An Interview with Idris Elba
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By Wilson Morales
April 9, 2008
What role do you play in the film?
What attracted you to the film?
IE: It was just that I hadn’t done a thriller like this, and I like to play different parts, and I hadn’t played too many cops, and the script was decent.
From ‘The Reaping’ to ’28 Weeks Later’, this film falls within the same genre like the others. Do you have a liking to this genre?
IE: Each are different for me. They are weird subjects, and you get to play different parts.
This is totally different from the original ‘Prom Night’ that starred Jamie Lee Curtis. Had you seen that film?
IE: No, I hadn’t seen that film.
In playing a cop, did you want to add something to the character that we hadn’t seen in these types of films before?
IE: I guess that each character in a film and each cop in a film is different. I don’t think that I can bring anything different from what was in the script. It’s just my take on this guy and this cop.
How was it working with such a young cast?
IE: It was a good energy. I’m not too familiar with the prom world. Coming from England, we don’t have prom.
Including yourself, what can you say about the growing invasion of Black British actors in American Hollywood films?
IE: I actually been here in the states for 10 years, but I would say that you are definitely seeing a lot more UK actors; and I think that now people are noticing that there are from the UK. UK and American have been in collaboration for years and years. For me personally, I was in the trenches of American actors when I was in New York in the early 90s. I never like to say that I’m part of this invasion of UK actors. It makes it appear as if I came in from nowhere, but I think it’s healthy from America and England to have a good mix of talent.
Since leaving the part of Stringer Bell, are you glad that you haven’t been typecast in that same character frame?
IE: The industry has an understanding that I'm an artist who comes from England and I can play American characters and they give me scripts that are un-stereotypical just because they think that I have some unbelievable talent and can be able to transform myself into different characters, which is what an actor is supposed to do; however not all African American actors are afforded that privilege.
You have a number of films coming up with some major talent. Can you talk about doing ‘The Unborn’ for David Goyer?
IE: Yes, I start working on that in the next two weeks with myself, Gary Oldman, and David Goyer, and Meagan Good and I’m looking forward to it. I play a priest in the film that attempts to do an exorcism.
You also did ‘The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency’ with Jill Scott. How was working on that film?
IE: It was great. It was really, really good. It had a good cast of people. We shot in in Botswana and it was the first time I had been there. It hasn’t been shown here yet, but it did very well in the ratings in England. It’s a very good piece of work and I’m proud of it.
What else do you have coming up for you?
IE: I have ‘Obsessed’, which is a remake of ‘Fatal Attraction’ with Beyonce and Ali Larter in it. I’m excited about that and it’s good film with a good storyline. I’m looking forward to getting it done.
From Jill Scott to Beyonce, who’s next that you are looking to work with?
IE: I think a lot of films are bringing in musicians as part of the cast. ‘Cadillac Records’, which is now shooting also has a bunch of musical talent in the film as well. I think it shows that the film industry is going.
Why should anyone go see ‘Prom Night’?
IE: It really depends on what sort of taste you’re in for. I think ‘Prom Night’ is a good thriller. It has some really new fresh actors in it.; and on a Friday night, what else could you do?
PROM NIGHT opens on April 11, 2008
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