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Idris Elba on real-time TV thriller plane 'hijacking' and reaching career crunch where he can show his vulnerability

In the past few years alone, Idris Elba has shown quite a wide range. From the gunslinger villain (Rufus Buck in The Harder They Fall ) to the big screen moment of beloved but devastating TV The detective (Luther in “ Luther): The Falling Sun ), through the wishing genie ( three thousand year longing to the return of the Norse gods (Heimdall) Thor: Love and Thunder , animated video game characters (Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Knuckles in ) and a man fighting a lion with his bare hands (Dr. Nate Samuels in The Beast ), It’s a pretty eclectic mix.

Hijacking is something else entirely.

The seven-part series will air on Wednesday, June at Apple TV+

, which Elba also executive produced through his Green Door production company (and the only project under a now-ended deal with the streamer), See him playing Sam Nelson, a business negotiator on board a ship flying from Dubai to London to save his failing marriage.

As the title suggests, it’s not a stress-free ride, as a ruthless gang of criminals quickly takes control. But what was meant to be a testosterone-filledsiegestyle action-thriller turns out to be different as Nelson uses his intelligence and communication skills to help deliver a message to the authorities. on the ground (led by Archie Panjabi and Max Beesley), while also trying to de-escalate the situation on the plane. There are fight scenes, but there are also plenty of codes being passed between passengers, with Nelson trying to sneak his sizeable frame between cabins without being spotted by the hijackers. To add to the tension, the hijacking is played in real time (almost exactly the same length as a seven-hour flight from Dubai to London).

According to Elba, this is one of the biggest draws for him – the chance to do something different than the type of characters he’s been playing in the past. matter.

Interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter in London prior to the hijacking of In Tuesday’s world premiere, Elba discussed the joy of not knowing what he’s going to do next, getting back behind the camera for his second feature as a director, Hell ) (also the first time he directed and acted), and plans to shoot another Luther movie. And yes, he also talks about James Bond (and everything he says about a character he “never played” ends up on Google Alerts).

Hijack feels like a unique TV project — in real time, almost entirely in one location. Have you done anything like this before?

No. That’s by design. I want to try something different. I wanted to try something that people immediately liked or hated. In The Wire and Luther, it’s kind of like a slow build of character. With this guy, he’s faced with a situation…it’s called a hijacking and he’s there. You think, what would I do if I were him? So I was really drawn to it. I hope this is a water cooler moment. I just wanted it to be funny, like “Did you see that shit? That damn thing was done really well.”

400 Did the unique nature of this project make it particularly fun to shoot?

Feels a bit like a theater. The location hasn’t moved much, we’re in that space, and it’s very small. So it feels a bit like a drama, there are 400 actors and you have to get to know each and every one of them. This is fine, but very different. We shot as much as possible in sequence for two reasons. One because it felt right not to jump around, but also because we were still writing some of the later episodes directly into the movie pipeline.

2018 Were you involved in any writing?

Not the actual writing, but at the concept stage, just mapping and planning the story. I was partly involved in this with my production company, Green Door. We all wondered: What’s the best version of this story? It was called different things, at one stage it was called kingdom , named after England because it was a flight from Dubai to London, which is where our society and microcosm of society. You know, against tropes and the idea of ​​different personality types.

2018 At first, I guess I naively thought you’d get away with it, and it would be more physical activity, but I was pleasantly surprised when it went beyond that. Does that make it more attractive to you?

absolutely okay. I sat there reading the script and I thought I don’t want to play some weirdo who breaks in and isn’t vulnerable because we’re all vulnerable. We’ve seen a version of that before where it’s like [with an American accent], “Don’t worry, I have this.” I think it would be better for me at a pivotal point in my career. I think you could say my name and people would be like, “Yeah, I don’t know what he’s going to do next.” I kind of like that. So it means I can be vulnerable without people, “It’s weird for him, he’s usually a tough guy.”

Speaking of tough guys, there’s definitely something scary about Neil Maskell in a role like the hijacker. A few years ago, he made an extremely brutal film called “ Bull “, which is hard to watch in parts. Is he cuter in real life? 2018

He’s a jerk! But yes, I hear where you’re from. I wouldn’t say his style is method, but he lives in the moment. We’re in this real environment—it’s like a theater, very tense. He’s just there, and the passion and vibration you feel is like, “Oh my God, he really fucking hates me,” and then he’ll turn it off and start talking about his son.

