Idris Elba’s young co-star in Netflix show Turn Up Charlie got the job because she didn’t recognise him.
The Luther star’s new show sees him turn his hand to comedy in the eight-part series which follows his character, struggling DJ Charlie, take a job as a ‘manny’ while he’s waiting to get his dream career back on track.
When he auditioned actors for the role of Gabby, the 11-year-old problem-child daughter of his best friend, movie star David and his DJ wife Sara, Idris joked that actress Frankie Hervey landed the role because she didn’t recognise him.
“No, she had no clue, actually,” he told Collider. “The absolute last audition was Frankie, and she walked into the room and was like, ‘Hi, everyone! How’re you doin?’ She looked at me and shook my hand, and she kept ahold of my hand, which was really awkward. I was looking at her, and she pulled my hand and said, ‘You know, my Grandma said I’d recognise you, but I don’t.’ And I was like, ‘She’s got the job!’”
He added: “She’s actually embarrassed when I tell that story now. She’s like, ‘But I really didn’t recognise you!’”
The Wire star, who based the show on his own experiences as a DJ, described the British actress, who is playing an American in her first onscreen role, as a “special find”.
“She’d never acted before and it was her first audition, and she just embodied it,” he gushed. “She’s not like (her character)… She was really playing a role, and she killed it.”
The father of two, he has a teenage daughter Isan, and son Winston, four, admitted that when it comes to parenting, like his character Charlie, he just “makes it up as he goes along”.
“I’m very much like that, with kids I’m not overly strict,” he shared. “I came from very strict parents, and I didn’t wanna do that to my kids, so I’m a lot goofier.”