FunAstrologyActor, musician, cool guy: Idris Elba turns 50

Actor, musician, cool guy: Idris Elba turns 50

Created: 09/06/2022, 00:02

Idris Elba
Idris Elba turns 50. © Matt Crossick/PA Wire/dpa

What can Idris Elba actually not do? He acts in Hollywood films, DJs at the biggest festivals and apparently has success with everything he tackles. Now the busy Brit turns 50.

London – He investigated as Detective Luther, played Nelson Mandela, was a member of the “Suicide Squad” and shot blockbusters like “Pacific Rim”, “Star Trek Beyond” or Marvel’s “Thor” and “Avengers” films. Idris Elba is a sought-after DJ, rapper, producer and entrepreneur.

The list is long. And yet, for years, the Briton has been primarily associated with a role that he has never played: James Bond. Now Elba is 50 years old and is probably too old for the part of the famous secret agent.

It shouldn’t bother the busy Londoner with the distinctive voice. Elba had repeatedly denied the rumour, which first appeared about ten years ago and then persisted. Eventually, though, he gave it up and made fun of it — like snapping a tongue-in-cheek selfie with outgoing 007 actor Daniel Craig at the Golden Globes.

Thanks to his cool aura and charisma, some saw him as the top candidate as the first black James Bond. Especially since he was voted “Sexiest Man Alive” by “People” magazine in 2018. Elba took it humorously. He had to laugh about such titles, he told the Times. “I don’t take that too seriously.”

child of immigrants

On September 6, 1972, Idrissa Akuna Elba was born in London, the only child of an immigrant couple. His father was from Sierra Leone and his mother from Ghana. Elba grew up in the multicultural working-class neighborhood of Hackney. As a boy he was called Idris, and that stuck. The family later moved to Canning Town, where the far-right National Front was very popular at the time. Experiences with racism and hostilities shaped Elba at a young age. Today, he told Esquire, he has a thick skin.

He gained his first acting experience as a student in Canning Town. He later learned the craft at the National Youth Music Theater. He also made a name for himself as a DJ in his youth, first at weddings and later in clubs. From the mid-1990s he then took on many roles on British television, including TV series such as “Inspector Wexford Investigated” or “Police Doctor Dangerfield”. Occasionally the Brit was also seen at the theater.

Constantly growing success

A milestone in his career was the US series “The Wire”, which made him famous on the other side of the Atlantic. Movies soon followed, “28 Weeks Later”, Ridley Scott’s “American Gangster” or Guy Ritchie’s “RocknRolla”. Over time the parts got bigger. In 2010 he took on the title role in the BBC series “Luther”, which was initially intended for one season and has now included five.

Although Idris Elba often plays the cool hardliner and also likes to play the villain, he still doesn’t allow himself to be pinned down to a specific type in his roles. In Between Two Lives he plays a neurosurgeon who falls in love with another survivor (Kate Winslet) after a plane crash. In his upcoming, seemingly crazy film “Three Thousand Years Of Longing” he is even a genie who grants Tilda Swinton every wish.

Idris Elba is a jack of all trades. He appeared in music videos for Fat Joe, Angie Stone or Busta Rhymes – and sometimes rapped along himself. With hip-hop superstar Jay-Z, he produced American Gangster in 2007, which was inspired by the film he starred in. The man with the deep character voice speaks the album intro.

DJ at Harry and Meghan

As a director, he directed music videos for singer K. Michelle and the band Mumford & Sons. As a DJ, he regularly performs at the hottest British festivals. He played a set at the famous Coachella Festival, appeared as the opening act for Madonna and was not only a guest at the wedding of Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan, but also DJed there. Of course he has his own record label. Oh yes, the robust Brit is also a style icon and adorns the covers of fashion and glossy magazines.

No matter what Idris Elba tackles, Mr. Cool seems to succeed. In private life, however, it took three attempts. Elba was married to makeup artist Kim Nørgaard from 1999 to 2003, and they had a daughter. His second marriage, to attorney Sonya Nicole Hamlin, lasted a meager four months. Another relationship with stylist Naiyana Garth produced a son.

In 2017, Idris Elba met his third wife Sabrina. “I was going through a very difficult time back then,” he told The Times. “I was 44, my father had just died, I was bitter about acting and tired of relationships and love.” Filming in Canada not only rekindled his passion for acting, he also met Sabrina at a jazz bar there Dhowre, who has Somali roots and is 16 years his junior. The couple also do business together, selling their own line of cosmetics and hosting a podcast.

Idris Elba can currently be seen in the cinema in the thriller “Beast – Hunters Without Mercy”. In a TV series about the video game hero “Sonic, The Hedgehog” he will soon voice the echidna Knuckles – as he did in the “Sonic” movie. In the planned thriller series “Hijack” he plays a mediator in a hijacking. In addition, the first “Luther” film will soon be celebrating its premiere.

So Idris Elba will not be lacking in employment even without an engagement as 007. He will probably have to deny the rumor a few more times. dpa

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