By Ariana Bacle
January 30, 2016 at 12:00 PM EST
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Idris Elba won the Best Supporting Actor award at Saturday’s SAG Awards for his role in Beasts of No Nationa Cary Fukunaga-directed drama in which Elba played a commandent in charge of a group of young rebels in war-torn Ghana.

“I want to tell you man, we made a film about real people and real lives,” Elba said in his acceptance speech. “To be awarded for it is very special, because a lot of people were damanged through that. So thank you for giving this film some respect and love.”

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Elba has previously spoken about why he was drawn to the film, which he said “has a really beautiful point of view which was fascinating for [him].” “We could make a war movie, but this was about a boy coming of age within a new family,” he told Variety“How do you humanize someone that’s a dictator to an army of kids? That was a massive challenge to me.”

This marks Elba’s first SAG Award; he was also nominated for his performance in Luther at this year’s awards. He’s next set to appear in ZootopiaStar Trek Beyondand The Jungle Book.