(Reuters) - British actor Idris Elba was honored to play a hostile, menacing alien in “Star Trek Beyond” and praised the franchise for pushing the boundaries of racial diversity in Hollywood.

In “Star Trek Beyond,” the third installment of the latest trilogy of “Star Trek” films out in theaters on Friday, the crew of the Enterprise explores the furthest realms of charted space, where they encounter a new mysterious enemy who puts them, and everything that the Federation stands for, to the test.

Elba plays Krall, the villain responsible for destroying the Federation star ship Enterprise, who has human origins, something the actor wanted to convey when creating a voice for the character.

"English was perhaps his first language, then he learned another language, and then he had to redesign his brain to speak English again so we had to think about how the voice was going to work,” the actor said.

"Star Trek," created in 1966 by Gene Roddenberry and celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, was the first mainstream television show utilizing a racially diverse cast, something that Elba relished watching with his parents while growing up.

“It was great to see a great diverse cast on TV, even before we knew what that was. But it was very interesting to hear a Scotsman, a black woman, an Asian all in one TV show, flying around space. That was pretty out there," he said.

"Star Trek Beyond" will have its world premiere at the Comic-Con convention in San Diego on July 20.