Idris Elba‘s name has been floated around for the role of the next James Bond for some time now. Although there has been no recent talk or confirmation about his portrayal of the super spy, Elba is undoubtedly one of the best actors out there.
Before we knew him as Brixton Lore on Hobbs and Shaw, Elba was a smart criminal on The Wire. Although his portrayal of the tough-to-beat drug lord Stringer Bell was more than excellent, Elba isn’t proud of how the audiences received the character.
Idris Elba is not just an actor
Elba was born in Hackney, London, on September 6, 1972, to a Sierra Leone father and Ghanaian mother. When Elba was in school, he shortened his name from Idrissa to Idris and ventured into acting. The actor got his big break from the play The Stage after seeing an advertisement for it.
In 1986, Elba began helping his uncle DJ at weddings, and in a year, he had already started a DJ company with a couple of friends. When he was a teenager, the actor performed at nightclubs under the alias Big Driis until he decided to act.
Elba got his first acting role in the Crimewatch series. He later appeared in several other films in supporting roles. Some of the films he guest-starred in include Absolutely Fabulous, Dangerfield, and Family Affairs.
Elba moved to New York and would occasionally go back to England for small TV roles. He has appeared in several blockbusters since he arrived in the acting scene. In 2009, he appeared in the series Luther as the titular character.
He was also cast as Heimdall in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Thor. In 2013, he became part of the cast of Pacific Rim playing Stacker Pentecost.
Elba is also a recording musician with his EPs such as King among Kings and Big Man doing fairly well. He has also produced songs for various musicians such as K Michelle.
Elba is also a mixed martial artist and businessman. He also doubles in philanthropy and has been involved in numerous charity work in Sierra Leone.
Playing the smart drug lord Stringer Bell in ‘The Wire’
The Wire is an HBO series that ran for five seasons. The show was popular with its viewers due to the accurate portrayal of the events in it in relation to what happens in real life. Although the show wrapped up more than a decade ago, it is still referenced in some academic materials.
Elba was cast as the street-smart drug dealer Stringer Bell. When auditioning for the role, Elba had to hide his very prominent English accent from the casting directors. He said that he was from Brooklyn because he knew that the show’s creator only wanted American actors.
Elba appeared in the show for two years as the smart and intellectual drug dealer, second in command to Avon Barksdale. Stringer attends a local community college where he studies economics.
He also tries to legitimize the Barksdale Organization and cushions himself from direct criminal activities by undertaking legitimate housing investments to launder the organization’s money.
Idris Elba isn’t proud of the role
Although Stringer gave Elba a platform in the United States and acted as a stepping stone for his career, Elba is less than pleased about playing the character. In a podcast with David Lammy, Elba opened up about how his character on The Wire was received wrongly.
He noted that Stringer wasn’t someone people should be idolizing. Although the 48-year-old actor acknowledged that although portraying Stringer wasn’t a problem for him at the time, he finds it a bit ironic today and is more concerned with the way the character is viewed and idolized today.
Elba stated that despite Stringer being educated, it didn’t excuse the fact that he was a drug dealer who harmed the community.