Idris Elba On Finding A Zen-Like State In Pacific Rim

By Eric Eisenberg 2013-07-11 20:18:57discussion comments

How much did he really kind of bring you along for the ride with the film, taking you into the larger world beyond just your character?

It was all the way, he was very much, from the first day, he, you know, just took us around the production office, really explained every detail of what we were looking at, especially me and Rinko, we had to understand what we were talking about, you know, these monsters, but all that stuff is some stuff we really had to understand, and he did it in great detail and made it very clear that we study this stuff, you know.

What was your expectation going in to working with Guillermo del Toro, and what was it like working with him on a day to day basis?

Oh, heís very detailed. Heís very sort of like, ďGood morning guys. How are you today? This is what weíre doing and this is how it fits in the film and this is how itís going to look and this is how I need the passion to be. Do what you want, but imagine, when Iím in the editing room, this is what I need it to feel like.Ē He very much sort of gave you like a play by play of what heís trying to do and what he wants to see in the film.

One of the hallmarks of his filmmaking style is that he really try to include as many practical effects as possible. As an actor, how much does that really have an impact on taking you into the world?

I mean, itís super, super important because now, these days, everything is green screen, which looks amazing, but itís hard for an actor to find the center of whatís really happening. Youíre looking at a building thatís not really there, but you have to react to it. Itís really important, that a director is at least explaining the practical sense. My perception over all, I was in the command station quite a bit, so that was all very real, all that detail was all there, so you really feel the weight and the immenseness of the story line and what was going on.

Is there kind of a dark side to it too? You kind of make a joke about it in the film, but those suits and the set-ups in the Jaeger cockpit donít really seem that comfortable.

Yeah, they were not. They were the worst part of the filmmaking process because they were so uncomfortable. I had a harness and then you got thrown onto this gimbal and it was moving a million miles an hour and it was very tough. It wasnít that fun.

One question I have is that one thing which has really changed about the film industry in general, well the entertainment industry, is the fact that the line between film and TV has really disappeared in recent years, and frankly, youíre a big part of that between your work on Luther and The Wire and just your big screen work. So, when you are considering parts, is medium something that youíre considering? Are you looking at TV versus film or are your looking purely at collaboration and/or character and story?

Well, Iíve been working for such a long time, not to age myself, but you know, I think the tougher stuff is interesting, if itís on TV or the small screen or the big films. You know, back in the day, an actor could get penalized for doing too much TV. In my case, you know, Iíve done lots of TV and major TV and itís never penalized my film career. At the same time, I do have ambitions to be a film actor and you know, I want to be varied with it. I donít want to do the same things over and over again.
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