Idris Elba To Receive Sierra Leone Passport In First-Time Visit

British actor, director and executive producer Idris Elba 
Stefanie Loos / AFP

 

Film actor Idris Elba has arrived in his father’s native Sierra Leone for the first time, the government said, where he is due to receive citizenship and celebrate Christmas with the president.

The British-born star landed in the seaside capital Freetown to a small crowd on Wednesday, according to a government official who declined to be named.

Elba was born in London but his mother is from Ghana and his father from Sierra Leone, where he has expressed interest in investing in eco-tourism.

He is best is known for his roles in Marvel franchise films such as “Thor” and “The Avengers,” but is also a successful rapper and DJ. He was named People magazine’s “sexiest man alive” in 2018.

Sierra Leone’s Deputy Tourism Minister William Robinson told AFP that Elba planned to visit Sherbro Island — renowned for its pristine tropical beaches — and celebrate Christmas with President Julius Maada Bio.

The actor is expected to receive a Sierra Leonean passport before Christmas, said a government official who declined to be named.

The impoverished West African country is hoping to rekindle its tourism industry nearly two decades after the end of the civil war, which claimed some 120,000 lives.

AFP

Hobbs & Shaw’ Dethrones ‘Lion King’ To Top N.America Box Office

IMAX private screening for the movie “The Lion King” at AMC Loews Lincoln Square theatre on July 17, 2019 in New York City. PHOTO: Lars Niki/Getty Images for IMAX/AFP

 

“Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” dethroned “The Lion King” in North American theaters, taking in an estimated $60.8 million, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations said Sunday.

The latest installment in the long-running Fast & Furious franchise, “Hobbs & Shaw” features Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jason Statham facing off against “cyber-genetically enhanced anarchist” Idris Elba.

It ended the box office reign of “The Lion King,” a remake of the 1994 animated film that employs hyper-realistic computer-generated images with a voice cast including Donald Glover as Simba and Beyonce as Nala, together with Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor and James Earl Jones.

“The Lion King” earned $38.2 million for second place, topping director Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood,” which has earned rave reviews and took in $20 million for third place.

“Once Upon a Time” — the ninth of the 10 movies Tarantino has said he will make before retiring — is set in Tinseltown in 1969 and features Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie and Al Pacino.

In fourth place was “Toy Story 4,” which managed $8.2 million.

The latest installment in the family-friendly Disney/Pixar animation franchise that began in 1995, the movie features the voices of Tom Hanks (Woody) and Tim Allen (Buzz Lightyear).

“Spider-Man: Far from Home” — which continues where “Avengers: Endgame” left off and stars Tom Holland as the Marvel superhero — came in fifth with $7.8 million.

Rounding out the weekend’s top 10 were:

“Yesterday” ($2.4 million)

“The Farewell” ($2.4 million)

“Crawl” ($2.2 million)

“Aladdin” ($2 million)

“Annabelle Comes Home” ($875,000)

Davido Thrills Audience At Idris Elba’s Wedding

Davido and the couple. Photo credit: @efe_one

 

Nigerian hip hop star, David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido pulled a surprise as he thrilled the audience at the wedding ceremony of Hollywood actor, Idris Elba.

Elba and Sabrina Dhowre exchanged their vows over the weekend at Ksar Char Bagh Hotel Marrakesh, Morroco in a colorful event attended by close friends.

The three-day ceremony, which began on Friday last week, was filled with partying and fun.

Efe Ogbeni of Stealth Management posted some videos of the wedding on Instagram.

According to him, Davido’s performance at the wedding was a surprise arranged by Elba for his wife who is a fan of the music star.

“Efe l want kid bro @davidoofficial to come surprise my wife, this CANNOT leak, and we can’t have anyone know “ my goodness, @missamadi myself @ronawigs2.0 @oronde had to do major operation,” Efe posted on Instagram.

The CEO of Christian Louboutin makers of the popular red bottom shoes was at the wedding.

He was also thrilled by Davido’s performance.

 

Fondly called OBO by fans, Davido has recently enjoyed international collaboration with foreign artistes.

