From 'Beasts of No Nation' to People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive: Idris Elba Jokes About Latest Role

Benjamin Imiewanlan
Idris Elba wearing an black shirt while making a "peace" sign at an NBA game
Getty | Kevork Djansezian

The People's man, Idris Elba, has revealed his hardest role yet! In the meantime, the award-winning actor continues to bask in the success of his new movie.

It Was Challenging

Idris Elba
Flickr | sjm universe

The Beast Of No Nation star has just spoken about his most challenging role ever while joking with ET Canada. When asked about being People's Sexiest Man Alive in 2018, the star actor jokingly said, "my hardest role ever."

How He Looked

Idris Elba is People's 2018 Sexiest Man Alive
People | David Burton

Looking all peng on the cover of People's Sexiest Man Alive magazine in 2018, Idris stunned the world with his iconic smile. The 50-year-old modeled a white inner T-shirt with a cozy gray sweater while wearing blue jeans.

Not Photogenic

Still speaking with ET Canada on a one-on-one special, the host, Carlos Bustamante, asked if Idris already knew how to pose or whether he had any guidance. The star actor responded by saying, "I said to the photographer, 'I don't always photograph great in pictures; this picture needs to be great.'" 

Experience Makes The Difference

Scene from The Godfather
Giphy | The Godfather

He says the crew was optimistic about getting the perfect shot for him. According to Idris, the photography team told him, "No, no. We've done this a million times, we know how to do it." Then he responds with, "Ok, I'll just be me," adding, "then they do this sort of thing where they make your favorite camera angle work for the cover."

Global Sensation

Idris Elba at award ceremony giving the "peace" sign with both hands

After the announcement and release of the cover photo, Idris Elba instantly became a global sensation for his hot physique and fantastic photo shoot.

His Predecessors

Before Idris Elba nabbed the title in 2018, the honor had fallen on some other actors. In recent years, Chris Evans, Michael B. Jordan, and Paul Rudd have all had a taste of being the Sexiest Man Alive. Famous actor and director Mel Gibson was the first to be honored by People with the same title back in 1985.

Shocked By The Honor

Idris Elba wearing a white v-neck shirt smiling
Flickr | sjm universe

Like most of the stars honored with the title, Idris Elba reveals it also came as a shock to him. Idris' response to the honor was revealed to People: "I was like, 'Come on, no way. Really?'" With him adding that he "looked in the mirror, I checked myself out. I was like, 'Yeah, you are kind of sexy today.'" 

Raised The Shoulders Though

Talking about how he felt receiving the title, he mentions that it was a good boost he needed for his self-confidence. He says, "to be honest, it was just a nice feeling. It was a nice surprise — an ego boost for sure."

Just Acting, Keep The Fame

While the Luther star remains sexy looking in the eyes of many, he is all about keeping a low profile. Continuing his interview with ET Canada, he says, "I don't presume that everyone knows who I am, even though I've been acting for a long time."

He adds, "when I look in the mirror, it's just a guy that was trying to be an actor. So if I walk into a restaurant in the middle of Belgium, I'm not expecting everyone to recognize me."


Idris Elba as Luther
Flickr | Unification France

Right now, the Golden Globes Award winner is in the spotlight and receiving all the attention after the release of his new movie, Luther: The Falling Sun. The movie is set to be a spin-off of the BBC show Luther, which brought the star into the limelight in 2010.

007 Rumors

James Bond opening scene

Rumors of Idris Elba playing the role of British number one detective, James Bond, have always been talked about after the 2014 email leak from Amy Pascal wanting him to play the role. Sadly, Idris might have just squashed that rumor after telling Guardian that he and the producers were "nowhere" close to making a James Bond movie happen.

Not Happening

When pressed in the conversation with Guardian about possible discussions for the film with producers, he says, "I can't speak for them, but from my perspective, there's never been any sort of truth to any of it."

The Old Must Run Out

Daniel Craig's James Bond

Barbara Broccoli, one of the James Bond producers, said in an appearance on Deadline's Crew Call podcast that Idris had "been part of the conversation" for him to take the role. But, in the meantime, they will continue enjoying the success of Daniel Craig's tenure as the character.

In her words, "I think we have decided that until No Time to Die has kind of had its run and Daniel has been able to, well, we've all been able to, reap the benefits of Daniel's wonderful tenure, we're not gonna think about or talk about anybody else, actors to play the role or storylines or anything."

Outside The Box

While promoting his new movie, Idris Elba has faced several backlashes for his comment on not wanting to be tagged as a "black actor." Speaking to Esquire, Idris says, "I stopped describing myself as a black actor when I realized it put me in a box."

Adding, "if we spent half the time not talking about the differences but the similarities between us, the entire planet would have a shift in the way we deal with each other."

Black, White; All The Same

Idris Elba giving a speech
Flickr | World Economic Forum

Continuing his discussion, the Suicide Squad actor spoke on the obsession with race, saying, "as humans, we are obsessed with race. And that obsession can really hinder people's aspirations, hinder people's growth."

He continues: "racism should be a topic for discussion, sure. Racism is very real. But from my perspective, it's only as powerful as you allow it to be. We've got to grow. We've got to. Our skin is no more than that; it's just skin. Rant over."

No Stopping Idris

Although the backlash on the star continued due to his comment, he isn't backing down on his stance. The star actor took to social media to address some critics that might be after him.

Twitter Heard Him

Idris Elba flipping a table

Defending his beliefs and expressing how he would like to be addressed, he tweeted: "There isn't a soul on this earth that can question whether I consider myself a BLACK MAN or not."

That's Idris, Not You

In the same conversation with Guardian, he also maintained his stance of not wanting to be called a black actor. He says, "me saying I don't like to call myself a black actor is my prerogative. That's me, not you. So for you to turn around and say to me, I'm 'denying my blackness,' on what grounds? Did you hear that? Where am I denying it? And what for? It's just stupid. Whatever."

Stop Defining Him

Idris Elba's tweet
twitter | idriselba

Like it or not, Idris Elba just wants to be a regular guy without the labels. In the last part of his tweet, he ends it with, "Being an 'actor' is a profession, like being an 'architect', they are not defined by race. However, If YOU define your work by your race, that is your Perogative. Ah, lie?