Following the release of his new film Beast, Idris Elba has spoken out about the devastating impact of animal poaching.
In the film, Elba plays an ordinary father who must protect himself and his two daughters from a massive rogue lion in the Savanna.
Speaking exclusively to NME, the actor explained how the survival thriller attempts to raise awareness of poaching, as well as the risks of taking animals out of their natural habitats.
“There’s a real big problem with poaching in the rest of the world. Not just Africa,” he said. “What happens is when they come in to feed this massive ecosystem which is poaching, is that they break families up.
“They destroy environments, break prides up, break family structures up, break environments up where animals would naturally live.
“And it’s something that we should all sort of make some noise about, not only for the extinction levels – [there are] so many animals just being taken out] – but also because it’s just cruel. And it’s really disruptive.
He added: “The film doesn’t try and harp on about that, but if some people go, ‘Oh really? Is that what happens?’ and look it up, hopefully more people will be aware about it.”
In NME’s two star review of Beast, we wrote: “Fortunately, Beast is silly enough – and brief enough at 93 minutes – to be a fun watch. Its schlocky B-movie plot moves quickly, largely because there’s hardly an inch of depth to it.
“It doesn’t get quite as silly as Jaws: The Revenge’s denouement, where a shark is annoyed enough with the characters to impale itself on a boar mast, but when Elba punches a lion in the face during hand-to-paw combat, it comes pretty close.
Beast is now showing in cinemas.