Idris Elba is having a moment. Sure, his iconic Stringer Bell died nearly a decade ago, but the man who poured himself into the suit that became the face of Avon Barksdale's operation is on the rise thanks to the global success of this summer's Guillermo del Toro genre flick, Pacific Rim, another season of BBC's detective drama, Luther, and the forthcoming Nelson Mandela biopic.
Elba covers GQ's October issue and the accompanying profile is more than a little interesting. Zach Baron writes about the years Elba spent as a factory worker in London and the time he spent rehearsing for his The Wire audition while he was sleeping the back of his van in Jersey after splitting up with his pregnant wife.
Oh, and that whole dust-up he had with Liam Gallagher of Oasis.
“No! F*** that idiot. No.”
Basically, Elba says, he just gave Liam a hug and an affectionate rub on the head.
“Didn’t like that. Don’t touch his hair, apparently. F*** off. Next time walk with a f***ing hairdresser, then.”
“Well, ‘I’m a popular rock singer, so I’m going to be mean and f***ing horrible to people just because they messed up my look.’ F*** off. I played his song because his song’s a classic. I couldn’t—I don’t even know what his songs are about now or what band he’s in now. No one gives a f***, yeah? He was popular when he was in Oasis.”
That pretty much echoes the way the rest of the planet feels about Liam Gallgher, too.
Elba goes on to discuss the heartbreak he experienced when he found out that he wasn't the father of a baby boy he believed was his, the solitude he feels in his acting roles (like Luther on BBC), and what it was like selling weed while working as a bouncer at Carolines comedy club in New York.
It may be nine years since fans of The Wire camped outside of his apartment to lament the death of Stringer Bell, but, at 41, Elba is finally getting some of the recognition he deserves. As the world prepares to see him bring Nelson Mandela to the big screen, it appears that Elba's career is about to start offering something more than just 40-degree days. It's probably about time you got to know him. [GQ]