From drug-dealing businessman Stringer Bell in HBO's The Wire to potentially our next babin' Bond, here are 10 things you may not know about our London born Hollywood hunk, Idris Elba.
1. He used to DJ under the pseudonym "Big Driis the Londoner."
Which is a pretty slick DJ name, let's be real. And, DJing isn't his only beat-based accomplishment — the man has a pretty impressive musical resume. First appearing in music videos for Fat Joe, he's gone on to co-produce and perform on Jay Z's "American Gangster" album, co-directed a Mumford and Sons video, and to rap for Noel Fielding's band Loose Tapestries and for Skepta's album "Shutdown." He's even opened for Madonna!
2. The man cannot wink for shit
Despite being a beautiful, swoon-worthy human, the man cannot wink. Like, at all. Instead his entire face crumbles and scrunches up under pressure and he ends up looking, well, like this:
3. He has zero acting training
Elba bagged his first acting gig while at school in Channing Town, London, and claims that The Stage gave him his first big break. In '95 he landed a part on medical drama Bramwell (as an African petty thief, sigh), moving on to portray a gigolo in Absolutely Fabulous, and jumped from TV role to TV role until 2002 and a little thing called HBO's The Wire happened, and the rest is history.
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4. He's never watched The Wire
Telling Playboy Magazine in 2013:
"By the way, you know I've never watched 'The Wire.' I've seen a full episode at screenings but never at home. I've never watched an entire season. I've not seen any episode of Season 2, most of Season 3 and none of Seasons 4 and 5. I'm supercritical of my own work. As an actor, if you're being told how wonderful you are, what do you need to strive for? I don't know if I'm good just because some critic says I am in the press."
5. He owned a house (pretty much) soley for party purposes
While filming Luther, Idris's place became a full on party pad, so much so his friends basically moved in and he ended up filming most of his scenes for the show with a bangin' hangover. He'd get the decks out every other weekend and throw ragers — even the Luther wrap party was held there!
6. It's Id-ris, not Ee-dris
In 2012, he cleared up any mispronuniation issues to Vulture:
"Id-ris. I was saying Ee-dris because that’s how most people pronounce it in America. I guess my perspective of it is that I don’t see myself [as famous]. I see myself as an actor people know, popular perhaps. What’s his name again? — it’s that."
And, on that note, his first name is actually Idrissa, which hails from West Africa and roughly translates as first born son. He dropped the extra "sa" as it sounded "very feminine," which — kids being kids — his classmates picked up on and thus he'd "get teased and end up beating someone up."
7. His production company Green Door is not to be mistaken with this porno
Elba runs a London based production company called Green Door Pictures, which nurtures fresh talent, yet its name may ring a bell (pun not intended) for those well acquainted with one particular porn movie.
8. He created an entire album inspired by Nelson Mandela
Post his portrayal of Nelson Mandela in Long Walk to Freedom, Elba produced his own album, "Idris Elba Presents mi Mandela," an exploration of musical approaches between British and South African musicians.
You can watch the full trailer for the movie below, which is well worth checking out if you haven't already!
9. He pulled this look off:
10. He's single ;)
Elba split with his girlfriend Naiyana Garth earlier this year, and while we're obviously sorry to hear that, it does mean one thing: He's back on the market, ladies!
What's your favorite Idris Elba moment?