English actor Idris Elba can seemingly do it all. The Golden Globe and BAFTA winning star of The Wire, Luther and Beasts of No Nation is not only one of the most exciting actors of the past decade, but he’s also an accomplished DJ and fashion designer, recently teaming up with fashion chain Superdry to create an affordable and stylish men’s line.
Now Elba is branching out into the world of directing and is using his fan base to help cast extras for his next project. Unfortunately, when you’ve been named one of Time Magazine’s Most Influential People, asking for a few extras to show up could result in a turn out that could fill a stadium.
Over the weekend, Elba posted a call for paid extras to 375,000 followers on his Instagram account. Shooting in London, the casting call described the film as set in “the Afro-Carribbean community of Hackney in 1983.” Captioning the casting call advertisement “Even a small part is a start,” the ad requested that interested parties “feel free to wear anything you think might be appropriate.”
The call for paid extras quickly went viral, with one extra named Stefan Baisden posting a photo and estimating that approximately 900 people had shown up.
— Man like Baisden (@stefan_baisden) May 8, 2017
Eventually, the crowd crew so large that police had to be called in to break up the casting call. Like a good director, Elba kept fans updated on the situation by posting a video to his Instagram page. Thanking fans for their support, Elba said they were still working on seeing everyone in line, noting his appreciation for fans waiting in the cold London weather.
For those who didn’t make it to the front of the line for the upcoming film, Elba said in his video that people could still send in their headshots and be considered not only for his upcoming film, but also for other projects his production company is filming.
What a guy.
You can watch Idris Elba starring in the critically acclaimed SHOWTIME series Guerrilla, now on CraveTV. Set in 1970s London, Guerrilla follows a couple who find their relationship and beliefs tested when they harbour a political prisoner after liberating him from a radical underground cell. Catch up with all the episodes before the series finale on Sunday, May 14 at 9 p.m. ET.