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New award puts Idris Elba in high spirits

Published 28/02/2016

Idris Elba with his best supporting male gong for Beasts Of No Nation (Invision/AP)
Idris Elba with his best supporting male gong for Beasts Of No Nation (Invision/AP)

Idris Elba has celebrated with a James Brown dance move after being named best supporting male at the Film Independent Spirit Awards.

Elba, who has already won a Screen Actors Guild Award for his role as a warlord in Beasts Of No Nation, took his young co-star Abraham Attah on stage with him as he collected his gong.

He said: "I am not here on my own, I supported Abraham. I want to share this award with him, he's an amazing talent who had never done this before."

He added: "James Brown does this so I'm going to do that," before performing a hop and kissing the back of his wrist.

Speaking backstage after his win, the Luther star spoke about the challenges of diving into the role so soon after becoming a father for the first time.

He said: "It was hard, I literally I had a baby one month before I started filming, my first son.

"Then I went off and made that film, it was the toughest thing for me to do. My mind wasn't in that space. So it became a challenge that I had to really embrace."

Elba, who revealed he was suffering with a bad back after playing basketball, also spoke about the physical preparations he made for the role adding: "I ate a lot! I got really fat and there was no real physical preparation if I'm honest, it was all a cerebral exercise.

"I did have a weird haircut and that was hard to wear every day."

Elba's 15-year-old co-star Attah was named best male lead at the ceremony on the beach in Santa Monica, California, beating experienced actors including Jason Segel and Ben Mendelsohn and prompting Elba to leap to his feet to cheer.

Spotlight, a film about the Boston Globe investigation into sex abuse in the Catholic church was named best feature, while its director Tom McCarthy took the directing prize, as well as the best screenplay award for the script he wrote with Josh Singer. The film also won best editing and the Robert Altman Award for the ensemble cast.

Brie Larson, who is the favourite to win at the Oscars, was named best female lead for her work in Room.

Speaking backstage, she said the first thing she wanted to do after awards season concluded was read James Joyce's novel Finnegans Wake.

She said: "It's really hard. I'm travelling so much, I have to put it aside because with something like that I really like to feel the pages. I can't read it on a Kindle.

"So I'm really looking forward to that. I have Finnegans Wake sitting on my desk, and that is the first thing I will do when this is all done."

The actress, who was dressed in Chanel couture, has already won at the Golden Globes and SAGs.

The Diary of a Teenage Girl was named best first feature, while transgender actress Mya Taylor was named best supporting female for Tangerine.

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