American rapper, Russ recently featured Davido in his new single.

The latest single tagged “All I want” is already drawing rave from music followers and fans of both musicians.

Davido is also set to feature alongside Tory Lanez in Sean Kingston’s new single.

Idris Elba Taps Own Roots For Directorial Debut ‘Yardie’

 

British actor Idris Elba said he tapped into his own roots growing up among London’s West Indian community – and his DJ experience – for his directorial debut, “Yardie”, shown Thursday at the Berlin film festival.

The gangster movie is set in Jamaica in the 1970s and the London neighbourhood of Hackney in 1980s, where Elba grew up as the only child of west African parents.

“I was raised in east London and the central character, his journey isn’t too dissimilar from most young black boys in England, whether they’re from the West Indies or Africa,” the star of TV’s “Luther” and “The Wire” and blockbusters such as “Thor: Ragnarok” told reporters.

“So when it came across my desk as a script – I had read the book as a kid – it was definitely something that I knew I could relate to.”

“Yardie”, slang for Jamaicans in general and Jamaican gangsters in particular, is based on a groundbreaking 1992 novel by Victor Headley about the black experience in Britain.

It tells the story of Jamaican boy D growing up in Kingston who saw his older brother, a DJ, shot dead when he was trying to make peace between rival gangs.

A decade later, in 1983, D is working for local drug lord King Fox, who has become a father figure.

‘Explosion of Culture’

King Fox sends D (played by Aml Ameen of the Netflix series “Sense8”) to deliver a kilo of cocaine to a partner in London.

D accepts the mission with the aim of avenging his brother’s death, and he picks up the killer’s trail among the Jamaican drug gangs that control Hackney’s streets.

Along with the conflicts that have been carried from Jamaica, D finds an immigrant community in London that has maintained the familiar patois and the vibrant dancehall and reggae scene from home that Elba said he was keen to faithfully recreate.

“Jamaicans, west Africans – we all live together so I was very close to that culture. England was an explosion of culture in the 80s – it just blew up,” he said.

“West Indians have been coming to England since the early 50s, 60s and then in the 70s and 80s, that fusion of London culture became rich and that’s when I was born.”

Elba, 45, said that he managed to largely avoid run-ins with the police and thugs in Hackney but that their influence was all around him.

“Alongside good boys like me there were gangs, there were drug dealers and there were what you typically find in urban areas of any city of the world where there’s poor,” he said.

“When I relate to the story, it’s not because I was a gangster, I wasn’t.

“But when you’re in an immigrant in a (place) like London in the 80s, there were temptations left or right, just so that you can get ahead. Not everybody can get a job and just go off and make money.”

‘Everybody Loves Reggae’

Elba who has kept up a love for DJing and recorded a few discs, handpicked the film’s soundtrack featuring artists ranging from Grace Jones to calypso star Lord Creator.

“I was very conscious that Jamaican music is very celebrated around the world — everybody loves a reggae song,” he said.

“But I was also aware that not everybody understands where that music comes from ‘Yardie’ was an opportunity to put people in the psyche of Jamaicans in terms of that music.”

Elba discarded some of the thriller aspects of the novel in favour of a “quieter” character study.

“I didn’t want to make a movie about gang culture, I wanted to make a movie about a person dealing with trauma and how that trauma makes him go left or right” on his life path, he said.

Elba said the loss of his own father five years ago had also put him at a life crossroads.

“I became a lot more confident and a lot more directed in terms of what I want to do,” he said, adding that he hoped to continue working on both sides of the camera.

“I stopped being an actor for hire. That was one of the residues of trauma: ‘you’re going to die one day – do something that makes you happy’.”

“Yardie” is screening in the Panorama sidebar section of the Berlin film festival, which runs until Sunday.

Idris Elba, Kate Winslet, Others React To Hurricane Irma

Celebrities who were present at the Toronto International Film Festival reacted to news reports about Hurricane Irma which is currently moving across Florida.

Kate Winslet, who was at the world premiere of survival movie “The Mountain Between Us” urged people to donate money to the Red Cross.

