Idris Elba’s open casting call for his upcoming directorial effort was shut down on Monday (08May17) after too many people showed up.
Over the weekend (06-07May17), The Wire actor shared an open casting call notice on his Instagram account. The notice advertised for paid extras for his next project as director, for his first feature film, which is set in the Afro-Caribbean community in Hackney, London in 1983.
Wannabe extras were instructed to visit Whitmore Community Centre in the area between 4pm and 9pm on Monday so the film team can “take some details and tell you a bit more about the project.”
However, fans flocked to the small venue in their droves and the site became overcrowded, with hundreds of people trying to get into the building or crowding in the nearby streets. Police officers were called to the scene two hours later and they advised the actor to shut it down.
He posted a video on Instagram to explain the situation to those outside and warn them that it’s unlikely he’ll be able to see everybody in the queue.
“So listen, the response to the open casting has been unbelievable,” he said. “I promise we’re trying to see everyone but we’ve only got until 9 o’clock and already I’m asked to shut it down because of the numbers. I don’t want to shut it down but it’s looking very likely.”
He advised those waiting to send a headshot of themselves and some information to a casting agency email address.
“I’m really worried that anyone else that comes down tonight is definitely not going to get seen so don’t,” he concluded. “Thank you so much for coming down and supporting me, alright. For those guys standing in the cold, big up, big up, we will try and get to you, but don’t be surprised if we don’t.”
A representative for London’s Metropolitan Police told BBC Newsbeat that the event was eventually cancelled by organizers following a discussion with police officers.