Idris Elba is known for many roles: Taraji P. Henson’s creepy stalker, Stringer Bell from the greatest show of our time, and soon, the voice of Shere Khan in Jon Favreau’s Jungle Book, but until recently, we were unaware that he was a big fan of Mary Poppins. His Friday Reddit AMA changed that! Here are some other things we learned: Elba would totally be the next James Bond, does Muay Thai to stay fit, loves The Champ, and wants to work with Christopher Nolan. Read below for the highlights where he talks about when we might be seeing Luther again, reconfirms a story about Nicholas Cage’s obsession with vampires, and uses lots of adorable British spellings. You can imagine him reading this to you in any accent that pleases you.
His favorite Disney movie is The Jungle Book, which is good because he’s going to be voicing Shere Khan.
At the risk of sounding corny, I think it is The Jungle Book. And it’s not animated, but it fits in that world, Mary Poppins. I loved Mary Poppins. Classic, man, just classic! The songs, the animation, amazin’.
When will we see Luther again?
We are in talks at the moment to figure out a way to bring more Luther back to the TV, but the focus is to try and make a film from it.
Why is he so good at playing villains?
I find villains way more compellin’ to unearth their psyche. Writers love writing for villains because they can get a lot more off their chest, and it just means a lot more stuff for the actor to do. But good guys are also a challenge, because if you don’t get the balance between being real and being, you know, a stereotypically good guy, your character can come across as corny. So each has its challenges, but I think being a bad guy has more.
What’s his favorite scene from The Wire?
Favorite scene from the wire: My favourite scene is when I tell Avon that I killed D’Angelo. That was the scene yeah. It was a very Shakespearean Scene. And Avon and Stringer end up on the floor. It’s actually the scene that sealed Stringer Bell’s fate, although he didn’t know it. I remember Wood and I, we sat in a trailer - and discussed what we were going to do pretty much all day. And ended up going in on set. It was incredible.
Yep, Nicholas Cage’s obsession with vampires is definitely true.
Yeah - Nic Cage came back one day on set, and he came down to set and he looked a little bit tired, a little bit - kind of like he’d ben up all night. So I was like “hey Nic man, how you doing man” and he said “i’m alright’ and I said “You seem a little spoked out” and he said “Yeah man, I went up to Dracula’s castle…the ruins up in the mountains, and I stayed the night” and i said “What?! Why|?” and he said “I just had to channel the energy, and it was pretty spooky up there.” We were shooting in Romania, Transylvania, and he just went up there to spend the night, as you do.
And then he walked away.
The Office is his favorite TV show. The British one, of course.
My favourite tee-vee show, actually I was a massive fan of the original Office, The English Office. I just found that hilarious. And when I was asked to be in the American Office, it was such a big coup for me man, I was really excited to be a part of that, because I’m a big fan of the English office. I wish Ricky does a comeback for the English office and my character comes into it, that’d be great. I’d love that.
He speaks a lot about logic. Just because you’re on camera, he doesn’t want you to make up an expression or fake an emotion, he wants you to think bout it would actually be like to be in that position. With more experienced actors, me especially, he just allowed me to be me and go for it. He wants as much variation, so that when he goes into the edit room, he can do with it what he wants. He expects you as an actor to know what you want to do, and to know your words, know your world, I found him a dream to work with because I hardly noticed he was there, to be honest, and it just allowed me to really take over my character. He was an amazin’ director. He works really hard, he knows everything about filmmaking, and he expects his crew to do that too.
Sadly, no one thought to clear up the confusion on that whole “mike wire” situation.