Actor, musician, Mr. cool
Idris Elba succeeds in almost everything
09/06/2022, 09:48 hrs
Idris Elba performs in Hollywood movies, DJs at major festivals and is voted “Sexiest Man Alive”. Meanwhile, he’s even been talked about as the next James Bond, but he repeatedly denies the rumor – and by now he’s probably too old for that: the busy Brit is turning 50.
He researched as Detective Luther, played Nelson Mandela, was a member of the “Suicide Squad” and shot blockbusters such as “Pacific Rim”, “Star Trek Beyond” or Marvel’s “Thor” and “Avengers” movies. Idris Elba is a much sought-after DJ, rapper, producer and entrepreneur. The list is long. And yet the Brit has been associated for years with a role he has never played before: James Bond.
Now Elba is 50 years old and probably too old for the role of the famous secret agent. It shouldn’t bother the busy Londoner with the signature voice. Elba had repeatedly denied the rumor, which first surfaced about ten years ago and persisted thereafter. However, he eventually gave up and joked about it — like an ironic selfie with outgoing 007 actor Daniel Craig at the Golden Globes.
He “didn’t take the title of the sexiest man in the world too seriously”
Thanks to his cool appearance and charisma, some saw him as the top candidate as the first black James Bond. Especially since he was voted ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ by People magazine in 2018. Elba took it humorously. He laughed at such titles, he told the Times. “I don’t take that too seriously.”
On September 6, 1972, Idrissa Akuna Elba was born in London, the only child of an immigrant couple. His father was from Sierra Leone and his mother from Ghana. Elba grew up in the multicultural working-class neighborhood of Hackney. As a boy his name was Idris, and that stuck. The family later moved to Canning Town, where the far-right National Front was very popular at the time. Experiences of racism and hostilities shaped Elba from an early age. Today he told Esquire magazine that he has thick skin.
Acting since school
He got his first acting experience as a student in Canning Town. Later he learned the trade at the National Youth Music Theater. He also made a name for himself as a DJ in his youth, first at weddings and later in clubs. From the mid-1990s he went on to take on many roles on British television, including TV series such as “Inspector Wexford Investigated” or “Police Doctor Dangerfield”. Occasionally, the Brit was also seen in the theater.
A milestone in his career was the American series “The Wire”, which made him famous on the other side of the Atlantic. Movies soon followed, “28 Weeks Later”, “American Gangster” by Ridley Scott or “RocknRolla” by Guy Ritchie. Over time, the parts got bigger. In 2010, he took on the title role in the BBC series “Luther”, which was initially intended for one season and now has five.
Allrounder, jack of all trades, style icon
Although Idris Elba often plays the cool hardliner and also likes to play the bad guy, he still doesn’t let his roles be pinned to one particular type. In Between Two Lives, he plays a neurosurgeon who falls in love with another survivor (Kate Winslet) after a plane crash. In his upcoming outrageous looking movie “Three Thousand Years Of Longing” he is even a genie in a bottle that grants Tilda Swinton every wish.
Idris Elba is a jack of all trades. He appeared in music videos for Fat Joe, Angie Stone or Busta Rhymes – and sometimes rapped along himself. With hip-hop superstar Jay-Z, he produced “American Gangster” in 2007, inspired by the movie he starred in. The man with the deep character voice speaks the album intro.
As a director, he has directed music videos for singer K. Michelle and the band Mumford & Sons. As a DJ he regularly performs at the hottest British festivals. He played a set at the famous Coachella Festival, performed as Madonna’s opening act and was not only a guest at the wedding of Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan, but also played there. Of course he has his own record label. Oh yes, the tough Brit is also a style icon and graces the covers of fashion and glossy magazines.
Married for the third time
Whatever Idris Elba tackles, Mr. Cool seems to succeed. However, in private life, it took three attempts. Elba was married to makeup artist Kim Nørgaard from 1999 to 2003 and they had a daughter. His second marriage, to lawyer Sonya Nicole Hamlin, lasted only four months. Another relationship with stylist Naiyana Garth produced a son. In 2017, Idris Elba met his third wife Sabrina. “I was going through a very difficult time at the time,” he told The Times. “I was 44, my father had just passed away, I was bitter about acting and tired of relationships and love.”
Filming in Canada not only rekindled his passion for acting, it was at a jazz bar there that he met Sabrina Dhowre, who has Somali roots and is 16 years his junior. The couple also do business together by selling their own cosmetics line and hosting a podcast.
Idris Elba is currently in cinemas in the thriller “Beast – Hunters Without Mercy”. In a TV series about the video game hero “Sonic, The Hedgehog” he will soon – as in the movie “Sonic” – voice the echidna Knuckles. In the planned thriller series “Hijack” he plays a mediator in a hijacking. In addition, the first “Luther” movie will premiere soon. Idris Elba will therefore also be without an engagement if 007 is not lacking in work. He will probably have to deny the rumor several more times.