‘Beast’: Idris Elba Reveals the ‘Ugly’ Part of His Role

Only a few actors have built a career like Idris Elba. He had a breakthrough in the U.S. on the HBO series The Wire, though he came to regret his role. Since then, however, Elba’s work has encompassed superhero movies, action, voice work, and drama. He also earned the title of Sexiest Man Alive in 2018, but Elba said there’s one ugly part of his latest movie, Beast.

Idris Elba stars as Dr. Nate Samuels in the 2022 movie 'Beast.' Elba was once named Sexiest Man Alive, but he said there's an ugly part of his role in 'Beast.'
Idris Elba in the movie ‘Beast’ | Universal Pictures

Idris Elba runs scared in the man vs. beast movie ‘Beast’

Beast follows Elba as widowed Dr. Nate Samuels. He takes his two teenage daughters on a sightseeing trip to Africa in the hopes of rebuilding his relationship with them. What starts as an adventure in the wilderness becomes a horrific nightmare when a blood-thirsty lion starts stalking them. The action-packed thriller twists and turns, becoming a test of survival.

Several big-name Hollywood stars eyed the role, including a member of the Top Gun: Maverick cast, but Elba won out. It’s one of three starring roles for him in 2022. Elba voiced Knuckles in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and he’ll see Beast and Three Thousand Years of Longing hit theaters in August. He also reprised his role as Heimdall for a small part in Thor: Love and Thunder.

Though once named the Sexiest Man Alive and still considered so by many, Elba admitted he found an ugly side to his acting in Beast.

Elba said there was an ugly part of his ‘Beast’ role: “Dude, I wish I did that different”

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Though several stars vied for the role, Elba was the perfect leading man for Beast, according to the executive producer. It’s hard to imagine another actor convincingly blending the fatherly aspects of the role with the rugged action survival side.

Still, after seeing his performance on the big screen for the first time, Elba criticized one ugly aspect of his performance, as he told Trevor Noah of The Daily Show (via YouTube):

“I went to see the premiere in New York, and it was fun, but I was watching the movie, and I was like, ‘I do ugly scared.’ There’s no sexy in this movie. There’s a lot of [panicked cowering], and I was like, ‘Dude, I wish I did that different.'”

Idris Elba describes the ugly part of his acting in Beast

Elba might not have been 100% satisfied with his work in Beast, but it’s shaping up to be a quality entry on his resumé.

Does Elba have an Oscar?

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Elba has several popular movies to his name, but he doesn’t have any Oscar wins or Academy Awards nominations. However, his trophy cabinet isn’t empty.

He won at the Golden Globes in 2012 for his work starring in the TV show Luther. The role also brought Elba nominations in 2011, 2014, and 2016. The Primetime Emmys nominated Elba for Luther in 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2016.

Elba won twice at the 2016 Screen Actors Guild. He won Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries for Luther, and he bested the competition as he won Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role for Beasts of No Nation.

The BET Awards honored Elba as best actor in back-to-back years. He won for The Losers in 2010, then took top honors for Takers and Luther in 2011.

Elba found something ugly about his Beast performance, but critics have found a lot of beautiful work in his output during his career.

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