Idris Elba: “Drama is therapy”

Idris Elba in Beasts of No Nation

“How is it possible for me to be in one state of mind, and then say ‘Action’ and go into another state of mind?” – Idris Elba on acting

If someone had told you that Idris Elba had never received any formal acting training, you’d have thought they were nuts. But, as it turns out, the star of The Wire and Luther is a total natural.

When asked recently what his acting technique was, the star of Netflix’s Beasts of No Nation told the Los Angeles Times, “I think you can philosophize about it forever and ever, and there are amazing institutions called drama schools that do that. But the truth is there’s a few things that happen when you’re an actor. You’re using your imagination in real time, and you’re creating, literally. I tend not to over-analyze that but I definitely understand that acting is therapy.”

“In some incarnation in the future, I’m going to put this idea into some sort of a program and offer it to people: Drama is therapy. You’re the same being that you are every day, but I could be in a really bad mood, walk into a scene and start laughing and having the greatest time. Same body, same brain, two different absolute personalities. There’s a real interesting connection to psychology that I’m fascinated with. But technically, it’s more about just being there in the moment,” he went on to say.

The program, he says, is to “examine with the right sort of people who understand my theory. How is it possible for me to be in one state of mind, and then say “Action” and go into another state of mind? What’s going on there? What is my brain being tricked to do? And then if that’s the case, people that have problems, depression, communications issues — I think they could benefit from drama.”

Wherever this program is, sign me up.

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