Idris Elba

Idris Elba

November 01, 2011
AskMen Editors
Editorial Staff
Hackney, London
"Wherever I go the real hard-core drug dealers come up to me and confide in me. I almost feel guilty turning around and saying: 'Ello, mate. My name's Idris and I'm from London.' I don't want to break the illusion." - On why he uses his American accent when talking to fans of "The Wire".
Born and raised in East London, Idris Elba is best known as Russell “Stringer” Bell, a druglord and gangland kingmaker in HBO’s critically acclaimed show The Wire for which he became a house hold name in the US. It wasn’t until 2010, when he took the title role of Detective John Luther in the BBC TV show Luther, that his name begun to resonate by water coolers in offices around the UK.
Blessed with presence, charm and class, Elba has the fortune of being the man many girls dream to sleep with. Named by People magazine as one of its 100 most beautiful people in the world, he was in 2005 also recognised in Essence magazine as one of their 10 hottest men on the planet.

TV Broadcaster and writer Charlie Brooker, an avid watcher of The Wire, once remarked that he knows heterosexual men who are deeply in love with him. It is just symbolic of the impression made by the nightclub disc jockey named DJ Big Driis. 

To add to his credits, he has written a song for Angie Stone, rapped on a Jay-Z album, and has starred as Beyoncé Knowles's husband in the thriller Obsessed. Quite simply, if you’re missus cheated on you with him, would you blame her? I didn’t think so.
Since his appearances in Bramwell, Absolutely Fabulous and Family Affairs in the mid-90s, Elba has become a multi-award winner. His work in American comedy drama The Big C and UK detective drama, Luther saw him nominated for two awards at the 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. After being nominated consecutively between 2007 and 2009 for Best Actor, he finally secured the award in 2010 and then in 2011 at the BET Awards, which annually celebrates ethnic minorities in areas of music, acting, sport and entertainment.

Elba's success in America, led him to appear, in 2009, in a six-episode arc of the American sitcom The Office, playing Charles Miner, Michael Scott's new boss.

Attempting to make his mark on the big screen, in 2010 he appeared in the action film The Losers in the role of Roque, the second-in-command of a black-ops team and in the same year, he appeared in the thriller Takers. A regular face at some of the trendiest night spots in America, he DJ'd at the 2007 NBA All Star parties at the Venetian Hotel and Ice House Lounge in Las Vegas before Elba was the DJ for BET's new series "Rising Icons" in 2009.

Idris Elba Biography

Having made the ambitious move to New York, in order to gain more work, Idris Elba portrayed Captain Augustin Muganza in Sometimes in April, an HBO film about the Rwandan Genocide in 2005 and also appeared on the 2007 BET special Black Men: The Truth.

Idris Elba comes back home
Despite his career advances across the Atlantic, Elba still returned home to continue work on British TV including an appearance in the role of Charlie Kgotso in 2008’s The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency opposite Jill Scott and Anika Noni Rose, which received a high 6.3 million viewers and 27% of the audience share.

Most recently, he played Heimdall in Kenneth Branagh's Thor film, this year, and Elba is set to appear in the 2012 sequel Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance alongside Nicolas Cage as an alcoholic warrior monk tasked with finding Ghost Rider.

Idris Elba's returns to music
In 2001, Elba appeared in music videos for Fat Joe, Angie Stone and English rapper Giggs before recording the four-song EP Big Man for Hevlar Records in 2006. Showcasing his friendship with music’s movers and shakers, he co-produced and performed on the intro to Jay-Z's 2007 album American Gangster and appeared in the "Respect My Conglomerate" music video for Busta Rhymes's 2009 Back on My BS album.

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