*Idris Elba has revealed that his decision to appear in the Netflix war drama “Beasts of No Nation,” nearly cost him his life. Written and directed by Cary Fukunaga, the film was released in October, starring Elba as “Commandant,” the leader of a child soldier rebel group in Africa.
Elba previously referenced the scare in a September interview with Variety, and most recently mentioned it again to TV host Jonathan Ross while promoting the new season of his hit show “Luther.”
“I nearly died,” Elba reportedly said on The Jonathan Ross Show. “We decided to do this waterfall scene where all these child soldiers were walking behind this massive waterfall. Cary Fukunaga, the director, decided to shoot it for real.”
“We went to this waterfall and in this scene my character is standing there watching all the child soldiers go past,” Elba continued. “Now in the setup of that, 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!’ I put my foot on this rock… [and] 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.”
Elba, who found fame in the series “The Wire,” and won a Golden Globe award for his portrayal of the South African leader Nelson Mandela, continued: “It was a great experience though, that was my most harrowing [film to shoot]. The director caught malaria and survived and it was great and he kept working so it was that type of shoot.”
Last year, Idris became a father for the second time to 19-month-old son, Winston, and he shared with Ross how his parenting style is a mix of “tough guy” and “doting father.”
“He’s a good boy with me [but a] really bad boy with his mum because she spoils him, I don’t,” he told Ross. “I am the tough guy … I am actually a doting father. I pick him up a bit but for some reason he just takes the [mickey] with his mum.”
“Luther” makes his return to BBC1 in a two-part series four opener airing December 15 and 22.