For several years now, Idris Elba has dazzled TV series and big-show movies with his manned performances. His charisma is undeniable and the actor is unanimous wherever he goes.
From The Wire at Luther for the small screen, of the saga Fast & Furious at The Dark Tower for the cinema, Idris Elba knew how to navigate intelligently between the mediums. We look forward to seeing him as Robert DuBois, aka Bloodsport, in The Suicide Squad 2 planned for this year. The time to wait and find the actor on our screens, we offer 10 things to know about Idris Elba.
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In the Thor saga. Credit: Marvel / Disney Studio
Idris Elba is also a DJ
You might not know it, but in addition to acting, Idris Elba is a DJ. The actor takes advantage of his free time, when he is unsure of a shoot, to make the crowds dance. At night, it’s not Idris Elba who sets the mood for the evening, but DJ Big Driis or Driis the Londoner (Driis the Londoner).
Another role that the actor takes on and which is not new to him. Idris Elba is used to the turntables he scratched since he was 19 years old. It happened a bit by chance. His uncle was in charge of the sound system for a wedding and Idris seized the opportunity. Since then, the actor of Luther has not stopped and occurs regularly. He has also mixed during an NBA All Star Game or in Ibiza during the evenings Paris by Night organized by French DJ Bob Sinclar. Passionate about electro and underground music since the 1980s and 1990s, Idris Elba has never given up on his second hobby.
In addition and to make short, Idris Elba is passionate about music and very gifted in this field. Besides being a DJ, Idris Elba is a good rapper. In 2007, he co-produced the song Intro by Jay-Z for the album American Gangster. In 2012, it was with the British group Mumford & Sons that he collaborated by participating in the song Lover of the Light and by co-directing the clip.
Idris Elba is an automobile enthusiast
Like some actors, including Tom Cruise and Paul Newman, Idris Elba is an automobile enthusiast. The actor proclaims himself “speed addict»: «I like speed, and I guess I’m a little bit addicted to riskHe admitted during an interview. On the occasion of his mini-series Idris Elba: No Limits, on the Discovery channel, the actor indulges in thrills: aerial acrobatics, piloting a dragster or a rally car, the actor gives his all. Idris Elba even had the opportunity to beat the “Flying Mile” world speed record. In 2015, in a Bentley Continental GT Speed, Idris Elba hit a record speed of 290 km / h at Pending Sand Beach, Wales. The previous record was held by Sir Malcolm Campbell with a peak of 281 km / h, in 1927.
Idris Elba imitates the American accent very well
The Wire. Crédit : HBO
If you too have fallen into the trap while watching the series The Wire, don’t worry, you are not the only one. In the successful HBO series (aired between 2002 and 2008) and created by David Simon, Idris Elba plays Russel “Stringer” Bell, with a very American accent.
His accent is so perfect in the series that when the actor started to tour TV shows and other interviews, viewers were in shock. Even former President Barack Obama, whose The Wire is the favorite series, could not believe the day he received Idris Elba at the White House.
It must be said that to perfect his Yankee accent, the native of London had enough to train. Before becoming famous, Idris Elba was did not have a stable job. He thus traveled between New York and London. When he was in New York, Brooklyn to be more precise, Idris worked as a hairdresser in a place called Ace of Spades. There, the aspiring actor could practice taking on the American accent with his local clients. Then, to make ends meet, the actor also performed as a DJ in New York clubs. A good way to soak up the American accent that will have served him superbly later.
Idris Elba is multi-award winning
Idris Elba has become for a few years, and his very noticed appearances on television in the series The Wire and especially Luther, a renowned actor. However, Idris Elba has not yet had the chance to reach the upper echelons of cinema since he was never nominated for an Oscar. However, if the Oscars shunned it, other ceremonies haven’t.
The actor has been nominated numerous times for British and American ceremonies throughout his career. Idris Elba won two NAACP Image Awards in 2011 and 2014 and a BET Award for his iconic role as a tortured cop in Luther. But the climax came in 2012 for the actor when he was presented with the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Miniseries, once again for Luther. The British series ends up sitting the Londoner as a key figure on the small screen. This is Luther also which will open the doors of the cinema to him.
In 2015, Idris Elba played Nelson Mandela in the film Beasts of No Nation. For this role, the actor will once again receive a multitude of awards, before perhaps one day, the supreme award.
