idris elba lwpElite Living Africa speaks to Idris Elba in an exclusive interview. Idris Elba talked to Elite Living Africa about his career-defining roles. Here are four of the best.

1. The Wire

A Baltimore drug kingpin, ‘Stringer’ Bell must have reeked of caricature on the page. It says everything for Elba that he could see past the cliché to create arguably the most charismatic TV villain of the 21st century. Little wonder so many audience members gave up on the HBO masterpiece when our man bought it in the penultimate episode of season three.

2. Luther

Newham’s most celebrated son left ‘Bodymore’ to traipse along the other side of the law in his home town. “John Luther’s a man who will never find peace,” explains the actor. “He’s someone who can’t help himself – he has to seek out those who do wrong and bring them to justice.” And in that restlessness lies the appeal of this award-winning series.

3. Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom

Justin Chadwick’s movie threatens to collapse under the weight of its worthiness but it’s a measure of Elba’s abilities that his Madiba isn’t a saint or a saviour but a fully-rounded human being. And how did he manage such a feat without having ever met the great man? “I just drew upon my dad,” he says with a modest shrug.

4. Beasts Of No Nation

His outing as Mandela aside, the big screen hasn’t been overly kind to Elba. Since Beasts was commissioned by Netflix, it seemed unlikely to change this state of affairs. But as the film deservedly received a cinematic release so it appeared certain that Idris’s compelling performance as a West African warmonger would be recognised come Oscar time. Needless to say, the Academy found a way to do so.

The complete Idris Elba interview will be in the next issue of Elite Living Africa in an exclusive interview with film journalist, Richard Luck.