Actor Idris Elba has been gaining fans with his acclaimed work in Luther and Beasts of No Nation. He’s not the only one in his family to possess talent, though. His daughter Isan Elba is looking to become a star on her own.
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16-year-old Isan Elba turned heads online with her sparkly dress at the 2019 Golden Globes as an ambassador. This gig is normally offered to children of famous actors. Landing the part was a complete shock to the rising star. “I had no idea. My dad texted me and I was like, did he text to the wrong number? But then Mom explained it all to me,” Isan told Variety. When it came to her big night, she was ready to step on the stage. She told Glamour, “I’ve always been my dad’s plus-one, and this year I’m the big guy now! Usually, he says, ‘Issie, do you want to come?’ But this year I’ll be like, ‘no, Dad, do you want to come with me?'”
Not Following in Dad’s Footsteps?
As expected, many believe Isan is destined to become a movie and TV star like her father. While she is looking at Hollywood, she has been eyeing a different role. “I really got to see all of the behind-the-scenes, like what the sound department does, the lighting department, the best boy, etc. I didn’t even know what a best boy was before. And then getting to hang out with the producers, that was really cool. So I’m definitely thinking about being a filmmaker,” she told Glamour. She decided on a director role while watching her father direct the film Yardie. Isan recently revealed plans to attend NYU as a film and television production major.
While most actors can’t wait for their kids to follow their lead, father Idris Elba was a bit hesitant. After acting for nearly 30 years, he’s seen plenty of people fall short of their dreams. Fortunately, he knows the talent his child holds in her hands. “[My dad] was a little concerned. But he’s always behind me with whatever I do. I guess you’d say it’s a demanding career. It’s all worth it, but you have to sacrifice,” she said at a Golden Globes luncheon.
Mental Health is Very Important
Isan has been vocal about the rising mental health issues in the country. In recent years, she watched her mom Hanne go through the trials and tribulations of mental illness. “I’m not going to lie, it’s a struggle every day. It’s a learning lesson for me, but it’s hard. Mental health is something that’s hard to deal with,” Isan told People. “We just sat down and talked about it, and I think that was better for her, talking about it and talking about it with someone who means the most in her life and just getting that out.”
When Isan got the role of Golden Globes Ambassador, she wanted to use her position to focus on this issue. “I feel honored to hold this title and use this role to not only further educate people on the work of the HFPA, but also shine a light on issues that I care about,” Isan told Variety. “Mental health, specifically among African Americans and my peers in particular, is something I really want to be more vocal about. There’s this perceived stigma and I’ve seen friends struggle. We need to empower young people to not be afraid to ask for help.”
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association donated $50,000 in Isan’s name to the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation. This foundation, which was founded by actress Taraji P. Henson, deals with mental illness in African American communities.
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