Elize du Toit

‘Star Challenge’

SOURCE: The Mirror, 10th August 2002

Hanging on the telephone with… Elize du Toit

Hollyoaks star Elize du Toit (pronounced doo toy) is very happy in her work. Not only does she play posh, feisty barmaid Izzy, currently snogging Tony, in real life her boyfriend is Ben Hull, who plays the dishy Dr Gary Parr in Brookside, which is filmed in the same building. We gave her a holler on the blower…

Us: What time did you get up?

Elize: I had a lie-in, it was 9.50am when I woke up. I don’t usually sleep that late. I’m lucky, I always sleep well, I dream a lot. I dreamt about a party last night. Brad Pitt was there, in his beard, and I had a little chat with him. I don’t mind facial hair, but he doesn’t look very attractive at the moment.

Us: Who was the first person you spoke to this morning?

Elize: Ben, who phoned to ask if I wanted to go to the gym. I didn’t. We’ve been together for a year. We met when he played Lewis in Hollyoaks, and knew each other for a year before we got together, just as he was leaving. It happened really naturally, and beautifully. I do prefer it like that. To get to know someone, as a friend.

Us: Where are you right now?

Elize: In an office at Mersey TV. Out of the window I can see the exterior of The Dog In The Pond, the Hollyoaks pub. It’s cosy here – most of the cast are not from Liverpool, so we spend a lot of time together. I’m from South Africa. I came to school here at 15 and lost my accent in an effort to make friends, to not be a freak.

Us: What are you wearing?

Elize: A pair of Seven jeans, and one of my little brother’s grey school shirts, from when he was about eight. It’s nice and fitted. And a pair of grey and baby blue Adidas trainers. An antique diamond and sapphire ring my parents gave me for my 16th birthday, and a platinum chain with a tiny diamond they gave me for my 18th.

Us: What’s your most recent purchase?

Elize: A Sony mini-disc music system. It was pounds 300. I paid, but Ben got it, I don’t know anything about technology. I’m quite good with money, I do save. It’s such a precarious profession. I’ve bought a 200-year-old cottage up here – a good investment, property. Like the Freud print my parents gave me for my 21st. I love it.

Us: When were you last drunk?

Elize: Oh! I don’t remember. I really enjoy a glass of wine, and I love beer, but I’m not a massive drinker. I don’t enjoy getting drunk. We work so hard as well, it’s not worth it. When I was last in South Africa, I had a Becks – my favourite – with my dad. My mother was quite shocked: `Girls drinking beer!’

Us: What’s the most recent domestic thing you’ve done?

Elize: Ironing, this morning. Since I bought my place, I’ve become quite house-proud. The only chore I can’t stand is washing dishes, everything else I really enjoy. I find ironing quite therapeutic. The best tip I ever got was, `Iron sitting down.’ A nice tall bar stool, so much less of a hassle.

Us: What was the last thing you put in your mouth?

Elize: That sounds rude! A cup of filter coffee at home, and a bowl of melon and strawberries. I’ve never been on a diet in my life. I believe in eating healthily, and eating what you want, not having issues with food. I love chocolate, I love curry, and I love Ben ‘n’ Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream. I allow myself all of that.

Us: When was the last time you had a really good snog?

Elize: Monday night. Ben is tall and fair with green eyes, and a really kind, soft, lovely face. He’s very funny, he makes me laugh an awful lot, he’s really encouraging, kind and giving. All the right things a boyfriend should be. I’m very lucky. We don’t live together – I think it’s important to have space, be independent. I’m only 22.

Us: When did you last cry?

Elize: Very recently, on the weekend. I cry a lot, probably too much. At anything. I like it, it’s a good release. With Hollyoaks, we’re under a lot of pressure, working. I’m not saying we are more than anyone else, but you can’t have a bad day. I get quite tired, emotionally exhausted. I feel loads better after. I recommend crying to anyone.

Us: What are you going to do when you hang up?

Elize: I’ve got a make-up call, then work, and tonight I’m going to see Austin Powers in Goldmember with Ben. Fun! I’ve been in Hollyoaks two years and I feel settled. I’ve got a lovely house and a nice boyfriend, I’ve had a wonderful holiday in Greece, and my parents have just bought a place in the south of France, great for little breaks. How lucky am I?

Interview by Nina Myskow

9:12pm on 10th August 2002

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