Is there anything Idris Elba can’t do? The part time DJ/full time actor/life long heartthrob is now adding director to his resume by having adapted the 90’s Victor Headly novel Yardie into his first feature film.
A story about how Jamaican culture in London, Yardie is set in the 70’s through the 80’s and centers around a young man (Aml Ameen) who watches his peace-loving brother murdered in the streets. From then on the young Jamaican is conflicted as to whether grow up the way his brother would’ve wanted him to or get caught up in the gang culture of the streets.
Talking to Deadline, Idris speaks about his directorial debut and admits that though he’s not Jamaican he does feel a connection to the overall theme of the book.
“It is a world that I was familiar with. In England, people are aware of the subculture between Jamaicans and Brits,” the British actor said. “The observation I’ve had when I was doing my research is that people at large don’t know that this is what it was like in England for a while. But it’s not a page out of the history books specifically about Jamaicans in London, but rather a smaller story about one character and his world.”
Since screening at Sundance Yardie (a 70’s term used to describe Jamaican immigrants) has been getting stellar reviews but that shouldn’t surprise anybody. This is Idris Elba we’re talking about here. He went from a drug kingpin in Baltimore to protector of the nine realms in Asgard. Of course he’d be able to direct a great film.
Check out the rest of his interview with Deadline here and let us know if you’ll be checking for Yardie.