Idris Elba has never watched 'The Wire'
October 17th, 2013
04:57 PM ET

Idris Elba has never watched 'The Wire'

There's always one.

With every highly praised TV show that has been added to the "essential viewing" list - see: "Breaking Bad"; "The Sopranos" - it's guaranteed there is still some poor, uninformed soul who's managed to miss the entire thing.

Idris Elba is one of those people.

Although he's best known for playing drug dealer Stringer Bell on "The Wire," Elba, 41, hasn't actually sat down and watched David Simon's Baltimore-based saga.

"I’ve seen a full episode at screenings but never at home," the London-born actor tells Playboy magazine. "I’ve never watched an entire season. I’ve not seen any episode of season two, most of season three and none of seasons four and five. I’m super-critical of my own work. As an actor, if you’re being told how wonderful you are, what do you need to strive for? I don’t know if I’m good just because some critic says I am in the press."

While some might've hedged their answer, Elba is nothing but honest. Given that he's also a DJ, he's frank that "drug culture is a big part of the house music scene that I deejay now. Loads of DJs get smashed," he tells the magazine. "At first I bypassed drugs. I didn’t start smoking weed until later in life. ... I mean, I’m not gonna lie - I’ve tried everything ... I’ve tried it all. I played one of the biggest drug dealers in the world on TV, so you think I’d know what I was talking about."

But later this year, Elba is going to step into the shoes of a freedom fighter when he portrays Nelson Mandela in November's biopic, "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom."

"This is one of the most courageous and selfless men you’re ever going to meet," Elba said of Mandela. "If I said to you, 'Listen, there’s a whole generation of people who are suffering, and if you give up 27 years of your life and spend that time in prison, you could help them,' the likelihood is you’d say, 'No, I’m all right. I’m kind of comfortable here.' What I found out from him is, he was that guy."

"Mandela," which also stars Naomie Harris as Winnie Mandela, opens in select theaters on November 29.

Filed under: Celebrities • movies

soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. D


    October 28, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Clarity 50

    Wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy before Midge even surfaced.

    October 28, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. B

    Idris how about a losers sequel

    October 28, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. shirodx

    Love house music too.

    October 24, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. shirodx

    A DJ!
    And House at that.
    I'd love to hear him spin.

    October 24, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  6. The Wire

    It was a one shot 10 minute deal-it did not take very long..two pushes and there it was...

    October 22, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Andrew

    Mr. Elba is a very good actor. Looking forward to his next role. He was awesome in The Wire, one of the best series ever.

    October 22, 2013 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Letters

    Black men are attractive.

    October 20, 2013 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  9. sarah s.

    Please, bring back Luther! Best series EVER!!!!

    October 20, 2013 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  10. Nice guy

    This is cool

    October 18, 2013 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
  11. M. Roxie

    I know the Wire very well.

    October 17, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. T.rex

    I've never seen any of those either... infact, i have no idea what The Wire even is. That, and Elba is much older than 41. Thanks.

    October 17, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jonnathan

      you know him personally?? or maybe you interviewed him??


      October 17, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Button Willow

      Because you say so? I was in grade 1 with him same age 1972 yep 41 until 16/12 for me.

      October 26, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Why any of you are even responding to this moron, T.rex, is beyond me.

      October 28, 2013 at 3:58 am | Report abuse |

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