Idris Elba Is At His ‘Darkest’ And ‘Rawest’ In Netflix’s ‘Beasts Of No Nation’

Idris Elba’s role in Netflix’s Beasts of No Nation may be his toughest yet.

In the highly-anticipated Cary Fukunaga film, Idris Elba plays the Commandant, a brutal yet charismatic African war general, who drives children into battle.

Beasts of No Nation, Netflix’s first feature film, premiered at the Venice Film Festival last week, and many predict that his role as the merciless Commandant just made Idris Elba a shoo-in for the 2015 Oscars. The film will also be screened at the Telluride and Toronto film festivals.

Idris Elba’s role as the Commandant in Beasts of No Nation may be his “darkest, rawest role” in his 20-year acting career. In an interview in Vancouver, Elba, 42, revealed that he initially hesitated when Cary Fukunaga first approached him for the role. “I’m like: ‘Dude, they’re not going to like me after seeing this. I was in a Tyler Perry movie. Not that that’s why I make films. The first thing is, this is a tough role,” Elba said. Eventually, Idris Elba agreed to take on the challenging role. The actor admits he was worried he might not succeed in humanizing the Commandant, but he really wanted to find a way to make the formidable character real.

“Love him or hate him or Idris, but that character, you experience him and go, ‘Whoa.’ That’s really what I wanted to achieve. I hope I did.”

That Idris Elba, as the ruthless African war general, will mesmerize viewers when Beasts of No Nation gets relased on October 16 is a given. The actor has a commanding presence, rendering those around him “invisible.”

“Being a middle-aged man in a room with Idris Elba is the closest thing you can imagine to being invisible,” said Neil Cross, creator of Luther, Idris Elba’s BBC hit show.

Netflix is planning to stream Beasts of No Nation the same day it is released in theatres on October 16, a move criticized by cinema chains. A number of American cinema chains have announced that they will be boycotting the film if the online streaming service pushes through with the planned simultaneous release.

Cinema owners say that in order for them to survive, new films like Beasts of No Nation must be released exclusively in theatres for a short period before they are released via online streaming and other channels.

Beasts of No Nation, starring Idris Elba, is a war drama film written and directed by Cary Fukunaga. An adaptation of the 2005 novel of Uzodinma Iweala, the film also stars Ama K. Abeberese, Grace Nortey, and David Dontoh.

[Image via YouTube]