Letting the hijacking force you to look around more often on flights to see what’s happening what?

absolutely okay. Much more. I understand better. Usually, when I fly, the crew will say hello and share more information. I had this happen to me on a flight to LA when a man passed by and we had to fly to Canada. It was horrific and people were in tears. The staff took an interest in me and I tried my best to be a confidant and approachable. When you’re a public figure, it’s like you’re a doctor. Oddly, my experience in flight and my understanding of the flow of information and how not to panic people… like being behind a curtain. I actually said I had been doing the show on the plane and asked if there was anything I could do to help. Because I think I kind of understand what they’re going through. We know we can’t tell everyone he’s dead and have to say someone is sick. I know the plane won’t take off again because the coroner has to be on the scene.

2018 away from

hijacking , in the nearest security Clips of R-rated animations at the Naxi Music Festival have been fixed . What’s it like to voice a villainous but neutered dog?

What can I say, very freeing. But it’s definitely not PC.

Sausage Party style?

Appropriately. We could all be canceled. But it’s fun to make and I hope people enjoy it because it’s my sense of humor.

Your next directing gig has just been announced — Infernus. I think your directorial debut Yardie is 2018. Did you hold back? What was the process like for finding your next behind-the-scenes project?

I might have figured it out sooner if the whole world hadn’t been slightly off its axis. Like my acting career, I don’t want to do the same thing I’ve already done and try to do something different. But I really like the story, and I think we have a chance to make a great action thriller. It was my first time directing and starring, and it was daunting, so I guess I was running towards it and running away from it at the same time, just knowing how tough it is to do the job. As the main character in the movie, you are very popular. As a director, you are always popular. So for me, preparation is very important.

2018 This is the millennium thing…

A tribute to the millennium. They are known for a certain type of movie. And the story and the movie are slightly off. In a way, it still fits all their genres, but they gave me a chance as an actor and they loved directing it the way I did. They have given me great support and allowed me to fill out the team in the way I wanted.

2018 You just said that you wanted to make a music album based on your various on-screen characters. How about it?

I didn’t do much with that music project. I deviated slightly from the other one. But the character album I’m going to do, I just need to collect more memorable characters where people can say “I imagine he’s listening or sounding like…”. I have a handful of characters that evoke this emotion.

2018 What type will Sam attach in hijacking music? 2018

Looks like Sam is indeed a memorable character because you live with him and you really The stuck there with him. I think he is sadder. Sad and emotional. So I can see the electronic sound around the song. With a little honesty.

2018 This is obviously a theme and character that has followed you for many, many years, sorry to bring it up. The next James Bond likely isn’t on any favorite lists or expected. Is there anyone you’ve met that you think could play this role?

I’m going to say no, just because every time I answer any question about Bond, I show up on Google Newsletter. So I need to stay away from it. I’m interested in answering questions about the character since I’ve never played him!

2018 Was chatting about Bond ever a burden? 2018

No, I wouldn’t say it’s a burden. This is a huge compliment. But no matter what I say, it does make news. I’ve done this a few times and thought “why am I doing this” and all of a sudden “Idris thinks…”

2018 Do you think being associated with the most important movie character on the planet for so long has negatively or positively affected your career? 2018

I really do not know. I think I have a fan base, but people who don’t know me know me more through Bond. Those unbelievers might ask “Idris, who?” and they start Googling me. So that’s been an interesting thing for my career because it makes people think about what makes Bond, so maybe they can see it or they can’t see it. But I don’t think it changed my career.

2018 What’s next? 2018

Infernus is next – we are in ten month shot. In fact, I want to direct a little more. We’re working on Luther and another part.

Another Luther movie?

Yes. It’s still early days. We know what we want to do and what the opportunities are. Honestly, you’re talking about Bond, but John is my answer to that. He’s a mechanic and a character that you follow through some crazy escapism. John is it. I think he’s very relatable, and sometimes you want a good guy to reach out to bad guys and investigate them. John is not here to negotiate.

I recently saw you on Netflix on You Are Here 2. It’s a small role, but it’s a strong indication that there’s more to come.

Yes, there is a clear sign. It is very well done. I did it as a favor – Chris [Hemsworth] is my partner and I love working with him. So I might be in it too. I have no idea. Nothing is official. The Rescue movies are pure action and escapism, and I can imagine the relationship we formed in the second movie expanding. 2018



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