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23 Sep

Idris Elba On How Fatherhood Helped Him Fight An

Idris Elba is not any stranger to motion and thrills. But for his latest movie, BEAST, the actor got to tap into his own experiences as a father to make the stress come to life.

BEAST follows the plight of the recently widowed Dr. Nate Samuels on a healing tour to a South African game reserve along with his two daughters, Norah and Meredith. On a mission to spend quality time together and repair ongoing family issues, things take a turn for the family when a lion begins to stalk them across the Savanna.

“This was a difficult film to make. What definitely appealed to me in regards to the story was the father-daughter relationship,” Elba told ESSENCE exclusively. A father of two himself, including 20-year-old aspiring actress Isan Elba, the dynamic of a protective father hit near home. Nevertheless, there are distinct differences between Elba and his character Dr. Nate.

“I actually have children and I’m a really doting dad. I like my kids,” he said. “On this story, this dad couldn’t quite discover a approach to love his kids. It was a challenge for me to know do this.”

An industry veteran, Elba was in a position to provide guidance to the young actresses portraying his daughters within the film, Iyana Halley and Leah Jeffries, though he says they were very skilled on set. But with much downtime within the isolated wilderness of South Africa, the actors found plenty of ways to occupy their time between takes.

“All of us felt like a family, so eventually, I became like their dad,” he said. “We’d be stuck together for hours and hours, days and days. So, they’d jones on me all day long, I’d jones on them, we made up songs.”

“We had a dancing competition – Leah is a extremely good dancer and he or she’d just make up dances. We had a rapping competition. You know I won that,” the “Boatsy” rapper playfully boasted.

Idris Elba On How Fatherhood Helped Him Fight An Apex Predator In ‘BEAST’

The actor says this film is one which is bound to grip the audience, immersing you within the motion to the purpose where you’re feeling that it’s you who’s being stalked by a the best predator on land.

“The film really puts you, the audience, in the new seat,” Elba said of the film’s thrilling immersive experience. “You only feel the stress as you’re sitting there watching it.”

BEAST opens in theaters in all places on August 19.

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