Elba urges us to focus on similarities-I don't want to be the first Black; I'm the first Idris, he says in new interview


In a new exclusive interview with Esquire, Idris Elba speaks candidly about his journey and the lessons he has learned along the way to stardom. Elba shares his experience by initially describing himself as being “the same person I always was, an only child.”

How does Idris Elba see himself?

He says that he still considers himself,

Very connected to that young guy, who was very ambitious in his thoughts. Curious, always curious. [i]

Elba continued sharing tidbits from his childhood memory vault. He reflected fondly on traits he inherited from his father, the number one on the list– “being a people pleaser.” Elba affectionately describes how his father was one of eleven, a “guy who had all the friends” and “who everyone wanted to be around.” [ii]

Despite his father’s friendly disposition, Elba describes his father as more of the type that “didn’t want to go on holiday.” At the same time, Elba sees himself as “a little bit more ambitious.” [ii]

How has Idris Elba’s African culture shaped him?

Elba shares that a big part of him is his African culture, Sierra Leonean specifically. He describes how it has connected him to persistently be polite and courteous. Elba credits his African culture as giving him “principles, guidelines, [and] to some degree, manners.” [iii]

The unforgettable actor further notes how his mother’s cautious sensitivity has also played a role in his upbringing and the reason behind his sometimes cautionary actions. [iii]

Finally, Elba emphasized during the interview that he does not quite understand folks’ fascination with questioning him about being a black actor experiencing many firsts as a black man. Elba no longer describes himself as a black actor because it “put me in a box.” He says that although racism is real, it’s only as powerful as we allow it to be. He further reiterated his thoughts stating,

I don’t want to be the first Black. I’m the first Idris. [iv]

How does Idris Elba think we can see change?

The Golden Globe Award-winning actor insists that people should focus on each others’ similarities instead of how much we differ. Elba believes if more people focused on similarities, the planet would shift in how we deal with each other. We are obsessed with race. [v]

Watch the trailer for the Idris Elba new movie, Luther.

Four Most Asked Info About Idris Elba

Idris Elba Height: Wondering how tall is Idris Elba? The actor is 6'2".

Who is Eve Elba? If you've heard of Eve Elba, then you know who Idris' mother is!

Who is Winston Elba? Winston Elba, is Idris Elba's son with Naiyana Garth who Elba was in a four-year-relationship with.

What is the internet's favorite Idris Elba Meme?

An Idris Elba meme.Photo byFeline Groovy


[i] Alex Bilmes, Becoming Idris Elba (Feb. 8, 2023)

[ii] Id.

[iii] Id.

[iv] Id.

[v] IMDb, Idris Elba Awards (2023)

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