Idris Elba's Maxim cover and 6 other incredible achievements

Aug 5, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. ET
Image: Pat Denton/

Idris Elba recently made history by becoming the first solo male to ever grace the cover of Maxim magazine. While this is amazing (and who doesn't want to see the actor, with his brooding good looks, on the cover of a magazine) it's certainly not his first game-changer.

More: Idris Elba gets hot and heavy with… bow ties

1. He got Nelson Mandela's stamp of approval

While Elba did not meet the late South African president and revolutionary political activist Nelson Mandela did endorse the casting of the British actor — who portrayed him in the 2013 biopic Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom.

Producer Anant Singh revealed during a press conference that when he showed Mandela some scenes from the film "he endorsed Idris."

More: Idris Elba as James Bond? Yes, please

2. He has a slew of awards under his belt

Elba was nominated for a Best Actor Golden Globe for his performance as the famed South African activist. But he has won a slew of awards, including two BET Awards for Best Actor and a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television.

3. But, before the awards, his breakthrough role was as a crime boss

Elba's breakthrough role came on the HBO drama The Wire, where he starred as crime boss "Stringer" Bell. But this role didn't just fall in his lap straight after drama school; Elba worked hard at his career for several years before he finally got his first major break — confidence and perseverance are important qualities and Elba certainly has them.

4. He is willing to sacrifice everything for his career

Perhaps one of the reasons why Elba is such a game-changer is because he knows what he wants and he's willing to sacrifice everything else in his life to get it. The Pacific Rim actor previously revealed during an interview with the Daily Mail that his personal life has suffered because of his dedication to his work.

"Every job I ever got I had to fight for. I'm an odd, tall, black man that doesn't quite fit in. And here I am 25 years later in what I consider to be a very well-rounded career," he said, adding that his disappointment was his personal life. "I sacrificed it to be where I am as an actor. So my relationships have suffered."

More: A nation mourns as a hero falls: RIP Nelson Mandela

5. He's rumoured to be the next Bond

Elba is rumoured to become the next James Bond — which would make him the first non-white Bond — however he feels that the overwhelming support for his casting has probably destroyed his chances.

"If I were the Bond producers and everyone was pointing me toward one actor, what's the surprise in that?" Elba told Maxim in the interview accompanying the photo shoot. "Honestly, it's one of those things that if it should happen, it would be a self-fulfilling prophecy; it would be the will of a nation."

6. Even President Obama is a fan

There's not many actors or actresses who can say that President Obama is a fan but the Luther actor certainly can.

"The Obamas invited me to the White House and I had fun," Elba previously told The Sun. "David Cameron and his wife were there [too]." David Cameron is also a Luther fan. "When I saw the president I said, 'Mr President, I hear I am not your favourite character in The Wire' and he said, 'Well, yeah, but Luther — that's me'."

Idris Elba is pretty badass and we're sure this is not going to be the last achievement or game-changing moment in his career.