It might not exactly be a date, but if you see that Idris Elba has given you a place, a date and a time to be somewhere, you’re hardly going to say no.
So it wasn’t that surprising that about half of London turned up to an open casting call in east London for Elba’s new film – so many that the whole event had to be shut down.
A poster stating that paid extras were required for a feature film directed by the Hollywood star stated that the film would be set in Hackney’s Afro-Caribbean community in 1983 and that all you had to bring was yourself.
The problem was, too many people brought just themselves and in the end the open casting had to be closed.
People tweeted from the queue calling it “chaos” and saying that a “girl almost got crushed to death”, with one hopeful estimating there to be 900 people in the queue and another saying that by the end a couple of thousand people had showed up. Some tweeted chaotic scenes from outside:
It prompted Elba to post a video to Instagram to thank fans for coming down to the auditions, adding that although he didn’t want to shut it down, it was “looking likely because of the numbers”.
He also praised those who were waiting in the cold, telling hopefuls who hadn’t been seen to send a headshot and some information about themselves to the email address on the poster.
“Thank you so much for coming down and supporting me,” he added.