The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) made the announcement on Wednesday, revealing the teenager as the new ambassador. HFPS President Meher Tatna introduced Isan at The Four Seasons in Los Angeles.
“Last year, the HFPA renamed the title to represent a more inclusive role that was not only gender-neutral but also spoke to the HFPA’s commitment to philanthropy,” Tatna said. “However, we are continuing to stand by the tradition that the honoree is the daughter or son of a well-known actor.”
“She’s a big fan of film, fashion, and beauty and is also a member of her school’s business club and in her spare time, you can often find her travelling with her Golden Globe award-winning dad,” Tatna continued. “Please help me in welcoming and congratulating the 2019 golden globe ambassador, daughter of Kim and Idris Elba, Isan Elba.”
During her speech, the 16-year-old said she was “honoured” at the opportunity to be an ambassador and described the moment as “surreal.”
“I’ve always been a lover of TV and movies and I dream to be in the industry one day,” she said while thanking her father and mother, Kim Elba. “I’m really honoured to have this position and be able to talk about things that, issues that I care about such as mental health, expression among African Americans, and my peers in particular. There’s a perceived stigma and I’ve seen my friends struggle with it.”
She added, “We really need to empower younger people to ask for help. Thank you so much for this incredible honour and I will see everyone at the event of the year on January 6. Thank you.”
Isan was treated to a special video made by her father and played at the ceremony in which he gushed about his daughter.
“Not only am I one of your favourite actors, but I’m also a proud, proud father of this year’s new Golden Globe Ambassador — my beautiful daughter Isan,” he said. “Hey Issie, I know you’re probably cringing right now.”
He continued, “I just want to say how thankful both Isan’s mom and myself are and Isan for giving her this honour to be an ambassador. It has such a positive impact on her life and our lives and we can see the confidence and aspiration in Isan grow.”
“So we’re very thankful, so I really want to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for choosing Isan. It’s a real special honour,” Elba added while explaining that he couldn’t be in attendance due to work. “I’m really sorry I couldn’t be there today. I’m in the middle of an action film and today I’m fighting with some sharks. I want to say thank you, guys. I love you Isan. Have a great time. Peace.”
Isan told PEOPLE she found out about the honour through a text message from her dad.
“I literally, I was like, ‘Are you sure?’ Because, you know, he deals with, you know, cool stuff all the time so I was like, ‘Are you sending this to the right person?’” she said. “And I showed my mom, I was like, ‘Mom, dad just told me I’m the Golden Globe Ambassador,’ and she was like, ‘Yeah, you are!’”
She continued, “So I was literally flipping out! It was surreal and so I’m really honoured to have this and be a part of the Golden Globes that I always watched my whole life and now being able to go on stage and touch a Golden Globe and meet people that are winning Golden Globes is really cool.”
When asked if she did anything special to celebrate the occasion, Isan said, “No, I was too busy running and screaming around the house to do that so, no.”
Isan is following in the footsteps of other Hollywood legends’ sons and daughters such as Sylvester Stallone’s daughters Sophia, Sistine and Scarlet, as well as Dakota Johnson, Laura Dern and Melanie Griffith.
The teenager will be escorting honorees on and off the stage, as well as carrying the statuettes.
She’ll also have someone supporting her the whole way through. Her dad told PEOPLE this month he is “super doting” when it comes to his kids. (He also has 4-year-old son Winston from a previous relationship.)
“I tend to be conscious of my daughter’s space,” he said. “I’m super doting as a dad. Big hugs, kisses, lots of love-yous and all of that.”
Elba added, “I’m sure my daughter’s like, ‘All right dad, chill out.’ My son, he gets it. But he’s still at that age where he loves a cuddle.”
The Golden Globe Awards air Jan. 6.
PHOTO CREDIT: Tribune Content Agency