Idris Elba Shares He Stopped Calling Himself A ‘Black Actor’ Because It Put Him In A Box: ‘Our Skin Is No More Than That, It’s Just Skin’
Idris Elba may have Black skin, but he likes to think of himself as an all-around type of actor.
As the British actor gears up to return as Detective John Luther in Netflix’s upcoming movie Luther: The Fallen Son, he has shared that he no longer refers to himself as “a Black actor” — a move done in an effort to avoid attaching any restrictive labels to his career.
Idris Elba said,
“Of course, I’m a member of the Black community. You say a prominent one. But when I go to America, I’m a prominent member of the British community. ‘Oh, U.K.’s in the house!’ If we spent half the time not talking about the differences but the similarities between us, the entire planet would have a shift in the way we deal with each other.”
“Racism should be a topic for discussion, sure. Racism is very real. But from my perspective, it’s only as powerful as you allow it to be. I stopped describing myself as a Black actor when I realized it put me in a box. We’ve got to grow. We’ve got to. Our skin is no more than that: it’s just skin. Rant over.”
Idris Elba recalled that he chose acting as a career because he didn’t see a lot of Black people doing it and he “wanted to change that,” stressing that it’s a great field and that he was confident in his ability to succeed in it.
“As you get up the ladder, you get asked what it’s like to be the first Black to do this or that. Well, it’s the same as it would be if I were white. It’s the first time for me. I don’t want to be the first Black. I’m the first Idris.”
Elba‘s major Luther return to Netflix will debut on March 10. The movie is an extension of the five-season BBC drama that launched Elba‘s career as an international star between 2010 and 2019. For the series, Elba received four Emmy nominations in addition to two Golden Globe wins, a Screen Actors Guild award, and a Critics’ Choice award.
According to Netflix’s official description,
“Haunted by an unsolved murder, brilliant but disgraced London police detective John Luther breaks out of prison to hunt down a sadistic serial killer.”
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