Ridiculously sexy 41-year-old British actor and first-time daddy-to-be Idris Elba is hitting his stride. With his film Thor: The Dark World dominating the box office and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (premiere today!) already generating Oscar buzz, we’re excited to see what the near future holds for him. Perhaps a James Bond role?
Now, we’re sure his turn as Mandela will top this list, but here are Idris’s best performances so far:
The Wire This is Idris Elba’s stand-out role, and the one for which he’s most well known. His character, suave drug kingpin Stringer Bell, was all business — maybe too much business. His lack of street smarts and hunger for power eventually lead to his tragic demise. His dark, Machiavellian machinations could be added to The Prince playbook.
Side note: Were you also in shock when you found out Idris is British? His Baltimore accent was crazy good!
Luther In this super-dark British drama, Idris plays Luther, a damaged detective whose specialty is serial killers. Like most serial killer hunters, Luther doesn’t play by the rules, and this is what gets most of the people he cares about killed. And then there’s Luther the lover — the chemistry he has with sexy serial murderess Alice Morgan (played by Ruth Wilson) is off-the-charts hot! This is definitely not an easy role to take on, but Idris nails it. He brings a palpable intensity to the role and really embraces the crazy, which makes this role so memorable.
Thor Franchise Idris plays the stoic Heimdall, protector of Asgard, friend of Thor, and possessor of the coolest power. We admit those yellow-colored eyes freak us out a bit, but Heimdall is (and always will be) a BAMF. We were psyched Idris got a lot more screentime in Thor: The Dark World — he even got a big, exciting action scene (spoiler alert!) taking down a camouflaged Dark Elves ship. And the man is workin’ that big ol’ gold helmet! If anything, this movie is proof that Idris deserves his own superhero movie.
Pacific Rim No, this movie isn’t as good as all the hype it’s received, but Idris’s performance still stands out among the rest. Idris plays the head of Pan Pacific Defense Corps., Stacker Pentecost, who looks damn fine in in his uniform, which consists of carbon-fiber armor over a skin-tight bodysuit. We won’t give too much away, but he’s the man responsible for cancelling the apocalypse — don’t you want to find out how?
Obsessed Though Beyonce and Ali Larter’s epic fight scene might be the most memorable thing about this D-list movie, you can’t miss Idris as successful businessman and loving husband Derek, who’s married to Beyonce (and they make a gorgeous couple!). Idris’s talent is probably wasted on this film, but it was a nice change from his intense turn on The Wire and Luther. If you’re looking for pure camp with some eye candy, this is your best bet.