Idris Elba stole the screen (and our hearts) when he had his breakout role on HBO’s The Wire. He later appeared as a guest on NBC’s The Office, The Big C,, In The Long Run, Luther, and has since returned to television recently in Apple TV+’s Hijack.
Throughout the years, the British actor has become a household name and has moved onto the big screen. He’s mostly known for films such as Beasts Of No Nation, Daddy’s Little Girls, Mandella: Long Walk To Freedom, Thor: Ragnarok, The Harder They Fall, and has released two films this year Luther: The Fallen Sun and Extraction II which co-stars Chris Hemsworth. Elba has also not shied away from animated roles as he’s lended his voice to characters in Zootopia and its sequel Zootopia+, Finding Dory and Sonic The Hedgehog 2. He’s even heard on a couple of video games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and NBA2K20.
While his professional work spans a little over a decade, the actor caught some heat earlier this year when he proclaimed he wasn’t a “Black actor” but just an “actor,” wanting to leave his race out of his profession. The actor responded to the backlash as some critics believed he was denouncing his Blackness rather than not wanting to be put in stereotypical roles based on his race.
“I stopped describing myself as a Black actor when I realized it put me in a box,” he said in an interview with Esquire UK.
“There isn’t a soul on this earth that can question whether I consider myself a BLACK MAN or not,” Idris wrote on Twitter at the time. “Being an ‘actor’ is a profession, like being an ‘architect.’ They are not defined by race. However, if YOU define your work by your race, that is your prerogative.”
Clearly the topic has value to the actor as he and his wife Sabrina Dhowre Elba (yes, we are all insanely jealous) are producing a miniseries on the exploitation of Black artists titled Paid in Full: The Battle for Payback, but the project’s release date has yet to be announced.
Take a look below at some of the actor’s sexiest magazine covers over the years: