Idris Elba stars in “Beast.”
Photo by Lauren Mulligan/Universal Pictures/TNS
By Zack Sharf
Idris Elba stars in “Beast” as a father trying to protect his two daughters from a ferocious lion on a South African nature preserve. It turns out Elba’s 20-year-old daughter auditioned to play one of his character’s daughters in the film, but she failed to land the role because her chemistry with her father “wasn’t right.” According to Elba, she stopped speaking to him for three weeks after she lost out on the role.
“She wants to be an actress and she auditioned,” Elba said on “The Breakfast Club” (via Insider). “And you know, it came down to chemistry in the end. You know, my daughter, she was great, but the relationship in the film and the relationship with my daughter was — the chemistry wasn’t right for film, weirdly enough. My daughter didn’t talk to me for about three weeks.”
“Beast” producer Will Packer said Elba’s daughter was “very good” in the audition and “very close” to landing the role in the movie, but he added, “Idris is right, some of the nuances of that real-life relationship sometimes doesn’t translate on screen.” Packer stressed that Elba’s daughter was “very gracious” about not getting the part. She later attended the premiere of “Beast” alongside her father.
Relative newcomers Iyana Halley and Leah Sava Jeffries play Elba’s daughters in “Beast,” and they recently championed their roles in the film during an interview with Variety.
“We’re both brown skinned, dark-skinned girls and we’re leading a movie, and it’s not anything that’s degrading,” Halley said.
“I want to see more Black girls get parts that aren’t just the sassy [friend] or live in the hood,” added Jeffries, who also has a starring role in Disney+’s upcoming “Percy Jackson” series. “I want to see them smart and the number one lead.”
“Beast” is now playing in theaters nationwide.
(C) 2022 Variety Media, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media; Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC