Idris Elba Explains Why He Doesn’t Call Himself A ‘Black Actor’ Anymore: 'We Are Obsessed With Race'
He's not here for the labels.
Idris Elba has found a lot of success in his acting career for the past 20 years, starring in successful series like The Wire and Luther, along with playing roles in DC and Marvel movies, and appearing in Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim, Beasts of No Nation or the 2013 Nelson Mandela movie Long Walk to Freedom, to name a few. With his fame still very much in full force, Elba recently shared how he has felt that describing himself as Black actor has put him in a “box.”
Idris Elba was being asked about his childhood in Hackney, which is a predominantly white, but ethnically diverse borough in London. The actor stopped to share his curiosity as to why his race is “fascinating to people.” During his interview with Esquire UK, the actor shared that he’s “not any more Black” due to where he lived or currently lives before saying this:
Elba, who has long been on movie fans’ list to play the first Black James Bond, shared that he feels there’s an “obsession” with race that he believes doesn’t always help forward conversations about racism, especially when it comes to people constantly highlighting their differences. Idris Elba continued by saying this:
Release Date: March 10, 2023 (Netflix)
Directed By: Jamie Payne
Written By: Neil Cross
Starring: Idris Elba, Cynthia Erivo, Andy Serkis, Dermot Crowley, Jess Liaudin, Lauryn Ajufo, Natasha Patel and Henry Hereford
Idris Elba's next movie is Luther: The Fallen Sun, which is a followup to his beloved crime series Luther, which started in 2010 and concluded in 2019. In the upcoming Luther movie, detective John Luther will break out of prison to hunt down a serial killer who is on the loose in London. The movie is set to hit select theaters this month before becoming available to stream with a Netflix subscription in March.
The Fallen Sun is Elba’s first live action movie since last summer’s thriller Beast, which earned mostly positive reviews from audiences, especially for its great action sequences. In 2022, Elba also made an appearance in Thor: Love and Thunder, was the voice of Knuckles in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and starred in George Miller’s Three Thousand Years of Longing with Tilda Swinton.
The 50-year-old actor also shared in the interview that he accepts being a prominent part of the Black community, and that being so is part of his “journey.” He does hope that he leaves a legacy that may inspire not only Black kids, but anyone from his hometown of Canning Town, that what he did can be done no matter what your roots are.
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