From Hollywood blockbusters like Prometheus to everyone’s favourite detective in Luther, British actor Idris Elba has come a long way from his small roles in the likes of 2point4 Children and Absolutely Fabulous. A few months ago he was awarded an OBE for his work in film and television; it’s no surprise he is one of the frontrunners to be the next James Bond.
To celebrate the release of his new film, The Take – out on EST on 10th October and on DVD, Blu-ray and VOD from the 17th October 2016, we count down our top five Idris Elba roles.
In his latest role, Elba stars alongside Game of Throne’s Richard Madden in the high-octane thriller THE TAKE. Michael Mason (Madden) is an American pickpocket living in Paris who finds himself hunted by the CIA when he steals a bag that contains more than just a wallet. Sean Briar (Elba), the field agent on the case, soon realises that Michael is just a pawn in a much bigger game and is also his best asset to uncover a large-scale conspiracy. Going against commands, Briar recruits Michael to use his expert pickpocketing skills to help quickly track down the source of the corruption. As a 24hr thrill ride ensues the unlikely duo discover they are both targets and must rely upon each other in order to take down a common enemy.
Considered perhaps his most infamous role, is the BBC drama Luther which follows the story of DCI John Luther. The crime drama first burst onto our screens with six one-hour long episodes back in May 2010. It proved hugely popular and continued for a further three seasons, no doubt with more to follow. Elba was highly praised for his role as the dark and obsessive Detective Chief Inspector; he has been awarded a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his performance. The show has also received eight Primetime Emmy Award nominations in various categories, proving once again that British actors can do no wrong in Hollywood.
Starring alongside Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Logan Marshall-Green and Charlize Theron, Elba also showed his worth as a Hollywood heavyweight in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus. Elba stars as Janek, captain of the Prometheus, a character which he himself described as “a longshoreman and a sailor’. He described Janek as a “realistic, pragmatic character.” In a film with huge ideas, you need a character like this, who can do ‘wait, why are we doing this?’ The film proved to be an international success and grossed $403 million worldwide, it was also nominated for an Academy Award for visual effects.
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
It’s no mean feat taking on the role of anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela but it was a challenge that Elba was willing to accept when he took on the title role in Justin Chadwick’s biopic Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom. Based on the autobiographical book Long Walk to Freedom by former South African President Nelson Mandela, the film chronicles the revolutionary’s life from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa. The film received a number of positive reviews with heavy praise for Elba’s ‘towering performance’ alongside Naomie Harris as Winnie Madikizela.
Beasts of No Nation
A Netflix original film, Beasts of No Nation was screened in the main competition of the 72nd Venice International Film Festival where is won the Marcello Mastroianni Award. Based on the novel of the same name by Uzodinma Iweala, it follows the story of a young boy who survives as his country goes through a horrific war. Once again Elba was praised for his role and was nominated for a British Academy Film Award for Best Actor in a Support Role. With the ongoing race row continuing to make waves in Hollywood, many thought that Elba should have received an Academy Award nomination for his role as the menacing Commandant, with many considering it this year’s biggest snub.
Discover the must have action thriller, when THE TAKE releases on EST on 10th October and on DVD, Blu-ray and VOD from the 17TH October 2016.