“I actually can’t put it into words. I don’t think anyone can. I can’t put it into words but I keep watching these news reporters and I’m just screaming at the television ‘Where’s your crash helmet?’. These poor incredible people who are communicating information to the rest of the world and they’re standing there with no protective headgear.

“I just want to armor them up. It’s just horrendous. I don’t have the words. It’s just horrific and don’t underestimate the power of donations, everybody. Put your hands in your pockets. The Red Cross need money now, not things.”She said

Idris Elba explained how the storms were evidence of global warming.

“It’s heartbreaking to see so many people going through torment from the weather and it’s par for the course. There is global warming and there are loads of issues that are causing this and my prayers and thoughts go out to everyone that’s suffered, you know. “He said

Steve Carrell said, “Well my dad is down in Florida so obviously thinking about that and I talked to him this morning and everybody who hasn’t left is battening down the hatches and obviously everybody’s thinking and hoping for the best.”

Sarah Silverman said, “You know, Kumail Nanjiani said it best, he said ‘I wish God would give us sign that climate change is real because there’s just hellfire and hurricanes right now in the US and it’s really really scary that at this time we have a president who is a science denier so.”

Forecasters warned that Irma remained extremely dangerous as the monster storm toppled trees and power lines, peeled tiles off roofs and threatened coastal areas with storm surges of up to 15 feet (4.6 m). Tornadoes were also spotted through the southern part of the state.

Some 6.5 million people, about a third of the state’s population, had been ordered to evacuate southern Florida as the storm approached.

Reuters

Idris Elba ,McConaughey Attend Premiere Of ‘The Dark Tower’

The pages of Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” have been re-imagined for the big screen with Idris Elda and Matthew McConaughey in the starring roles.

Elba and McConaughey hit the red carpet in New York on Monday to celebrate the film’s upcoming U.S. opening on August 4.

The film and the book series tells the classic story of good versus evil as Elba’s character, Gunslinger, Roland Deschain fits to hold the universe, as known as the Dark Tower, as the Man in Black, portrayed by McConaughey tries to destroy it.

Actress Katheryn Winnick said “It is, I would not say that it’s a genre movie, but it’s definitely an epic fantasy and based in reality. And based in the imaginary thought process of your imagination. I guess would be the best way to describe it because it allows you to transport yourself in different realms.”she said

Actor Matthew McConaughey said “Bad guys are real fun to play because they are limitless. They don’t pander, they’re not trying to make friends, they’re not trying to have their manners and graces. And this was fun to sit there and imagine how many ways can you be evil, bad.

“Sometimes it’s a slight of hand, sometimes it’s burning a civilization, sometimes it’s exposing one person’s hypocrisy and letting them implode themselves.”

Director Nik Arcel grew up as a fan of the series in Denmark and credits the books for teaching him English.

On the red carpet, Arcel said working with King was very collaborative and that the author brought good ideas to the project without dictating.

Koko Master D’banj, Launches Talent Hunt Project, ‘Cream’

dbanj, koko master, talent haunt project, cream, Internationally recognised award winner and entertainer, Dapo Oyebanjo, globally known as Dbanj (Koko-master), has announced the roll out of his latest talent hunt project, ‘Cream’, to reward young creative minds in the Nigerian entertainment industry.

The singer, songwriter and self-proclaimed ‘koko master’ grew through the ranks within the Nigerian music sphere, beginning with his debut single ‘tongolo’ in 2005.

Having risen to the pinnacle of the Nigerian music industry on the back of five albums, the former MO’hits man announced that his new mission was to nurture budding talents in Nigeria.

According to him, talents are everywhere and in order to reach out to them, he created the platform that would bring young talents together from far and wide.

Working with him to achieve this is American talent manager, Tonya Merritt, who had worked with American talents, including 2 Chainz, Idriss Elba and many others.

koo master, dbanj, cream, talent haunt project

Merritt believes Nigeria boasts of talented individuals who are capable of ruling the music world.

In June 2011, D’banj and his then music partner, Don Jazzy signed to American music imprint ‘Good Music’ owned by multiple grammy award winner Kanye West.

