You can see him on TV and in the movies…on the stage and behind the camera…singing behind the mic or spinning records in the DJ booth. Idris Elba is one of those gifted actors who absorbs every part he plays so effectively that you either love him, hate him or want to take him home. He’s everywhere…doing everything! Yeah, he’s just that good! And he knows it. But rumors are now swirling that Elba may be slated to play the first black James Bond, a term Elba himself rejects.
The handsome actor will soon be seen in the upcoming movie, Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom where he will portray the South African President Nelson Mandela. Although it wasn’t meant for Elba to mirror Mandela in looks or speech in the film, it was meant for him to epitomize Mandela’s passion for the struggle for freedom and equality, which he does brilliantly. Just look at the trailer. The film will open in U.S. theatres on November 29, 2013.
The forty year-old started acting in the early nineties and has been going strong ever since. With a following in the U.S., Britain and anywhere else that appreciates hot and hunky, Elba is on top of his game and intends to stay there.
Although his parents are originally from Africa, he was raised in Canning Town, East London. It is his multicultural (African/British) background that gives Elba the depth as an actor to play an impressively intelligent and sedate British homicide detective in BBC’s Luther. Elba has been stellar in his performance as Chief Inspector John Luther. Since the show’s first airing in 2010, Elba has been one of Britain’s favorite sons in this dark drama where he’s constantly on the trail of one serial killer or another.
In a recent interview where he discussed Luther’s third season, Elba said of his character, “He’s gone through a lot of trauma. Each time you go through anything bad in your life, it makes you a bit more reflective, and it definitely scars you in some way — in this series he’s looking for peace. But a lot happens in this season… I don’t know where it’s going to leave Luther. He’s not a fragile man, but he might end up becoming fragile after what he goes through. This series is very much about Luther trying to change his life and get to the finish line.” Elba/Luther fans have waited almost two years for season three which just aired two episodes earlier this month. At some time in the near future, Luther may come to the silver screen.
The handsome 6’2” actor has starred in over 18 TV shows including The Office, The Big C, and The Wire. Elba has also starred in over 28 movies including: Pacific Rim, Thor, Ghost Rider, Obsessed, Takers, American Gangster, and Prometheus. He’s also worked with such stars as Denzel Washington, Gabriel Union, Beyonce, Matt Dillion, Charlize Theron, Hugh Jackman, Nicolas Cage and many others. Elba has been nominated for 21 awards, and has won 5.
Though many roles have led to Elba’s path to fame, he is best known for his role as Russell “Stringer” Bell in the HBO series The Wire. It was his portrayal of a smart and savvy drug-kingpin who ran his drug empire like a business while taking no prisoners that garnered him a Golden Globe .
Idris Elba is not one of those actors that you want looming in the shadows. His ruggedly handsome looks and acting chops make him a perfect and brilliant leading man. Sure, he’s a bit of a scene-stealer, but he does it with such panache that you almost want to rewind the movie and watch it again.
Of late, there has been talk of Elba possibly being the newest face of super spy, 007…Bond…James Bond. He would indeed be the first black James Bond. And why not, he’s suave, charming, and disarmingly handsome, has the much-needed Bond European flair, has a dazzling smile, and can wear a tux like no other. You’ve had your Connery, your Dalton, your Brosnan, your Moore, your Craig, and possibly one or two more that I’ve missed; now have your Elba.
Elba is a true thespian, able to change like a chameleon for whatever role he chooses, and then turn into something else at will. He is one of those actors that brings a wide range of characters to life most effectively and enjoyably.
The Bond installments have been around for almost six decades and have never portrayed by a non-Caucasian Bond. Elba might be the first. When asked how he would feel playing the first black James Bond, Elba commented: “I don’t want to be the black James Bond. Sean Connery wasn’t the Scottish James Bond, and Daniel Craig wasn’t the blue-eyed James Bond, so if I played him, I don’t want to be called the black James Bond.”
As far as Elba is concerned, calling him simply, Bond….James Bond will do just fine.
For those of you who’ve never hear the vocal stylings of Idris Elba, please take a look at the video below. You’ll have to find your own link to see DJ DRIIS scratching and mixing in the DJ Booth.
Written by DeBorah Heggs-Alston