There was an upset in the capital city of London today, and it was started by one of Great Britain’s national treasures. That treasure is Hackney-born Idris Elba, but I’d venture to say that he’s become somewhat of an American pop culture treasure as well. We all lost our collective cool when he raffled off a Valentine’s date to raise money to empower girls in Sierra Leone. Even Obama kind of swooned for him. He’s everyone’s hopeful for the next James Bond. He’s basically on fire right now.
In addition to his sexy, successful image, he also has been a pioneer in shattering stereotypes and creating more opportunity for actors of color. #OscarsSoWhite has plagued the Academy since 2013, but actors like Elba, Viola Davis and Kerry Washington are making huge strides despite the systemic setbacks of an oppressively white industry. So it’s no wonder that when Elba put out an open casting call for a new movie he’s making, chaos ensued, because people would probably love to follow in his footsteps or maybe just get a peek at him.
Apparently, Elba was holding auditions in London for specifically Afro-Caribbean extras for a film set in the 1980s recently. Police had to be called when hundreds of actors showed up to attempt to soak up a little bit of Elba’s magic, maybe even follow in his footsteps. The fans didn’t help the acting hopefuls either by also crowding the audition.
I don’t blame them, though, because he’s a multilayered daddy with his looks, charitable acts, potential Bond status and championing diversity in film. If I could waltz up to a line and catch a glimpse, I would. Honestly, it’s more reasonable to me to think you might catch his eye and he’ll marry you than being selected as an extra and that catapulting your career. But let the dreamers dream, I guess.
Elba has since asked those wanting to audition to send in headshots instead of show up because the London police are over it and will likely shut it down. People were beginning to push from the start, according to bystanders. There were also reports of “some disorder,” which is such an adorably British way to describe chaos at an acting audition.