Idris Elba has several boxes checked on his resume: actor, director, producer, songwriter and deejay. For his role in the highly-anticipated Fast & Furious spin off, Hobbs & Shaw, the newly-married heartthrob can add screenwriter.
Well, sort of.
In the film, Elba plays Brixton Lore, a one-man terror squad hellbent on controlling half the world by initiating a global epidemic.
But odd couple good guys Dwayne Johnson (Hobbs) and Jason Statham (Shaw) — who reprise their roles from the Fast & Furious film franchise — throw Elba a monkey wrench (along with a few missiles, punches, jeeps and Samoan spears) in his way to stop his evil master plan.
Much like the blueprint of the Fast & Furious films, Hobbs & Shaw has plenty of adrenaline-inducing car chases and epic fight scenes. But for Elba, part of the real thrill of this project was having a say in his character’s name.
During a private screening of Hobbs & Shaw hosted by Power 105’s Angie Martinez in New York’s Times Square, Elba said:
“The character I’m really excited about is on the screen. The story of Brixton is deeper,” Elba told the NYC crowd in his East London accent during a brief chat with Martinez just before the screening began. “I’m very excited about Brixton Lore.”
“In the script, he’s called Bricks, B-R-I-C-K-S, but I talked to Chris Morgan (the writer) and I said to him, ‘how about we call him Brixton?’ He said, ‘it’s a bit on the nose because he’s an English character.’ But Brixton just sounds rough, like a tough, rude boy name.”
Martinez quickly chimed in, “You just sold it to me.”
“There will be a lot of baby boys being called Brixton now,” the actor added with a laugh.
Elba continued, downshifting into the heart of why the name really connected with him: “Everyone talks about James Bond, but the reason they talk about James Bond is because he’s an iconic character and an iconic name,” he said. “I wanted a character with an iconic name. I’ve played a couple: Stringer Bell – iconic name, Nelson Mandela – iconic name, John Luther – iconic name; you get the drift. Brixton Lore just feels like that for me.”
Watching Brixton Lore won’t be the only place audiences will see Elba’s creative input. Hobbs & Shaw is also his first film where he’s appearing on both the screen and the soundtrack.
“This is the first movie where I’m actually [on the soundtrack]. And when I’m doing a great scene and stunt, I’m spitting bars at the same time” said Elba, referencing the placement of his song, “Even If I Die.”
Hear Elba’s “Even If I Die” from the official Hobbs & Shaw soundtrack above, just before the movie hits theaters this Friday.