Idris Elba on Playing James Bond, ‘Luther’ and Stringer Bell

While I may not have the best things to say about Idris Elba‘s budding musical career, he will always be one of my favorite thespians on both sides of the Atlantic. In a recent interview with NPR, Elba was clear that he did not come to the US to play “black roles,” but “roles.” This is certainly evident with his current gig as the leading man on BBC/BBC America’s “Luther,” a psychological crime drama which has had viewers on the edge of their seats since the first season. And yes, the return of his accent is very, very sexy:

“They really wanted those characters in ‘The Wire’ to be as real and authentic as they can,” he said. “So they got actors that had little experience, actors that actually hadn’t done much before, and they got natives — Baltimoreans and such.” And with authenticity high on the list of qualifications, he got that critical piece of advice: “Don’t tell them you’re English.”

And what’s up with all the talk about Elba potentially being the first James Bond of color?

“It’s a rumor,” he says flatly. But does that mean you should dismiss the chatter? Not necessarily. Elba says he recently talked about the role with his father and while it sounds like an interesting idea, he had concerns. “I just don’t want to be the black James Bond,” he said. “Sean Connery wasn’t the Scottish James Bond, and Daniel Craig wasn’t the blue-eyed James Bond, so if I played him, I don’t want to be called the black James Bond.”

Idris as 007? Yes Please!

Read more of his talk with NPR here.

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