Eddie Izzard didn't worry about being upstaged by a parrot in Treasure Island but he was determined the film wouldn't be "parrot-centric".
The actor plays famed pirate Long John Silver in the TV movie, which is an adaptation of the famous book by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Eddie has a parrot on his shoulder in many of his scenes, something which was hard to handle at times.
"It was curious. I wasn't worried about being upstaged by the parrot, but I didn't want to get too parrot-centric. Parrots have to act into the wind... Because bird feathers move backwards on their body, if there's a big breeze coming up the wrong way, the wind blows all the feathers the wrong way, so they will turn around and face into the wind," he explained. "That was a practical problem. If you started turning, he would turn with you and, in the end, he'd be facing backwards while you were talking forwards, and that just looked bizarre. I'm sure that if you were really a pirate, you wouldn't worry about it, but in the camera, it looked bonkers."
Another issue was that parrots are very tactile and quickly become fond of people. So as much as Eddie loved his feathered companion, he had to be careful not to let the bird know that.
He feared the movie would become all about them if he wasn't too careful.
"You have to be positive and confident with them, but not friendly. You can't be friendly. If you're too friendly with them, then they get to like you and then they won't leave you," he told Collider. "It's a slightly fine line, acting with parrots. I was happy to be in a number of scenes with them, but I didn't want them to just take over the film."
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