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Idris Elba Brings new thriller "BEAST" to New York

South African actor Sharlto Copley, US actress Iyana Halley, US actress Leah Jeffries and British actor Idris Elba attend the world premiere of "Beast" at the Museum of Modern   -  
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ANGELA WEISS/AFP or licensors


It was a family affair for Idris Elba at the world premiere of his new thriller "Beast" in New York Monday night.

The British actor was joined at the event by his 20-year-old daughter Isan.

For Elba, taking on the role of a dad who would do anything to protect his children struck a chord.

"When I read the script, it had a dad and his two daughters and he's trying to make it right by them. That really tugged, though. I was like, Ok, I need to play this role," he said. "It really touched me as a parent."

In "Beast," Elba plays a recently widowed husband who returns to South Africa, where he first met his wife, on a trip with their daughters.

But what begins as a tranquil visit to a game reserve soon turns into a nightmare when they find themselves hunted by an out of control lion.

South African actor Sharlto Copley co-stars as Martin, the manager of the game reserve.

"Growing up in South Africa, I certainly dealt with a lot more wildlife than the rest of the cast. The two girls, I always tease them because they were really nervous of like even the smallest bugs," he laughs.

"It really worked for the role because it was kind of like, I'm Uncle Martin. I'm like the uncle who's teaching these girls about Africa. So, you know, on camera I'm teaching them about lions, off camera I'm like, now here's a bug Leah, it's dead. You can touch it. She's like oh, my God, no, I can't."

Despite the creepy crawlies, Iyana Halley and Leah Sava Jeffries, who play Elba's daughters, had a blast making the film.

"Filming in South Africa and being with Mr. Elba and being with my sister Iyana. It was already enough for that. I loved filming it," said Save Jeffries.

"I mean, we were acting and, like, making sure everything was authentic, but we were having fun each time we shot, making jokes in the car, rapping, dancing. Like we had a blast out there for three months - best time ever," added Halley.

Directed by Baltasar Kormákur ("Everest"), "Beast" hits US cinemas on 19 August.


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