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Why Idris Elba Refused To Change A Director's Mind When His Daughter Was Denied A Role In His Film Because She Lacked 'Chemistry' With Him

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Idris Elba, Idris Elba and his daughter at a movie premiere

There was a time when it was par for the course for a celebrity to pass the torch to the next generation of their family, deserved or not. But with the intense debate surrounding celebrities like Johnny Depp and his "nepo baby" daughter, actors like Tobey Maguire felt the need to clarify that they did not enter the industry with silver spoons in their mouths.

One star who has no qualms about keeping the playing field level whether his daughter is on it or not is Idris Elba. He recently starred in the movie, "Beast," and his 20-year-old daughter, Isan auditioned to play a role that one would think came naturally to her as Elba's daughter.

Though she was sure she would be a shoo-in for the job, the role was given to someone else because she and her father lacked onscreen chemistry. Isan fully expected her superstar dad to intervene and demand she play his daughter in the movie, but he didn’t and she was not happy. TikToker, Charles Peralo shared the story in a video.

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When Idris Elba refused to get his daughter a role in 'Beast,' she didn't talk to him for three weeks.

When Elba appeared in a Breakfast Club interview he told the show’s hosts that his character had two daughters and his daughter thought she could play one of them. They were both surprised to find that their offscreen relationship did not translate in front of the camera.

According to the movie’s producer, Will Packer, “[Elba] auditioned with her, and he was very tough on her. He said [to Isan], ‘Listen, at the end of the day, we’re going to make the best decision for the movie. I trust you, Will. [I] trust the director.” He does add that Isan was really good and came close to getting the role.

Though she was upset at first, Elba told interviewers that despite her initial hurt feelings, the aspiring young actor eventually got over it and handled the situation with grace, even showing up for the movie’s premiere. Elba said he was super proud of his daughter for the maturity she showed.

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The 'nepo baby' debate doesn't apply to some Hollywood parents like Idris Elba.

In the video shared by Peralo, he points out that Elba isn’t the only Hollywood parent who decided they would not use their name to open doors for their children. They are dead set on making their offspring jump through the same hoops any other actor is expected to navigate when auditioning.

Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke refused to pull strings in order for their daughter get roles in films they played in. Ethan is quoted as saying that if he used his pull to gain favor for her, it would have negative personal and professional impact.

Will and Jaden Smith are a case where nepotism may or may not have been used, but it all worked out. People suspected he got roles in The Pursuit of Happiness and Karate Kid because of his father, but the general consensus is that he did a great job playing the roles and used the to launch his own successful music career.

Studies have found that nepotism is not beneficial to anyone… shocker! For the person extending a helping hand, it brings their ethics into question. If it happens at work, the morale and reputation of the company are on the line, and for the recipient of nepotism, people may never truly believe they earned their spot and that uncertainty can have a negative impact on mental health and self-esteem.

Whether Isan holds any long-term resentment toward her father over the missed opportunity remains to be seen. But one thing she does know is that if and when she lands her first role on the big screen, her success will be based solely on her acting skills and not the result of handouts.

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NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington, and author of seven books. She covers lifestyle and entertainment and news, as well as navigating the workplace and social issues.