Friday, September 5, 2014

The New York Times Magazine Q&A – 'Idris Elba, No Stringers Attached' by Amy Chozick

Idris Elba
(Pej Behdarvand for The New York Times)

September 5, 2014

Amy Chozick

The actor talks to Amy Chozick about embracing his sinister side, coming to America and clubbing in Ibiza.

I read that you enjoyed playing your role in “No Good Deed” — this psychotic guy who tortures a family. Yeah, I have to be careful saying I enjoyed it. Here’s the thing: I just don’t get to play characters like that very often, so it was a nice change for me to play someone that twisted.

Last year, you portrayed Nelson Mandela in a movie based on his autobiography, “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.” I heard he gave the film and your portrayal his seal of approval. He was very excited by it. He saw a little bit of it before he died. I mean, he’s seen himself in films played by different actors, but this film was entirely dedicated to his life story, and he was fascinated by the detail. He was quite close to the project even though he was very ill.

Did you ever meet him? No. I don’t regret much, but that’s one thing I do regret.

Since “The Wire” ended in 2008, have you made a conscious decision to avoid playing gangsters like Stringer Bell? What kind of role do you play after someone like Stringer, you know what I mean? You play another gangster. What’s the point of that? I’ve played the gangster. I try to keep it really varied; it just makes for more of a fun and interesting career.

Full Interview:

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