A deal which was believed to eventually lead to the breakup of MO’hits, their own indigenous record label.

Today, artists like Tiwa Savage, David O and Wizkid also brag about gaining the attention of international audience.

D’banj’s latest single ‘If No Be God’, gives a different vibe from the typical dance-oriented D’banj’s songs.

Idris Elba Wins Big At SAG Awards

idris elbaBritish actor, Idris Elba, has won for his roles in a detective drama ‘Luther’ and for his supporting role as an African warlord in ‘Beasts of No Nation’ at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards.

The film, about the Boston Globe’s investigation of paedophile Catholic priests, won for best film cast.

But many of the main awards in Los Angeles were won by actors of diverse backgrounds, with industry magazine, Variety, noting that “diversity reigns”.

The awards came amid controversy over a lack of diversity among Oscar nominees.

The female prison series, ‘Orange Is The New Black’ won the ensemble award for a comedy series, and its star Uzo Aduba for best comedy actress in a television series.

The series has earned praise for its diverse cast and willingness to address race issues. Accepting the cast award, actress Laura Prepon referred to her cast mates, saying: “This is what we talk about when we talk about diversity.”

The three main acting awards were given to films with mainly white casts, Spotlight, The Revenant and Room, all of which are among the Oscar favourites.

Other main winners of the SAG Awards include:

Brie Larson (Room) – Best film actress
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant) – Best film actor
Queen Latifah (Bessie) – Outstanding performance by an actress in a TV miniseries or movie
Kevin Spacey (House of Cards) – Best actor in a television drama series
Viola Davis (How to Get Away With Murder) – Best actress in a television drama series
Downton Abbey – Best television drama ensemble.

Idris Elba, International Footballers Launch Campaign Against Ebola

Idris ElbaA public awareness campaign was launched on Wednesday, December 3, by international football stars and the British actor, Idris Elba.

It’s focus is to put an end to West Africa’s Ebola epidemic and to show to the health workers fighting the disease, that they are being recognized.

Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia are countries that have been most affected by the Ebola epidemic with a record of more than 6,000 people dead.

The British Actor, Idris Elba, whose parents hail from Sierra Leone and Ghana, said ”For me, the battle against Ebola is a personal one. To see those amazing countries in West Africa where my father grew up and my parents married being ravaged by this disease is painful and horrific.”

The Africa United campaign, unveiled ahead of the African Cup of Nations draw in Equatorial Guinea’s capital Malabo on Wednesday, broadcasts information on the disease and how to stop it spreading in French, English, Krio and other local languages.

Messages would be sent out to the three countries and their neighbours via television, radio, billboards and phone text messages, said organizers.

The campaign was backed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation.

In one of the campaign’s spots, Elba plays a football coach giving a half-time talk during West Africa’s “life or death” match against Ebola and passing on tips on how to spot the disease and prevent new infections.

Footballers Yaya Touré, Carlton Cole, Fabrice Muamba, Andros Townsend, Kei Kamara and Patrick Vieira pay homage to the work of frontline healthcare workers by wearing their names on the backs of their jerseys.

Manchester City midfielder, Touré hails from Ivory Coast, which shares borders with three countries hit by the disease but has so far been spared.

Touré said, “I could not sit back without doing something to help fight Ebola, the campaign pays tribute to the many African heroes who are in the villages, towns and cities using their skills, resourcefulness and intelligence to battle Ebola.”

Chiwetel Ejiofor, Uzoamaka Aduba Gets EMMY Awards Nominations

idris-elba-and-chiwetel-ejioforTwo internationally acclaimed movie stars of Nigerian ancestry, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Uzoamaka Aduba have earned themselves a nomination each at the 2014 EMMY A  wards.

The star of 12 Years A Slave gets a nomination in the Best Actor in a Mini Series or Telefilm category for his role in Dancing on the Edge.

while Uzo Aduba has been nominated in the Guest Best Actress category for her role in the movie, Orange which is a  new black movie.

