Elize du Toit

Phwoar Elize

SOURCE: Sunday Express S:2 Magazine, April 20th 2003

main_press_s20403.jpgA lucky break won Elize du Toit the role of sexy Izzy Cromwell (sic) in Hollyoaks, but talent has ensured her success – and she’s loving every minute of it, she tells Quentin Cooke.

She may have spent the past two-and-a-half years playing Hollyoaks’ upper-class crumpet Izzy Cromwell (sic), but Elize du Toit still can’t believe she’s actually on the show. “I got this job so randomly,” she says. “I was at university in Edinburgh, halfway through a four-year course, when I heard about an open audition for Hollyoaks. I went along and got the part.”

She makes it sound so simple but, in reality, some 4,000 hopefuls competed for just four roles.
Elize is delighted with the way everything has turned out. “Hollyoaks is a brilliant environment to be in. We all get on so well,” she enthuses.

Off-screen she shares a home in Liverpool with co-star Sarah Baxendale, who plays Ellie in the popular teen soap about the emotional ups and downs of Cheshire youngsters.

“We get on like a house on fire,” says Elize, whose on-screen character is known for her sharp tongue.

“I’m also really good friends with Ali Bastian (Becca Hayton), and Kate Baines, who used to play Beth.

“We work hard but, because we’re young, we all go out a lot and just hang out. When we go out in a large group, we do get a lot of attention, but you tend to tune I go out on my own, I tend to get comments shouted over, like ‘Oi, Izzy! fancy a drink?’, but I just laugh it off. I’m not anything like my character in real life. Izzy’s a lot sharper and more straight to the point than me.”

Elize says she loves nothing more than going for a night out at the movies, followed by a drink and a dance. “And now I’ve got my new-found passion – the gym,” she adds. “I’m sure that’s going to last about two weeks.”

The former student is also something of a bookworm – and none of your low-brow chick lit for her either. “At the moment I’m into Still Life by A S Byatt, who also wrote Possession,” she reveals. “It’s great.” She’s a linguist, too. Her parents emigrated from South Africa when she was small, and her first language is Afrikaans.

“I don’t get to see my brothers and sisters much,” she says. “My older brother is at Uni in South Africa and my younger sister is studying at Birmingham. I have a much younger brother, who’s 11, and he still lives at home with my parents in Berkshire, so I try to get down there as much as I can. He’s like an only child, as we’ve all grown up and moved away. He’s absolutely amazing and we get on so well – he’s a mate as well as a little brother.”

Elize, 22, has a lot of male mates on the Hollyoaks set, though she insists that any romance is out of the question right now: “No way. I’m happily single at the moment and have been since I split up with my boyfriend last summer. Anyway, I’m too young for anything serious.”

She doesn’t mind the odd love scene, though. “Sometimes it can be embarrassing, but as a rule it isn’t because we all know each other so well. It’s generally all over so quickly, and luckily it doesn’t involve tongues,” she says.

“For me, it would be a lot worse having to appear in my bra and knickers. I wouldn’t like that. And while my parents don’t mind the short skirts and things I have to wear, I don’t think they particularly liked the Hollyoaks bikini shoot we all did…”

While Elize’s family might wish we were seeing a little less of her, the reality is that she’s one starlet we’re likely to see a lot more of. So does she believe the big screen will beckon?

“I’ve no idea what I’m going to do after Hollyoaks – I just want to keep on acting,” she says. “I’m still young and things are so good at the moment. I’m not thinking that far ahead.

“I’m really settled and happy here, and just take one day at a time. But as contracts run from September to September, we’ll just have to wait and see…”

9:28pm on 20th April 2003

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