Elize du Toit

Elize of Life

SOURCE: Sunday Mirror M-Celebs Magazine, August 10th 2003

main_press_mceleb100803.jpgIn Hollyoaks, Elize du Toit plays posh blonde babe Izzy – but in real life she’s just a nice, down-to-earth girl not averse to flashing her pants to the paparazzi….

We’re in a huge location van driving through the exclusive narrow streets that lead up to north London’s Hampstead Heath, the setting for today’s fashion shoot. Our model, Hollyoaks actress Elize du Toit (pronounced Toy) is clearly impressed by the grand houses.
‘Ooh I want to live in Hampstead,’ she says, peering out of the windows. ‘Is it very expensive?’ Very, we tell her, and Elize’s face drops.
We park opposite a gothic mansion owned by Boy George. ‘Shall we pop in and see him?’ she jokes. ‘He was in an episode of Hollyoaks and he’s a fan of the show.’
Deciding against knocking on George’s door, Elize heads to the bedroom area of the van to change.
‘These clothes are gorgeous,’ she says, slipping into a bright orange shirt and a skimpy pair of denim shorts. ‘I’d wear these myself, although the shorts are a bit risque.’
Elize learnt the hard way that it’s not a good idea to expose too much flesh. At the Bafta Awards this year, she was photographed on the red carpet with her skirt up around her waist, revealing a very small pair of knickers. ‘I didn’t think it was that big a deal,’ she says. ‘They took loads of photos but in one shot there was a gust of wind. I laughed when I saw the photo, then I read in the papers that I’d done it on purpose. I mean, how ridiculous? I’d have worn nicer knickers for a start.’
Not much fazes this girl, who’s become used to being snapped out on the town. ‘When you’re getting into a car, photographers actually hold their cameras to the ground so they can see up your skirt. It’s awful, but part of the job, I suppose.’
Elize joined Hollyoaks three years ago. Her character Izzy is loud and precocious, but Elize is quite reserved. ‘I’m a lot more laid-back than she is,’ Elize says. ‘Sometimes I hate Izzy, she’s so irritating. But the relationship between her and Ben (Marcus Patric) is great because it’s full of sparks.’
At 5ft 10in and with incredibly long legs, Elize looks like a professional model. But when we arrive on the Heath, she nervously asks the photographer to tell her what to do. ‘You’re doing great,’ he reassures her.
‘I’m a very casual dresser and I hate feeling overdressed,’ she admits. ‘And I’m a really bad shopper – I get bored after and hour and can’t be bothered to take my clothes off to try things on, so I tend to wear jeans and little tops.’
While most women would envy Elize her figure, she says her height can cause problems. ‘When I wear heels I’m taller than a lot of guys. I quite like Heath Ledger because he’s really cute and nice and big. I like guys who are taller than me.’
Elize is rumoured to be dating co-star Nick Pickard, who plays Tony in the show, but she denies it. ‘Nick is just a friend,’ she insists. ‘I went out with Ben Hull who played Lewis, but that ended about a year ago. I’m single at the moment and quite happy.’
The Hollyoaks cast are all very close – which is just as well, considering they work a seven-day week. ‘We all hang out together because most of us aren’t from Liverpool. The nightlife there is great and people are used to seeing us around town, so we don’t get any hassle.’
Like her screen character, Elize is a sensible girl. ‘I’m quite good with money,’ she admits, and has bought her own house in Liverpool which she shares with co-star Sarah Baxendale, who plays Ellie. Originally from South Africe, Elize moved to Berkshire as a child and went to the same school as Pop Idol winner Will Young. ‘The last time I saw him was at his 18th birthday party. It would be great to see him again. He’s lovely.’
She went on to study History at Edinburgh University where, coincidentally, her fellow student was Pop Idol’s Darius Danesh. ‘Darius was in my year and we had a lot in common – we were both involved in the theatre scene up there. I hadn’t seen him until he appeared in an episode of Hollyoaks this summer. It was crazy seeing him again. Both our lives have changed so much.’
Hollyoaks is incredibly glamorous – lots of stunning blonde girls with expensive hairdos – so does Elize feel under pressure to look good? ‘Obviously you want to look pretty,’ she says. ‘But I don’t really think about it.’ But what if she wakes up with a big spot on her face? ‘That’s the make-up artist’s problem,’ she laughs.
Her Hollyoaks contract is up for renewal in September but Elize is not making plans. ‘We’ll just have to see what happens,’ she says. ‘I don’t like saying I’m ambitious because it jinxes it

9:35pm on 10th August 2003

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