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‘Prometheus’ star Idris Elba reveals Ridley Scott’s style (Bonus: exclusive photo!)

Meriah Doty
Movie Talk
May 21, 2012

For those of you who are as pumped as I am for "Prometheus" -- Ridley Scott's expansive sci-fi thriller that exists in the same universe as his genre classic "Alien" -- I have goodies.

I recently spoke with one of the film's stars Idris Elba about his working relationship with the powerhouse director, and I have obtained an exclusive still photo (see below) for the much-anticipated 3D film, opening in theaters in less than three weeks (June 8).

"Working with Ridley is like taking a master class every day," Elba says of Scott -- who forever changed the sci-fi genre with seminal films "Alien" (1979, Sigourney Weaver) and "Blade Runner" (1982, nominated for two Oscars, starring Harrison Ford). Elba, who worked with him before on "American Gangster," says Scott, unlike most directors, is highly engaged with his acting talent. "He sits the actors down and talks to us before we even start shooting," Elba says, adding, "...Even on 'American Gangster,' I had a small role, but he took the time to sit with me and get to know me."

[Related: 'Prometheus' and more in Yahoo! Movies' Summer Movie Guide]

Elba says his character Janek -- the captain of the ship Prometheus -- was fully developed in the script and that Scott gave him some homework to inspire his performance. "Ridley instructed me to read 'Moby Dick,'" he says, adding that it was very helpful to his character depiction. (Janek is perhaps the most practical of the group, an alpha male most concerned with the logistics of the mission, and not necessarily its lofty goals.)

Unlike other current blockbuster films, "Prometheus" has relied much more on elaborately-built physical sets (instead of green screens and digitally-created characters -- though don't be mistaken, there are a whole lot of CGI shots in "Prometheus"). "It was like being on another planet," Elba says of his experience of working on set. Much of the film was shot at famed British studios Pinewood where "James Bond" and "Batman" have filmed over the years. "All the history there -- it was great," says Elba.

[Related: 'Prometheus' video: Michael Fassbender is a convincing robot]

Elba, by the way, is in high demand these days with his name attached to six yet-to-be released films including his role as Nelson Mandela in an upcoming biopic. When asked about his hectic schedule and moving in-and-out of character, the 39-year-old actor, known for his roles in HBO's "The Wire" and BBC's "Luther," admits, "It's tough... but I liken it to repertory theater" (where an actor usually depicts a number of different characters in a matter of days).

For you avid "Alien" fans who may be worried you've already seen too much, Elba has some reassuring, spoiler-free words: "There's so much more to it than [what is revealed in] the trailer." Indeed, Twentieth Century Fox is being pretty tight-lipped about specifics around the plot -- which we do know involves a devastating revelation that Earth could be destroyed by what has been tragically mistaken for a friendly extra terrestrial invitation. Star Noomi Rapace recently dropped a hint -- that the alien metamorphosizes into at least four different forms and is "every woman's worst nightmare." Hmm... Could a scary birth-like scene be in store?

One thing is certain: Scott, as he says, intends to, "scare the living sh-t out of you."

Exclusive 'Prometheus' Photo:

[Photos: See more 'Prometheus' movie stills]

Watch the latest 'Prometheus' trailer:

'Prometheus' Theatrical Trailer

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