Idris Elba is covering the latest issue of DETAILS magazine. In addition to being one of Hollywood’s hautest men, the 42-year-old father of two (earlier this year he and girlfriend Naiyana Garth, welcomed a boy, named Winston) is arguably a helluva actor. Check out a few excerpts.
On wanting to be an actor:
This is where my ambition started, you know? I fell in love with a movie—some live-action Spider-Man at the Rio in Shoreditch. Saturday-matinee situation, kids climbin’ all over. But I was just fascinated. I knew from age 10 that this was the industry I wanted to be in.
On being disappointed in the types of films he was offered after Mandela:
You know, I’d just played this iconic human being, and the scripts I got afterward were sort of . . . disappointing….It’s hard not to sound disgruntled sometimes as an actor…Look, I know that I work a lot, but I’d prefer to wait sometimes because I don’t want to just do rubbish films anymore or characters that anyone can play.
On enjoying the dark role he played in No Good Deed (alongside Taraji P. Henson):
There must be some demons within me, because I sort of enjoyed having that rage. The other actors were like, ‘Oh my God, you’re terrifying the shit out of me!’
On spinning and creating music while filming ‘The Wire’:
Me and Wood Harris, who played Avon, and Hassan Johnson, who played Wee Bey, we’d book out a studio and make records of us rapping. I’d make the beats and chords—just fun, freestyle stuff.
On his ability to dabble in music and acting:
All these things I do come from the same place. When I’m rapping, it’s kind of like this character that I put on. It’s a character who can write songs and lyrics really easily, so therefore I can stand up and do it too. Acting is definitely jumping into someone’s personality.