BANG Showbiz

Idris Elba: Change is coming to the Oscars

IDRIS Elba believes "change is coming" at the Oscars in the wake of this year's diversity row.

The 43-year-old actor is certain the Academy has taken notice of the complaints following the lack of diversity in the nominations list for the ceremony later this month and he is hopeful it won't happen again.

Speaking at the London Evening Standard's British Film Awards in the UK capital, Idris told BANG Showbiz: "The discussion that's going on about the Oscars is fantastic. A change is coming, definitely.

"I do believe it, otherwise I wouldn't be here. And I think everyone feels it, it's a big subject and there is more work to do."

Idris picked up Best Actor prize at the ceremony for his performance as a rebel warlord who trains child soldiers in 'Beasts of No Nation' - a film which features a cast of all black actors which was not named in one category at the Oscars.

As the controversy surrounding the Academy Awards rages on Hollywood stars such as Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith and director Spike Lee have vowed to not attend the ceremony which takes place on February 28.

However, some prominent names such as Dame Helen Mirren and '45 Years' actress Charlotte Rampling have defended the Academy for their nominations.

Helen, 70, believes Idris' performance in 'Beasts of No Nation' deserved an Oscar nod but he didn't get one because audiences were put off from seeing the movie because of its grim subject matter about violent civil war in West Africa.

She commented: "Idris Elba absolutely would have been nominated for an Oscar. He wasn't because not enough people saw, or wanted to see a film about child soldiers."

Although the Oscars ignored him, Idris did scoop two prizes at the Screen Actors Guild Awards last month in the Best Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture and Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role categories, something he was very proud of.

He said: "It was one of the biggest moments of my life. To be nominated by your peers. It's a great feeling.

"It was definitely a hard film to make, one of the hardest I've made actually. I enjoyed doing it, had a strong message ... I'm always keeping it original and stories come not from location but from a place of reality and that's what is important. In Africa there are so many stories to offer, so I'll probably be doing more films around that."

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