Idris Elba’s daughter, Isan, used her platform as a 2019 Golden Globes Ambassador to bring awareness to mental illness in the Black community during a panel discussion at luncheon in Beverly Hills last week.
“It was only about two years ago that my mom opened up to me,” Isan shared with PEOPLE about her mother, Hanne “Kim” Norgaard, who was married to Idris from 1999 to 2003.
“I’m not going to lie, it’s a struggle every day. It’s a learning lesson for me, but it’s hard. Mental health is something that’s hard to deal with. We just sat down and talked about it, and I think that was better for her, talking about it and talking about it with someone who means the most in her life and just getting that out.”
Isan’s mother reportedly battles with bipolar depression, depression, and chronic anxiety.
“It was definitely a learning curve. I’m so much closer to my mom now because I know what she’s going through.”
Inspired by her candid discussion during the panel, Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) president, Meher Tatna donated $50,000 to the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation in Isan’s name.
Isan also shared her own battle with self-esteem issues after being bullied.
“I’ve always been a quirky kid,” she shared. “I’ve had to work through that. Part of the reason I was bullied was because of my personality. Other people gravitated towards my personality — but at my school, the kids had never met someone so sporadic like me. After that, I just sort of said, ‘Whatever, I’m not going to listen to what you say.’”
She went on to add: “Being myself is what got me here. People have been telling me how much of an inspiration it is that I’m talking about this.”
Meanwhile, she also shared her hilarious reaction when she learned her dad had been named People’s Sexiest Man Alive.
“Actually, I was on Instagram. People said, ‘Oh, we’re announcing the Sexiest Man Alive,’ and I was like, ‘Oh yes, can’t wait,’” she said at the Golden Globes Ambassador press conference. “I wake up in the morning and it’s my dad. I was like, ‘This is not what I was expecting. This is not very fun.’”
She continued: “When I called him the day after, not even about it, he was like, ‘Do you have anything to say to me?’” she told People. “And I said, ‘No, I don’t think so.’ Then he said, ‘I’m the Sexiest Man Alive.’ I was like, ‘Oh, yeah. That. That thing. Uh, O.K., cool. You’re welcome.’”