Big screen beck­ons for star of stand-up

Loughborough Echo - - STAGE -

Firmly es­tab­lished as a for­mi­da­ble live act, US comic Il­iza Sh­lesinger has now set her sights on the big screen. Her next ven­ture is In­stant Fam­ily, along­side Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne. Here, she chats to

DAVE FREAK about her life and ca­reer ahead of her up­com­ing gig at Not­ting­ham’s Glee Club this month.

SET for UK re­lease in Fe­bru­ary 2019, In­stant Fam­ily is the lat­est from Daddy’s Home writer/ di­rec­tor Sean An­ders. It’s po­ten­tially a big film … but at the time of the in­ter­view, Il­iza Sh­lesinger is keep­ing the finer de­tails un­der wraps, in­clud­ing her role.

“It’s a com­edy that’s re­ally touch­ing, very heart­felt,” ex­plains Il­iza. “It’s based on the true story of the writer/di­rec­tor and he and his wife’s jour­ney in adopt­ing three children.”

“I can’t tell you about my char­ac­ter, but that’s all the more rea­son for you to come see it!” she teases. “Bring your fam­ily! Sneak your dog into the theatre!

“I think peo­ple will come for the com­edy and, hon­estly, stay for the heart of this movie. It’s awe­some, I would say that even if I wasn’t in it.”

She may not be able to re­veal much about the film it­self, but she can give us some back­stage gossip.

“I stole a lot of snacks from craft ser­vices,” she con­fesses, re­fer­ring to the team re­spon­si­ble for pro­vid­ing food and drink to the In­stant Fam­ily’s cast and crew. “Like, any­time they yelled ‘cut!’ I would fill up my pock­ets with candy and I’d look around and whis­per ‘lights, cam­era, SNACK-TION...,’ and then I’d wad­dle off.

“No one ever found out. It just feels so good to come clean...”

Raised in Dal­las, Texas, and now based in Los An­ge­les, Il­iza came to the at­ten­tion of US au­di­ences af­ter win­ning Last Comic Stand­ing in 2008, a TV com­edy/re­al­ity/ tal­ent show which, over the course of nine sea­sons, also wel­comed ap­pear­ances from such comics as Gina Yashere, Jim Tavare and Paul Foot, as well as Amy Schumer.

Since her win, Il­iza has pre­sented panel and talk shows, writ­ten a book (Girl Logic: The Genius and the Ab­sur­dity), toured a lot, and made sev­eral trips to the UK. She also ap­peared in the 2013 com­edy Par­adise, star­ring Rus­sell brand, and recorded four Net­flix spe­cials.

But it’s live, on stage, where she re­ally finds her mojo.

“I write on­stage,” she says, de­scrib­ing her cre­ative process. “It’s the only way to truly know if some­thing works, to put it out there and see what the peo­ple say.

“You can write alone all day, but with­out that feed­back of the au­di­ence then you’re just a writer, not a stand-up.

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