Elba scouts 'Yardie' talent
British actor Idris Elba was in Kingston recently scouting actors for Yardie, which marks his debut as a film director. A source close to the project told the Jamaica Observer that Sheldon Shepherd of art-reggae group, The No-Maddz, has been tapped to play the lead role.
Elba visited the Harry J and Dynamic Sounds recording studios in Kingston, earmarking them as potential filming sites.
Filming on Yardie –– which is based on Jamaican author Victor Headley's sensational 1992 book of the same title –– is scheduled to start in June, the source said.
Last July, Elba told The Hollywood News radio station that he was looking forward to directing a film for the first time. He did not say if he would appear in Yardie, but predicted it has the potential to be as gripping as a classic 1990 Martin Scorsese movie.
“I've been developing the book, it's a classic, a couple of years ago I got the opportunity to turn it into a screenplay, and we are really close. Hopefully gunna go into directing that next year. I'm very nervous about it because it is a classic, but Yardie for me is going to be our Goodfellas. It's a story about a kid who gets deeper and deeper into hot water. There's going to be a lot of music, big sound system culture represented in it. Any actors I'm asking to be in it I'm asking for them to grow their hair out for about six weeks,” he said.
Born in London to African parents, 44-year-old Elba first made a name in the HBO drama series The Wire. His films include American Gangster and Beasts of No Nation.