Idris Elba admits playing a character similar to his real-life dad was good "therapy" for him.

Idris Elba

Idris Elba

The 45-year-old actor stars as Walter in his new semi-autobiographical comedy 'In The Long Run', and Idris has admitted it was "emotional" playing the part because there were such strong parallels with his own dad, who passed away four years ago.

The London-born star - whose father Winston was from Sierra Leone in West Africa - explained: "My dad only passed about four years ago. It was emotional. Dressing up like him, it was good therapy.

"My dad was quite funny and a life of the party kind of guy."

In the show, Walter helps his younger brother to settle down in England, having arrived in the country from Sierra Leone.

And Idris claims it was important to incorporate "casual racism" in the new Sky One programme, because it was still prevalent during his own childhood.

He told the Metro newspaper: "There is casual racism in our show and it's important to show that because that's exactly what it was like, rightly or wrongly."

However, he's admitted highlighting the racism issue represents a "brave" move, because he's aware that society has become more "sensitive" towards the problem in recent decades.

Idris shared: "For us to put that in modern TV is a brave move. It shouldn't just come from a black person or a white person, it came from everyone, that's how it was at the time. People weren't as sensitive about it then."

Tagged in