff that you could talk about.

E. Izzard: I never know on the funny moments.

M. Driver: You know, it’s so terrific, because we do have a really good time. Most of the funny moments I found come with the crew who is there as these kind of passive observers. They’re always catching, well, the camera crew is always catching, me looking at myself in the camera lens and doing my hair. I’m forgetting it’s not a mirror.

E. Izzard: There was a gag reel, which I think is on the first season DVD, and it is a fantastic gag reel of all the stuff that’s kind of where our brains are. I think most of the time we’re trying not to get killed by the road that’s between where our trailers are …

M. Driver: Exactly, and our studio.

E. Izzard: And the studio. There’s a road that I think, Minnie didn’t you get the pedestrian crossing put in.

M. Driver: Yes. Between where our base camp is, where our trailers are, you have to cross a road to get to the studio, and it’s one of those roads that people drive a million miles an hour. I’ve literally stopped traffic. I’ve basically been in next to nothing, like in a night dress with my boobs hanging out, and someone will be driving really, really fast.

M. Driver: And I’ll start yelling, “Would you stop driving your car so fast,” as Dahlia. But, yes, they’ve now put in speed bumps.

E. Izzard: Oh, they’ve got speed bumps there. Yes. So …

M. Driver: So that’s pretty funny.

E. Izzard: Yes, we worked it out with the coffee truck that goes on every morning and the last thing at night on the Friday, not Friday nights but, yes.

M. Driver: That’s fun. About funny things, you start busy working. It’s weird. You’re in such a state of tiredness and hysteria most of the time it’s hard to separate out what is and what you maybe think was really funny.

Interview By: Emma Loggins

Emma Loggins Emma Loggins is the Editor in Chief of FanBolt. She updates daily on the latest entertainment news, her opinions on current happenings in the media, screening/filming opportunities, inside scoops and more.  She’s been writing on the world of geekdom and pop culture since 2002!

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