Ridley Scot has revealed how Idris Elba reacted during the shooting of American Gangster.
The filmmaker told Daily Mail that during the making of the film which also features Denzel Washington that he wanted to add realism to the scene of Washington’s character Frank shooting Elba’s Tango in the head by having Elba lean into the prop weapon, which made Elba momentarily think he was actually shot.
“[Frank is] in the cafe and he says, ‘Just stay here’ and he goes out and all his brothers are watching, and he goes down the street and Idris Elba is standing there saying, ‘Hey, what are you going to do, shoot me, Frank? Go on, shoot me Frank in front of all these people.’ And he just goes boom and shoots him on the spot,” Scott explained.
“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,” Scott said. “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.’”
Scott added that when the fake gun went off, Elba collapsed, thinking he had been shot because of how it discharged.
“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!’”
But Elba wasn’t shot, and the rest of filming continued.
Check out the scene: