Idris Elba may go toe-to-toe with a vicious lion in his new movie Beast, but the action star didn’t expect to run into one IRL.
“There was a lion there who wasn’t in the movie, and he was on set,” the actor exclusively told E! News’ Daily Pop at the film’s NYC premiere on August 8. Luckily, Elba managed to keep his cool, telling the wild animal, “‘That’s my guy. Hey, buddy, what you doing over there? You running away?'”
The thriller, which premieres August 19, follows Elba’s Dr. Nate Samuels and his two daughters, Norah (Leah Jeffries) and Meredith (Iyana Halley), whose trip to South Africa gets derailed by a bloodthirsty lion on the run from poachers.
“We had to try to make this feel as real as possible,” the 49-year-old said of filming the action flick. “We flew out into the middle of South Africa, into the wilderness. And we had less, so we consumed less, our minds were sharp, we worked hard. It was lots of rehearsal. It was a small, tight crew, but we really worked as a family.”