The Robertson Treatment – Volume 10, Edition 8: America’s Leading Urban Lifestyle Column – Black Lightning Hits Tinseltown… A Conversation with Idris Elba

May 21, 2007 at 5:13 pm | Posted in Interviews | Leave a comment

Like a streak of black lightning, actor Idris Elba is making his presence felt in Hollywood. Best known for his audacious portrayal as Baltimore drug kin-pin Stringer Bell on HBO’s “The Wire,” the 34-year old British export looks to quickly attain A-list status for his commanding charisma, solid acting and good looks.   With five films scheduled for release in 2007, Elba heads the class and brings a decidedly different flava to Hollywood’s current British wave of performers. The Robertson Treatment recently spoke to the actor who is currently promoting his new film “28 Weeks Later”.  Stay tune…



Image Hosted by ImageShack.usRobertson Treatment: How did you get involved in this project?


Idris Elba:  I thought the film was very smart, and offered a new spin on the horror genre that attracted a new audience. For this film the creative team who put the project together made a really great effort to get me involved, so even though I am not a big fan of the genre, I decided that I would be a part of it.




RT: Tell us a little bit about the character you are playing?


IE: I play a really hard nosed general from the US army named General Stone who has been brought in as the law of the land. When I took the role on I thought I was a bit young to play the part,  so we  tweaked it in a way to make it more mine.  My character goes to great lengths to make sure that London remains safe and nobody gets infected with the virus. He’s very by the book; and works very hard to keep his world on tack. Of course something happens and unfortunately it does not work out for him, which leaves him devastated. 


RT: Can you tell us a bit more may be for those of us who are not familiar by the films can you just set it up for us?


IE: Basically London has been put into containment and looked off from the rest of the world. General Stone leads a military team charged with setting things up for people to return to London, but all hell breaks lose when they find out that the virus has still not been fully contained. After the new outbreak occurs the General makes the decision to kill everyone, which is when the action really gets stated.


 RT: Tell us have you have scenes with the infected?


IE: The infected are some scary mother fuckers.  I turned up today at 5.00 am to find some guys running around bloodied and looking lost. At first I thought something had happened to him, but then I realized he was infected.  In most of my scenes I don’t have much to do with the infected characters, so I was little caught off guard. It was scary to see all of them running around.


RT: What’s it like coming back to England to work?


IE: Coming back to England to work on a film has been a real treat. English crews are some of the best of the world; we have a really good appreciation of making film.

 I love NY and the crews in America, but I started off as an actor in England so it was  cool to come back. Interesting enough the first AD and I, did a production together years ago. In the States you get use to seeing some of the same people over and over again, so it was good to come home and see people from my past still working and doing there  thing. 


Americans loved 28 Days, so I am glad that we are making it here.  The studio could of decided to change locations and go somewhere else, but they brought it back here and got a good European team. Making this film is like an art house film, the photographer is amazing; the director’s stamp on it also gives it a real enhancement from the first one.  Audiences are going to see London in a way like they never have before, which is going to really add to their movie going experience.






BEST BETS – Home Entertainment


Stomp the Yard – (Sony Home Entertainment)



      After his brother’s murdered in a street fight, DJ (Columbus Short) is fortunate that his Aunt (Valerie Pettiford) and Uncle (Harry J. Lennix) are willing to rescue him from the ghetto. So, he relocates to Atlanta from LA to matriculate at Truth University.


     The only hitch is that he has to lie on his application to be admitted, because he has a criminal record. After he arrives, everywhere he goes, he starts noticing the same irresistibly-rounded rump of April (Meagan Good). What this butt-obsessed brother doesn’t know is that the curvy coed so obligingly shaking her tail feathers has a cute face to match her pretty posterior, and that she unfortunately already has a boyfriend.


     So, standing between DJ and pneumatic bliss is Grant, (Darrin Dewitt Henson) an upperclassman, who just happens to be the best dancer on campus. This is of considerable significance because Truth U. is a place where a man is not judged by the color of his skin but by the content of his choreography. This means that in order to steal April from Grant, DJ will have to join a frat and strut his stuff in the National Step Championship. So unfolds, “Stomp the Yard,” one of those cinematic disasters that is god awful, yet enjoyable, in a perverse sort of way.


     The picture is so full of implausible nonsense that one could delight in dissecting its flaws ad infinitum. For instance, the students at this institution of higher learning speak with the worst grammar imaginable, such as “You fine, but you ain’t all that.” Less a feature film, than a two-hour United Negro College Fund public service announcement for anyone interested in obtaining a Ph.D. in bling and booty calls.


     A mind is a terrible thing to lose.


Poor (0 stars)

Review by Kam Williams



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Copyright 2007, Robertson Treatment


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