Idris Elba, the sexiest man
You probably won’t be surprised, but Idris Elba leaves no one indifferent to his charm. From 2007, when he made himself known in The Wire, the actor is found in the annual ranking of the magazine People who establishes his list of the 100 sexiest personalities on the planet. In 2013, he ‘won’ this title by the magazine Essence aimed at African American women and was ranked second in the same year by the magazine People.
In 2015, Idris Elba created a stir by appearing on the cover of the women’s magazine Maxim, a great first for a man. It was not until 2018 that the magazine People calls Idris Elba “the sexiest man in the world”. Superficial titles that can make you smile while waiting for the recognition of your peers in the world of culture.
Idris Elba as Mandela
Mandela: A long road to freedom. Credit: Pathé Distribution
In 2013, in Mandela: A long road to freedom, Idris Elba plays the famous “Madiba” in this autobiographical adaptation of the former president of South Africa. The actor plays with strength and determination a young Mandela during his political career, apartheid and his years in prison. A significant role for Idris Elba who threw himself body and soul into the interpretation of Mandela.
To immerse himself in the character during his time in prison, Idris Elba told in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that he spent a night, alone, in the double-locked cell occupied by Nelson Mandela on Robben Island in South Africa. “Madiba” had spent 18 years locked in this cell.
Idris Elba could have been a teacher
In that same interview for Oprah Winfrey, in 2013, Idris Elba revealed that if his acting career hadn’t worked out, he would have been headed for something else entirely. ” I might be in teaching. My cousin in England is a life coach and I love what he does because he helps people make better choices “. It remains to be seen in which discipline Idris would have liked to teach.
Idris Elba struggled to keep his jobs
Before starting an acting career, Idris Elba did odd jobs without too much success. So he worked as a telemarketer, tire fitters and night shift worker at the Ford plant where his father worked. His task was to weld side panels on Ford Fiestas. But one night Idris fell asleep and the cars he needed to deal with moved on to the next installer with the infamous panels missing. Because of this mistake, Idris was vilified by his boss. On his last day of work, Idris borrowed the keys to a buggy to take tours around the factory instead of working. Needless to say, her father and boss were beyond pissed off. After returning the keys, the actor took a one-way ticket to New York.
Idris Elba is snubbed by Hollywood
The Dark Tower. Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment
Idris Elba is unanimously appreciated but he is paradoxically shunned by, even snubbed, by Hollywood. If he is a hit on television in The Wire and Luther in the years 2000-2010, which gave him access to the cinema, then some appearances in the series The Office, New York, police judiciaire…, Idris Elba never really had a role to his measure. The awards, especially the most prestigious, recognize his talent, but the actor is sorely lacking in good roles in the cinema.
Idris Elba nevertheless collaborates with big names in Hollywood in sometimes interesting projects which, unfortunately, will not meet the hoped-for success: he turns for Ridley Scott in Prometheus and American Gangster in which he plays supporting roles, for Guillermo Del Toro in Pacific Rim, as well as in the semi-failures that were Gunman alongside Sean Penn and Javier Bardemet The Dark Tower, adapted from a book by Stephen King, with Matthew McConnaughey.
These are not his roles in the forgettable films of Thor (2011, 2013, 2017) where his character appears little or global failure Cats (2019) which will comfort American producers. Nevertheless, Idris Elba manages to evolve and persevere to find himself in ambitious films like The Great Game with Jessica Chastain, The mountain between us with Kate Winslet and the big bad in the hit saga Fast and Furious: Hobbs and Shaw with Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. We are now impatiently awaiting his appearance in Suicide Squad 2 and roles commensurate with his talent.
Idris Elba, a London childhood and a French film
Idris Elba is actually called Idrissa Akuna Elba. He was born in the London Borough of Hackney in 1972 to a father, Winston, from Sierra Leone, and a mother, Eve, from Ghana. Idris is an only child and grew up in the theater world, a place where he spent his entire days. Idris considers himself a true Londoner and is very attached to his hometown. This is also why he is a fervent supporter of the Arsenal club, founded in Woolwich, east of London, where the actor is from.
When he was 16, thanks to a royal scholarship, Idris left school to join the National Youth Music Theater, a theater company for the youngest, through which also passed Orlando Bloom, Jude Law, Lily James, Eddie Redmayne and Sally Hawkins. After a British TV debut, Idris will star in a French film, Step mother, in 1999, alongside Catherine Deneuve.