Idris Elba Reveals How He Outsmarted The Director Of Three Thousand Years Of Longing

It's not every day that an actor gets to work with the legendary director behind both "Mad Max" and "Happy Feet." When actor Idris Elba was cast in "Three Thousand Years of Longing," he was ecstatic to get to work with the legendary director, writer, and producer George Miller. "Going to work with him every day was an absolute masterclass," Elba gushed during a recent press conference.

The film tells the story of Dr. Alithea Binnie, a scholar who has spent her entire life following logical thought. While she's attending a conference in Istanbul, however, she comes across a magical djinn (Idris Elba) who promises to grant her three biggest wishes. Being the rational woman she is, Dr. Binnie doesn't believe him. It's then that he begins to tell her all sorts of magical stories from his past in order to gain her trust.

Elba spent almost two years nailing down every detail of his mystical character, Djinn, before bringing him to life on the big screen. Yet there was one major detail the actor wanted to include that had completely slipped the director's mind.

Idris Elba requested to film all of his scenes in order

In "Three Thousand Years of Longing," Djinn tells Dr. Alithea Binnie all about his mystical past as they sit in a hotel room. In order to live out this character's most magical life, Idris Elba had a unique request for director George Miller. He wanted to have all of these flashbacks be filmed before he ever stepped foot in the hotel room with Tilda Swinton's character.

It turns out, this idea hadn't even crossed director George Miller's mind. "He's like, 'Well, we hadn't figured to do it that way, but it's a good idea,'" Elba said during the press conference.

Aside from the obvious aspect of continuity, being able to experience these scenes beforehand helped Elba know exactly where his character was coming from. Since many scenes were improvised, Elba was also more easily able to describe these stories to Swinton's character after already experiencing them himself.

Luckily, the director agreed to film all of the flashback scenes before scheduling Swinton's arrival on set.

"Three Thousand Years of Longing" hits theaters on Friday, August 26.