Idris Elba Talks Thor and The Losers
04.19.10 by Ryan
Idris Elba is appearing in a variety of comic book movies lately with The Losers opening this week and the upcoming Thor opening in 2011. The two roles are quite different for Elba. In The Losers, Elba plays Roque, a member of a CIA special ops group seeking revenge on the man that betrayed them, while in Thor, Elba portrays Heimdall, A Norse God. Elba explained to IESB what the appeal was in joining The Losers.
It was appealing to me because, just the way it was pitched, it was five guys that were really good at what they do and they've been doing it a long time, and they don't take themselves too seriously. The tone of it was quite funny and light-hearted, but at the same time, they were bad-ass guys. And, Roque was this pragmatic guy. Of course, you trust him with your life, but at the same time, he's a bad-ass. His story arc was just a gift to play. I was attracted to it on multi-levels. The script was really good, and with the character I got to play and all the cool s**t I got to do, as an actor, I was like, "Yeah, this sounds fun!"
Some of that "fun" involved Elba performing some physically demanding stunts.
There was one scene, during the fighting at the end, where I dive into these boxes and the cameraman was like, "If you dive, you could hit your head, but it would look so cool if you dove right over the camera." So, I was like, "S**t, let's do it," and the first time I did it, I banged my elbow. I was like, "Ow, that hurts!," but it didn't stop me from doing another take.
Elba Losers character didn't change too much going from the printed page to the big screen. Elba told Latino Review that the biggest difference was "Roque in the comic book is white and I'm black." The same goes for his Thor character, Elba explained.
Casting now is taking definitely a more open-eyed approach to it. I was cast in Thor and I'm cast as a Nordic god. If you know anything about the Nords, they don't look like me but there you go. I think that's a sign of the times for the future. I think we will see multi-level casting. I think we will see that and I think that's good.
Elba was hesitant to say much about his Thor character, considering the silence Marvel prefers their actors to observe, but Elba did explain his character for the uninitiated.
Everyone in Thor comes from Asgard — Odin and Thor. Asgard is protected by Heimdall. So, if you come in or leave Asgard, you have to go through his observatory, which is pretty much where all of my scenes are.
Elba says the costuming gives Heimdall his "authentic" look from the comic books, and that his character does get involved in some of the action, though he could not go into details.