Actor Idris Elba Reflects on Challenging Filming Process for Apple TV+ Show ‘Hijack’

Actor Idris Elba Reflects on Challenging Filming Process for Apple TV+ Show ‘Hijack’

…By Henry George for TDPel Media.

Idris Elba shares his unique filming experience for the new Apple TV+ series “Hijack,” comparing it to flying to Mars.


The actor had to act on an airplane set for approximately six months, portraying the character Sam Nelson, who finds himself on a hijacked plane traveling from Dubai to London.

The Challenges of Filming in a Replica Aircraft

Director Jim Field Smith explains that the set was a meticulously detailed replica of an airliner, making the cast feel as though they were boarding a long-haul flight every day for 120 days.

Elba, aged 50, describes the compact space and the claustrophobia it created, stating that it felt like being in a documentary or watching one being made.


Idris Elba’s Role as Sam Nelson in “Hijack”

In the series, Elba’s character, Sam Nelson, is a corporate negotiator who utilizes his professional skills to save the passengers on the hijacked plane.

Elba mentions the challenges of filming in such a confined space, particularly given his height of over 6ft.

The role required a lot of crawling and sneaking around, adding to the drama and realism of the show.

Filming Challenges and Intense Moments on “Hijack”

The fight sequences proved difficult to shoot due to the limited space within the aircraft set.

Elba explains that the scenes were choreographed to fit the space, and any injuries during filming were quickly addressed before resuming.


Additionally, filming took place outside the aircraft, where other characters like DI Daniel O’Farrel and Zahra Gahfoor, portrayed by Max Beesley and Archie Panjabi respectively, worked on unraveling the complexities of the hijacking situation.

Intense and Humorous Moments on Set

Archie Panjabi mentions the challenges of working in tight spaces outside the aircraft and how the cast was packed closely together.

Despite the intense nature of the series, Panjabi highlights the camaraderie on set, stating that they shared many laughs despite the demanding circumstances.


The highly anticipated Apple TV+ series “Hijack” provides viewers with a gripping and immersive story set on a hijacked plane.

Idris Elba’s portrayal of Sam Nelson brings intensity and excitement to the show, as he navigates the challenges of saving passengers in a confined space.


The unique filming experience in a meticulously crafted replica aircraft adds to the realism and claustrophobic atmosphere of the series.

Audiences can look forward to the release of the first two episodes on June 28, followed by weekly episodes until August 2.

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