Idris Elba: Good therapy playing character based on my dad

Idris was very close to his late father.

Idris Elba has said it was emotional playing a character based on his late father – but that it was also “good therapy”.

The Luther actor stars as a father named Walter in new show The Long Run, which is loosely based on his own childhood growing up in East London in the 80s.

Walter was inspired by Elba’s own father, and he revealed it was poignant seeing himself in character for the first time.

He said: “I was very close to my dad and he passed about four years ago, five years ago, so sometimes it was a bit emotional playing him.

“I remember when I first did a costume fitting, put the clothes on, put the wig on, it was emotional man, because we really designed it to look like him.”

But the star said portraying his dad had its benefits.

He said: “But It was also actually good therapy, just to get some laughs.

“My dad was quite funny and quite a jovial, life of the party kind of guy.”

The Long Run starts on Sky1 on March 29.

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