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Idris Elba, all 6′ 3″ inches of him, is aboard a full plane en route to London from Dubai in Apple TV+‘s new 7-part series Hijack and stuff is abt to go down. Armed terrorists lay siege to and hijack the plane. Elba, the quintessential hero, a rescuer, the man who can get the job done is Sam Nelson, who happens to be an industry security and negotiations expert. Two hundred terrified passengers and crew trying to hold things together have no place to hide. Ebla describes how it was for a man of his size to play cat ad mouse with the villains in a cramped small space, using only his wits. What She Said’ Anne Brodie joined a global news conference. What She Said’ Anne Brodie participated in an international news conference from London that started with the series’ origins and the two years he spent as executive producer and star:

Idris Elba-This came just as an idea from co-creator George Kay. I knew early in the journey what he was trying to achieve and for me as a producer and talent interested in doing something for television, I love television and have done it for years, film as well, there merging. What is film and what is TV? I wanted to make it happen.

How tough was it shooting in an actual plane?

I’m 6’3″ Luckily first class cabin had leg room, and the fact we didn’t break the plane apart – It was a real plane in a studio, the confinement of that heightens the drama. All that led to the feeling of claustrophobia.

There’s plenty of violent action. Were you injured?

One of the things by design, we didn’t take this plane apart to make it easier to shoot so that all the action sequences would be real. Sam does a lot of sneaking around the plane, Me sneaking around the plane is like “Bro, what are you doing? We can see you.” I had to get lower and figure out another way. It adds to the drama and reality. The fight sequences were hard to shoot, they were choreographed within the space. If we hurt ourselves we took a breather and carried on. It’s not that we didn’t care we didn’t change the choreography not to hurt ourselves in this instance, the fight sequences are based on what would we do. Not a fight sequence. I was in this kitchen space and I’m a big man and it wasn’t easy to maneuver around and fight this guy and my character isn’t a fighter. He’s frightened of getting shot and he doesn’t want to plane to go down because of a bullet, so it was by design. It puts the audience in it. We’ve all been in that seat on a plane and looked down the aisle and behind us, they designed it well with the action scenes.

What would Elba do if he were trapped on a plane during a hijacking?

I would shut up and mind my own business. I wouldn’t have thought that out clearly, but if I got eye contact and if I thought for a second that person would listen to me, I would say “Dude, this is very stupid”. I don’t think I’d be the hero guy that’s trying to outsmart hijackers, that I doubt very much, but I certainly would want to help the staff and say, “Look, I volunteer to help you do something”. I’m no hero but I know how to fly a plane now. I’m in!

One of the actors referred three times to Elba’s striking appearance during the conference and this was his response.

“I’m sure it is all subjective. I’m not good-looking to everyone. I’ve been my size and shape all my life. “Oh, you’re a big lad” and I’ve taken on roles that sort of feed into that a little bit, and in this particular time, I was really interested in playing against it. Even though Sam knows where he is, he is always the hero in that sense, and he’s vulnerable, and he’s got a lot going on internally with his family. I was interested in that, playing against type. Some camera angles are not sexy, especially on a plane. Jim had the camera right up my nozzle and I’m like “Are you sure that in the light?” and he said, “No, this is perfect”.

Hijack is on Apple TV+ now

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