Hackney-born Hollywood star Idris Elba hosted the UK gala screening of Disney’ s new animated film Zootropolis at Hackney Picturehouse on March 7.
The Golden Globe-winning actor who grow up in Holly Street, Dalston, lent his voice to one of the characters in the children’s film. Elba, who has previously portrayed Nelson Mandela and is one of the actors rumoured to be the next James Bond, walked the red carpet and introduced the screening.
Elba last visited the Hackney Picturehouse for the National Youth Film Festival in 2013. A spokesperson for the Picturehouse said: “We were thrilled to host Disney’s UK Gala Screening of Zootropolis. It’s always a pleasure welcoming Idris to Hackney Picturehouse and we were touched to hear his pride in bringing this Hollywood feature back to his hometown. The film is fantastic but more so we hope this star visit will inspire the young Hackney generation to dream big.”
The film is a comedy-adventure directed by Rich Moore and Byron Howard. It’s set in the ‘mammal metropolis’ Zootropolis, and tells the story of Judy Hopps (played by Ginnifer Goodwin) who is the first bunny to join the police force. She is teamed up with the confident police fox Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) and Idris Elba himself plays ‘Chief Bogo’: a buffalo that is the head of the police department.
The actor went to the now-closed Laburnum Primary School in Haggerston then Kingsland Secondary School (later called the Petchey Academy).
Howard also directed Disney’ s hugely successful animated musical film Tangled.
Zootropolis opens in cinemas on March 25.