Idris Elba has said it is “refreshing” to feature in a movie driven by a complex female lead.
The Luther star plays a lawyer in Molly’s Game, which is based on the account of Jessica Chastain’s character, Molly Bloom, and her time running an underworld poker scene catering to Hollywood’s major players.
Elba, 45, told the Press Association: “It’s nice to have a character that is a strong, interesting character and also be a woman.
“It’s definitely refreshing to have a lead character as a female lead and really complex and great.”
Speaking at the world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, Elba said that “absolutely” there needs to be more of such roles in film, as we need more of “everything”.
The film stands out as women accounted for just 29% of the lead solo roles in the US’s top-100 grossing films of last year, according the Centre for the Study of Women in Television and Film.
Chastain, 40, said: “I think she’s an incredible character and it’s very important because she used her wit and her competitive spirit to become powerful in an industry that is traditionally dominated by men.
“It’s an underdog story, I think it’s inspiring for women everywhere. If they feel passionate about an industry that is predominately men, to fight their way though.”
— TIFF (@TIFF_NET) September 9, 2017
Her character is based on the book by Molly Bloom where she recounts her rise in the underworld.
Elba, the Hackney-born actor who bridged over to the US with his role as scholarly gangster Stringer Bell in The Wire, plays Bloom’s lawyer after she is arrested by the FBI.
“It’s weird that my character looks aesthetically like Stringer, short hair with the goatee, but (he’s) very different,” he said.
“I kind of related to him because he kind of took on a broken wing, someone that was definitely not going to get through the system and he took her on.”
:: The film, also starring Michael Cera and Kevin Costner, is due to be released in the UK on December 26.