Idris Elba Says He "Winged" His Last Acting Performance

Idris Elba

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 30, 2016: Idris Elba at the 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium (Featureflash Photo Agency /

Idris Elba worked with the legendary screenwriter in The Mountain Between Us, which happens to be Sorkin’s directorial debut. But in a recent interview with Los Angeles Times, Elba revealed that he was not ready for the role and that Sorkin wouldn’t want to cast him for his project.

Elba claims that he “winged” his acting performance since he had been just coming off a year where he trained to become a professional kick boxer. Elba explains,  “I winged that performance, if I’m honest. Right after I won my professional fight — thank … God — I went to Toronto to work on it. I only had 12 days before I had to go to The Mountain Between Us. When you’re fight-training your brain is completely mush because you’re tired all the time, so I was literally going, ‘This is going to be the end of my career.’”

Tinseltown /

Elba says that he didn’t even think Sorkin would cast him for a role in his directorial debut. He says, “Aaron asked me to do this film and I was like ‘yes,’ but I didn’t think I was on his radar. Honestly. Of all the actors he could go to for that role?” Yet Elba believes that he figured out how to get to the heart of Sorkin’s characters. He continues, “It’s fast-talking, but the thing with Aaron is that you have to believe what you’re saying. You have to be there. It’s fast-paced and lots of words and lots of stuff and lots of punctuation, which he is paying attention to, but you do have to live it. I hope I did a good job.

What do you think? Discuss this story with fellow Project Casting fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @projectcasting.