- NAME: Idris Elba
- OCCUPATION: Actor, Rapper, Singer
- BIRTH DATE: September 06, 1972 (Age: 41)
- Did You Know?: Idris Elba portrayed the Norse mythological character Heimdall, watcher of the rainbow bridge and beyond, in the Thor film series.
- EDUCATION: National Youth Music Theatre
- PLACE OF BIRTH: London, England, United Kingdom
- Full Name: Idrissa Akuna Elba
- AKA: Idrissa Elba
- AKA: Idris Elba
- Nickname: Big Driis
- Nickname: Driis
- ZODIAC SIGN: Virgo
Best Known For
Idris Elba is an award-winning British actor known for roles in screen projects like The Wire, Luther, Thor and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
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Born on September 6, 1972, in London, England, actor Idris Elba starred in British productions before making his way to the United States, earning acclaim as a crime boss in The Wire. He turned to film with a mix of lead and supporting roles in fare like Daddy's Little Girls,
"Even with people looking at you, when you're playing a character, you're so hidden. There's a weird little thing there, where you just feel most comfortable being someone else, because then they're not really looking at you. Know what I mean?"
"I sort of blended into the background quite a bit. I wasn't the guy that was a big personality. I was the tall, silent, quiet type."
[on his childhood]
"In the States I'd done 'The Wire,' stereotyping me as a gangster. Luther reminded me I didn't have to be."
"[Luther]'s an old-school detective. He's recognizable without you knowing it. Neil Cross has got a real love affair with old school characters, flawed characters. These are the same characters that we've watched for years."
"Singing's something that I love to do, but it's not something that I pursue as a career. I did a rendition of 'Billie Jean' which is on my Soundcloud. I put it on Twitter, and it got about 3,000 hits that day."
Thor and Prometheus. Elba won a Golden Globe Award for his role on the television series Luther and played Nelson Mandela in the biopic Long Walk to Freedom.
Idrissa Akuna Elba was born on September 6, 1972, in the Hackney section of East London, England. An only child of Sierra Leonean and Ghanaian descent, Elba eventually attended the National Youth Music Theatre's training programs. He landed a number of British television roles and worked with his father in a car factory before eventually making his way to America. He settled in Brooklyn, New York, and Jersey City, New Jersey, working as a doorman at the comedy club Carolines and DJing while struggling to make ends meet.
Idris Elba got his major break starring as crime boss "Stringer" Bell on several seasons of the highly acclaimed HBO drama The Wire. Other parts followed, though Elba later lamented that he was continuing to get lots of offers for gangster roles during this time.
The statuesque Elba transitioned to a big-screen career as well, landing film roles in a variety of genres. He starred as a mechanic in director Tyler Perry's feature Daddy's Little Girls (2007), a general in the zombie-laden 28 Weeks Later (2007) and a devoted husband opposite Beyoncé Knowles in Obsession (2009). Sci-fi/fantasy beckoned to the actor as well, as seen with his roles as Norse god Heimdall in Marvel Comics' Thor (2011), directed by Kenneth Branagh, and as ship captain Janek in Ridley Scott's Prometheus (2012). Other films on Elba's roster from this period include This Christmas (2007) and RocknRolla (2008).
Elba also continued his TV work over the years with series like The Office, The Big C and The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. The actor has received multiple Emmy Award nominations and won a 2012 Golden Globe Award for his lead role on the BBC America series Luther, as a driven yet tortured detective whose conduct brings up ethical issues. Rumors have also circulated that Elba could be the next James Bond, succeeding Daniel Craig.
In the summer of 2013, Elba was seen as Stacker Pentecost in Guillermo del Toro's robotics-and-monsters flick Pacific Rim. That fall, he earned raves for his portrayal of President Nelson Mandela in the film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, starring opposite Naomie Harris as Winnie Mandela. The actor earned Oscar buzz and was nominated for a Best Actor Golden Globe for his performance as the famed South African activist (he lost the Globe to Matthew McConaughey, who won for his lead role in 2013's Dallas Buyers Club). Around this same time, Elba was cast in a role in the thriller No Good Deed (2014), directed by Sam Miller.
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