British actor Idris Elba can now say that filming Beasts of No Nation was especially traumatizing not because he had to terrorize his child soldiers but because he almost died during filming.
Elba revealed that he almost got killed while finishing Beasts of No Nation, but thanks to one of the security members, the actor was saved from a fatal accident. He slipped six feet down a waterfall in Ghana while the team was setting up for the scene. Elba, luckily, was not seriously injured.
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In his interview on The Jonathan Ross Show on Saturday, the 43-year-old actor shared the details of his frightening experience.
“We decided to do this waterfall scene where all these child soldiers were walking behind this massive waterfall,” Elba told the host. “In Hollywood, you would have just filmed a bit of water coming down and just shot people’s close-ups but Cary Fukunaga, the director, decided to shoot it for real.”
Idris Elba said the stunt coordinator had cautioned everyone to be careful as they were in a very dangerous spot.
The Luther actor said, “The stunt coordinator says, ‘Listen everyone, this is a waterfall, that’s a 90-, 100-foot drop down there and the ground is very slippery, just be careful!'”
The British actor admitted he did not pay much attention to his surroundings at the time. Elba described what happened next.
“I put my foot on this rock just to hang out and chill out while they were setting up and as I’m doing that it’s slippery, obviously. I slip… I put my hand on this tree – it’s not a tree, it’s a branch. It snaps and I go literally about six feet before I go bang over and I got caught by the security guy!”
Still, Idris Elba thinks filming Beasts of No Nation was a great experience although it was his “most harrowing” film to shoot. He also revealed that the director got sick during the shooting.
“The director caught malaria and survived and it was great and he kept working so it was that type of shoot.”
Elba, who plays the dark and twisted commandant of a militia in a war-torn country, also revealed what makes him cry.
“I can’t stand seeing children suffer. I watch Toy Story and I start crying so let alone Beast Of No Nation!”
Beast of No Nation follows the story of Agu, a normal boy who became a child soldier after Elba’s character took him in along with other abandoned children during a civil war in their country.
Idris Elba broke into the U.S. entertainment industry through the TV series The Wire, but he is best known for playing Nelson Mandela in the critically acclaimed film, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom for which he won a Golden Globe award.
The award-winning actor will be returning to TV as police officer John Luther, and according to him, he enjoys playing this role. Elba said playing Luther does not require him to change his accent or do a crazy character, which is why he loves playing the character so much.
“I call him John because we’re like that me and him, I really like playing him because it’s always cathartic to play him because he goes through so much, it’s such a deep character, [he has] a lot of stuff on his shoulders,” Idris Elba said as he described his TV character.
However, he admits the fictional law-enforcer is “one of those characters that does wear on you a little bit as a character.”
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