Idris Elba was nominated alongside Chiwetel in the same category and Uzo was nominated alongside Melissa McCarthy in the same category.

Morgan Freeman, Other Entertainers, Mourn Mandela

Actors Morgan Freeman and Idris Elba, who both portrayed Nelson Mandela in the movies, were among many figures from the entertainment world who paid tribute to the South African anti-apartheid hero who died on Thursday.

Freeman, who got to know the charismatic Mandela in the 1990s and portrayed him in the 2009 drama “Invictus,” said he was “a saint to many, a hero to all who treasure liberty, freedom and the dignity of humankind.”

The American actor added: “As we remember his triumphs, let us, in his memory, not just reflect on how far we’ve come, but on how far we have to go. Madiba may no longer be with us, but his journey continues on with me and with all of us.”

In a recollection published by the Time magazine website, he said: “His only comment after we first screened the movie for him was a humble, ‘Now perhaps people will remember me.'”

Elba, a British actor and rapper, who starred in this year’s biopic “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” said, “What an honor it was to step into the shoes of Nelson Mandela and portray a man who defied odds, broke down barriers, and championed human rights before the eyes of the world.”

U.S. filmmaker Harvey Weinstein, whose company has distribution rights for the film, said he had been “unspeakably fortunate to have been immersed in Nelson Mandela’s story and legacy.” He said he had spent time with Mandela, adding, “I can say his sense of humor was as great as his optimism.”

Oscar-winning South African-born actress Charlize Theron tweeted: “My thoughts and love go out to the Mandela family. Rest in Peace Madiba. You will be missed, but your impact on this world will live forever.”

Bono, the Irish rock star and anti-poverty activist who has campaigned in many African countries, said in a statement: “It was as if he was born to teach the age a lesson in humility, in humour and above all else in patience.

“In the end, Nelson Mandela showed us how to love rather than hate, not because he had never surrendered to rage or violence, but because he learnt that love would do a better job.”

Veteran comedian and actor Bill Cosby and his wife, Camille, said Mandela had “surrounded us with his graciousness, care and respect after we lost our son, Ennis,” who was murdered.

“Moreover, it was an honor to sit alongside him on the bed of his former prison cell; as he triumphantly spoke about his survival and the courage of his supporters,” the Cosbys said.

Soul singer Aretha Franklin said, “Most extraordinary was how he rose above his being imprisoned and exalted himself above apartheid and hatred to unite the country, an unbelievable example of humanitarianism and courage.”

World No. 1 golfer Tiger Woods said: “I got a chance to meet him with my father (Earl) back in ’98. He invited us to his home, and it was one of the most inspiring times I’ve ever had in my life.”

Idris Elba To Star In Adaptation Of Iweala’s Beast Of No Nation

Red Crown Productions has set Idris Elba to star and Cary Fukunaga to direct Beasts of No Nation, an adaptation of Uzodinma Iweala’s bestselling novel.

The story follows the journey of a young boy, Agu, who, when civil war engulfs his West African country is forced to join a unit of mercenary fighters. Not only must Agu face the death of his father and disappearance of his mother and sister, but must also join a life of violence and brutality. Agu befriends a mute boy named Strika and together they face the crimes and hardships of war. Elba will play the lead role of Commander and he will serve in a producing capacity as well.

Elba joins Red Crown Productions’ Daniela Taplin Lundberg and Riva Marker, Parliament Of Owls’ Cary Fukunaga and Primary Productions principal, Amy Kaufman as producers on the film. Daniel Crown and Bill Benenson will serve as executive producers. Red Crown is funding the production.

Beasts Of No Nation was packaged by WME Global, which arranged the financing and will make the domestic deal. IM Global’s specialty label acclaim will make international sales at the Toronto Film Festival.

“We fell in love with Iweala’s powerful narrative and Idris and Cary are a tremendous pairing,” said Red Crown Productions partner, Lundberg.

“This project has been seven years in the making, so to say I’m excited to start shooting this — and with Idris Elba as lead — would be me trying to play it cool. Red Crown has real moxie standing behind this story,” said Fukunaga.