Idris Elba’s daughter refused to speak to him for weeks after he didn’t cast her as his child in Beast: ‘We didn’t have the right chemistry’

Idris Elba got the silent treatment from his daughter after she missed out on a role (Picture: Gregory Pace/REX/Shutterstock)

Idris Elba’s latest film role got him in pretty hot water with his daughter after she auditioned to play his child but didn’t get the part. 

The actor, 49, was flanked by daughter Isan, 20, at the premiere for Beast, in which he plays a widowed father who brings his daughters (played by Iyana Halley and Leah Sava Jeffries) to South Africa, where he first met their late mother. 

The family’s trip soon goes awry at a game reserve managed by an old family friend and wildlife biologist when they are hunted by a lion who survived blood-thirsty poachers and who now sees all humans as the enemy. 

Idris revealed that one of his on-screen daughters was almost played by Isan, who auditioned for the role and almost got it. 

He told The Breakfast Club: ‘Interestingly enough my daughter auditioned for this role, she wants to be an actress and she auditioned. It came down to chemistry in the end. 

‘She was great but the relationship in the film and the relationship with me and my daughter was… the chemistry wasn’t right for a film, weirdly enough.’

Idris joked: ‘My daughter didn’t talk to me for about three weeks but that’s cool.’

He revealed that Will Packer, who joined him for the interview, was the one to break the news to Isan that she didn’t get the job, due to the pair’s close relationship. 

Will explained: ‘I’ll give props to Idris because a lot of people, you talk about nepotism, two dads that want the best for their kids but are hard on them are Idris Elba and Ice Cube. They’re the real deal.  

‘Idris was like “listen, I want you to put her through the ropes, go in, give her a shot, audition.” He auditioned with her, he was very tough on her. 

Isan had auditioned for one of the daughters in Beast but missed out on the role (Picture: Lauren Mulligan/Universal Pictures)
Isan Elba narrowly missed out on getting cast (Picture: Kristina Bumphrey/REX/Shutterstock)

‘He said at the end of the day we’re going to make the best decision for the movie. And she was very good, very close.’

He added that often the nuances of real off-screen relationships do not translate so well on-screen, and the decision was made to cast the actors with the best chemistry for the role. 

Idris added: ‘She was very gracious about it, we got through that and I’m really proud of her to go through that and then not get the role but still come to the premiere.’

Beast arrives in cinemas on August 19.


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