Idris Elba's Daughter Didn't Land Beast Because 'Their Chemistry Wasn't Right'

There are countless creative and business-related factors that go into the casting of actors in major motion pictures, much of which boils down to one straightforward but extremely important concept: chemistry. Talent, good looks, and all the charisma in the world can only go so far if one simply doesn't possess those certain intangibles that make sparks fly with co-stars and cause viewers to instantly buy in the relationship and story being depicted on-screen. But for Idris Elba and his real-life daughter, the casting process for "Beast" ended up revealing the awkward reality that actual father/daughter relationships have no bearing on fictional ones.

Other than the obvious draw of pitting a movie star like Elba against killer lions in the South African wild, the part of the role that the actor really sunk his teeth into was the idea of playing a father attempting to reconnect with his daughters following the recent death of his wife and their mother. While the roles of those two daughters went to established young actors in Iyana Halley ("The Hate U Give," "This is Us") and Leah Sava Jeffries ("Rel," "Empire"), Elba revealed in a recent appearance on The Breakfast Club podcast (via Insider) that his actual daughter, Isan Elba, auditioned to play the role of his character's older daughter Meredith. Why didn't she get the art? Believe it or not, the younger Elba ultimately lost out due to a lack of chemistry with her father. 

Idris Elba humorously explained:

"Interestingly enough, my daughter auditioned for this role. She wants to be an actress and she auditioned. And it came down to chemistry in the end ... she was great, but the relationship in the film and my relationship between my daughter, the chemistry wasn't right for film, weirdly enough. My daughter didn't talk to me for about three weeks."

No hard feelings?

Appearing alongside "Beast" producer Will Packer, the "Luther" star walked listeners through the potentially thorny issue of having to turn down his own daughter for the part. Thankfully, that's where longtime family friend Packer stepped in to soften the blow. As he put it himself:

"I've known her for a very long time, I'm like Uncle Will, that's my little niece and she's amazing. Here's what I will say, I've got to give props to Idris, because a lot of people talk about nepotism ... Idris was definitely like, 'I want to put her through the ropes, go in, audition.' He auditioned with her, he was very tough on her. He said, 'You know, at the end of the day we're going to make the best decision for the movie, I trust you Will, I trust the director [Baltasar Kormákur].' And she was very good, very close. Idris is right, some of the nuances of that real-life relationship sometimes doesn't translate on screen."

Despite potentially causing familial strife, Elba heaped praise on his daughter Isan for being "very gracious about it" and even choosing to attend the premiere alongside her famous dad, as well. The elephant in the room certainly revolves around that idea of nepotism, given how many other actors would've insisted on such casting (regardless of whether it fit the movie or not) and robbed another deserving actor of the role in the process. In addition to his silky smooth voice acting, his recent success with action roles, and his larger-than-life performance in George Miller's upcoming "Three Thousand Years of Longing," let's throw "Dad of the Year" onto his ledger for making the hard but ultimately rewarding choice for his daughter, too.

"Beast" is currently playing in theaters.