Ridley Scott says Idris Elba fell to the floor after thinking he’d been shot on American Gangster set

The actor apparently yelled, ‘I’ve been shot!’

Ellie Harrison
Thursday 25 November 2021 07:59
Comments
Idris Elba wins Golden Globe

Ridley Scott has recalled the time actor Idris Elba thought he’d genuinely been shot on the set of his film American Gangster.

Elba played a dealer called Tango in the 2007 movie, alongside Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe.

Scott told MailOnline that the weapon used on the set had a solid filled-in barrel, with no bullets or blanks in it, for the scene where Frank Lucas, a mob boss’s right-hand man played by Washington, puts a gun against the forehead of Elba’s character Tango.

The director had asked Elba to lean against the gun so that the recoil would provoke a physical reaction.

Scott said: “What happened was, I said to Idris, ‘Listen, when he puts the gun to your head lean on the gun,’ because by the way this is a gun with a solid barrel, there is no aperture, I would never risk it – but when you pull the trigger there’s a recoil, there’s no blank, nothing.

“So I said, ‘I want you to lean on the gun.’”

Ridley continued: “He pulled the trigger and it goes bang. Idris thought he’d been shot and dropped to the sidewalk and said, ‘I’ve been shot!’”

The Independent has contacted Elba’s representatives for comment.

Ridley Scott

Firearms expert Paul Biddiss, an advisor on weaponry for films and currently working with Scott, added that the director is “very hot on safety”.

He explained: “What he was referring to by a solid barrel is a completely filled in barrel that no bullet would be able to pass through, so it was a completely deactivated impractical gun as far as firing anything was concerned.

“But he was still able to create a recoil effect for the film’s purposes by using something used in films called a UTM round, which can be put in a weapon that has had the barrel completely filled, and it still causes a blowback.

“It is like a small silver case with compressed air that reacts. It can be used repeatedly for a recoil effect each time. It’s quite often used in close up execution shots in films.”

Scott’s anecdote comes after Alec Baldwin fired a gun on the set of his film Rust, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza.

Scott is currently promoting his new film House of Gucci, starring Adam Driver and Lady Gaga. Read The Independent’s review here.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in