Thanks to the Sony email hack we now know that the movie big-wigs think Idris Elba should be the next James Bond. Well, obviously. He's long been a crush (read: obsession) of ours here at Marie Claire. And THIS is why...
1. The man is über talented.
If you’ve seen Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom you’ll know that not only is it a brilliant movie, but Idris Elba deserved every single bit of Oscar buzz he got. The actor is magnetic in the role and managed to completely transform himself into the former South African president. There ain’t no denying it, the man can act.
2. He IS Luther.
It’s one of our favourite ever TV series and it’s all because of Idris. As the unconventional DCI John Luther, the actor is all moody charm and just the right amount of bad ass. We can’t imagine anyone else playing the character. He’s also been an associate producer on the show since the first series. A telly triumph.
3. Meet DJ Big Driis.
He’s not just a damn fine actor. Oh no. Mr Elba is also a talented DJ. Having worked with the likes of Jay Z (he co-produced his 2007 American Gangster album), the star has openly said that he’s more driven by his music than acting. He’s just released his first album. Inspired by the late Mandela, it’s called ‘Idris Elba Presents mi Mandela’ and features the likes of James Blake, Mumford & Sons, Mr Hudson and Nothembi Mkhwebane. The album’s lead single, You Give Me Love by Maverick Sabre, is a gem of a song. You gotta love a man with a passion.
4. All hail The Wire.
Idris got his big break as Stringer Bell in The Wire, which is still hailed as one of the greatest TV shows ever made. It seriously is that good.
5. Arms. Oh, his arms.
Yikes. Oh, and he’s nearly 6ft 3in (6ft 2.75in, if we’re being precise). That’s a whole lotta man.
6. He can do funny, too.
7. His accent.
We’re a sucker for an East London accent. The only child of West African parents, Idris grew up in East Ham and went to school in Canning Town. He was thrilled to see his home turf regenerated thanks to London 2012 and was an Olympics ambassador.
8. He’s an ambassador for The Prince’s Trust.
The star hasn’t forgotten his roots. As a teenage boy, he was given a grant from The Prince’s Trust of £1,500 which enabled him to attend the National Youth Music Theatre and set him on his path to stardom. He now works with the charity as an ambassador, and has said: ‘I grew up in Hackney, one of London’s most deprived boroughs. The area was crawling with gangs, crime and poverty and the lack of role models meant that many of my friends felt they had nowhere to turn. With the right support – through organisations like the Trust – it is possible to achieve your dreams. I am living proof of that.’
9. He can direct, too.
10. He’s no fool.
We all know he’s a sex symbol, but Idris doesn’t quite see it that way. On the subject, he says: ‘Look, when I wasn’t on TV or in films, I didn’t get any special attention when I went out. Some beautiful people always attract attention. I didn’t until I got on television. So I’m on these lists only because I’m on TV. It happens to me all the time, still. I’ll sit in a pub and nobody will recognize me. I might see an attractive woman, but she doesn’t recognize me, so I’m not getting any love. Then one person goes, “Oh, it’s you,” and suddenly they all overhear and start asking questions. It’s bullsh*t.’
11. He can tap dance.
12. He’s the daddy – literally.
He has an 11-year-old daughter called Isan from his first marriage to Dormowa Sherman and he became a father for the second time when his make-up artist girlfriend Naiyana Garth gave birth to a baby boy called Winston in April 2014.
13. The man can dress.
This blue Gucci equestrian coat (pictured below) was a style triumph and he’s often seen wearing Burberry for his red carpet appearances. Dapper doesn’t even cut it.
14. That smile.
15. Idris, the next James Bond?
The one good thing about the Sony email hacking debacle? We now know that the movie bigwigs want Idris to be the next James Bond as much as we do. In a leaked memo, Amy Pascale, the co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, said that Elba, 42, ‘should be the next Bond’.The name’s Elba. Idris Elba. Make it happen, people.