Elba, Idris Elba. Most everyone knows who Idris Elba is: one of the most talented actors of today. Also, it’s no secret that he’s extremely attractive, and he’s one celebrity fans can’t help but stare at. That said, Elba should be even more admired for his hard work.
Whether he’s starring next to Matthew McConaughey in The Dark Tower, showcasing his voice performance skills in animated movies like Zootopia and Finding Dory or winning Golden Globes for Luther, Elba has become a massive success in Hollywood.
As much as he’s known for his acting abilities, there is so much more to the soon-to-be 45-year-old (his birthday is Sept. 6). If you’d like to learn a little bit more about the actor who portrayed Nelson Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, here are a few interesting facts about him that just might surprise you — and make you like him even more than you probably already do.
He was on ‘The Office’
For those who were huge fans of the U.S. version of The Office, this comes as no surprise to you. However, if you never watched the comedy, then allow us to inform you.
Elba guest-starred in Season 5 of the series as Charles Miner, who replaced Ryan Howard (B.J. Novak) as the new vice president of Dunder Mifflin’s Northeast Region.
Unlike most everyone else, Charles did not like Jim (John Krasinski) at all. Oh, Elba also used an American accent throughout his seven episodes — yes, it made him just as dreamy as he is with his British accent.
Chiwetel Ejiofor is his BFF
Elba and Ejiofor are a couple of extremely talented actors who have known each for two decades.
“I love Idris and his work and I’ve known him for 20 years, so I’m very excited for him and his film,” Ejiofor said during a 12 Years a Slave screening in December 2013.
He added about his character and Elba’s in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, “I was talking to him not long ago and we were reflecting on the privilege of getting to play these extraordinary people, and to find audiences for those portrayals is incredible.”
Just call him DJ Dris
Did you know that Elba is a DJ? Yeah, he knows a thing or two about spinning.
According to TIME, before becoming a well-known actor, Elba was deejaying and even went by the names of “DJ Dris” and “Big Driis.”
As he told Good Morning America in August, he began his DJ career at just 14. “It was my first job. I used to DJ at weddings.”
Can you imagine him deejaying at your wedding? Well, there’s always a chance it could happen, because he still acts as a DJ from time to time. Check out his skills.
He made history with ‘Maxim’
Elba was the first male to ever cover Maxim.
He made history in 2015, and as no surprise whatsoever, it was a hot cover.
“This is Maxim’s first fashion issue and my first September issue as editor-in-chief,” Kate Lanphear said in a statement released to the Washington Post in August 2015. “It’s a tremendous moment for the brand and one we wanted to bring to life. It wasn’t necessary to have a man on our first fashion issue, but we couldn’t think of a style icon who better represented Maxim. It was a natural fit for the brand.”
If you look at the cover and the many images of Elba in the magazine, he definitely is a natural fit.
He’s all about the sweatsuits
Most everyone knows how good Elba looks in a suit. Believe it or not, he prefers to be comfortable, rather than all dressed up. Really, who doesn’t?
He told Us Weekly last August, “On any given day, I’d take a sweatsuit over a custom-made suit.”
Someone get this man a custom-made sweatsuit, stat.
He has his own track
Now that you know about his DJ career, let’s talk about the fact that The Wire actor has his own song.
It’s called “Spectacle,” and you can listen to it here. He produced it in his studio and it’s quite impressive.
Let’s also imagine him one day as James Bond (fingers crossed!) and him creating his own Bond theme song. Now that would be amazing.
He has eyes for Meryl Streep
Everyone has a celebrity crush, and Elba’s just happens to be the incomparable Meryl Streep.
“My celebrity crush is Meryl Streep,” he dished to Us Weekly in August 2016. “When I met her, my tongue swelled up in my mouth!” Can you blame him? She is beyond spectacular.
He won’t be saying ‘I do’ anytime soon
If you were hoping to one day walk down the aisle and marry Elba, you might want to rethink that dream.
He’s been married twice and has two children, but it doesn’t look like tying the knot again is in his future. In July, he told Essence, “Am I ever gonna get remarried? I don’t think so. Yeah, I don’t think so. Marriage is an institution of sorts. And I’ve done it. It’s not for everybody. It’s not my life’s calling.”
Hey, that’s OK, and marriage isn’t for everyone. Just because he doesn’t want to marry again (at least right now) doesn’t mean he’s sworn off relationships altogether.
He knows how to remix
Did you know that he remixed two tracks for The Jungle Book, the same 2016 movie where he voiced Shere Khan?
The songs are called “Trust in Me (Idris Elba Easy Tiger Remix)” and “The Bare Necessities (Idris Elba Easy Tiger Remix).”
Is there anything this man can’t do?
He’s connected to Mumford & Sons
If you love both Elba and Mumford & Sons, listen up.
He directed and starred in the band’s video for “Lover of the Light” from their album Babel.
The video follows Elba’s character, a blind man, throughout his usual routine until he journeys out into the world without his walking stick. It’s definitely worth a watch.
He’s a record breaker
When he isn’t busy deejaying, remixing, acting, or directing music videos, you can find Elba breaking driving records — for real.
In May 2015, he broke a British land speed record in a Bentley Continental GT Speed. Elba managed to hit 180.361 mph in his Bentley, which was also part of his July 2015 Discovery Channel series, Idris Elba: No Limits (it showcased his love of motorsports and need for speed).
In 1927, Sir Malcolm Cambell orginially broke the record that is now held by Elba. In a Blue Bird land speed record car, Campbell hit 174.8 mph.
He’s attracted to women’s feet
He loves feet — a lot. So much so, Elba has admitted multiple times that he has a foot fetish.
For example, while chatting with Esquire UK in March 2016, he revealed while discussing a scene in The Pavement Psychologist, a play he directed (his directorial debut) for Brit TV, “Feet. I like feet.” He explained, “I’ve got a foot fetish. Women’s feet.”
There you have it. Women’s feet are his thing.
He’s basically royalty
In March 2016, Elba became an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, aka OBE.
At Buckingham Palace, he was honored for his services to drama. According to GOV.UK, “This is awarded for having a prominent but lesser role at national level, or a leading role at regional level. You can also get one for a distinguished, innovative contribution to any area.”
There’s no doubt that Elba’s contributed to art and entertainment in huge ways.
He could be on ‘Project Runway’
He is one helluva dresser, so it only makes sense that in 2016 he created a fashion line with Superdry, a British retailer.
“I think there was a stigma about being a fashionable man,” he told Essence last July about how fashion now is helping men to find their own personal styles. “It almost felt like you were doing too much but now the consciousness of men’s fashion is right up there. The kids are not all following each other’s style anymore. When I grew up, everyone was wearing the same trousers, the same sneakers, no one was trying to make their own personal statement.”
It’s probably safe to say that he is always making his own personal statement — because he looks good in everything.
You can check out his line here.
There’s something he’s not good at
Back to our earlier question: Is there anything this man can’t do? Actually, yes.
According to Elba, he told Esquire in July, “I’m not good at building furniture.” If you don’t believe him, he said he knows this because “I’ve tried it.”
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