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Having first entered the public eye as Stringer Bell, the calculating de facto leader of a Baltimore drug empire in HBO's critically acclaimed original series "The Wire,” IDRIS ELBA (Heimdall) has gone on to make his mark as an actor to watch in Hollywood with a string of well-received performances in high-profile films.

Idris started his career in his native London, where he had become a mainstay on British television by his mid-twenties. He starred in some of the UK's top rated shows, such as "Dangerfield,” "Bramwell” and "Ultraviolet.” In 2000, "Ultraviolet” was purchased by Fox in the United States, offering Idris the break into the American marketplace that he was looking for. After moving to New York, Idris received rave reviews for his portrayal of Achilles in Sir Peter Hall's off-Broadway production of "Troilus and Cressida,” considered one of Shakespeare's more complicated plays. Shortly thereafter he landed a part on the acclaimed television series "Law & Order.”

Around the same time, Alexa Fogel, who was responsible for casting HBO's award winning series "Oz.” was looking for actors for another HBO series set in Baltimore. Sensing that he would be perfect for the gritty new series, she set up a meeting with the show's creator David Simon. Idris scored, landing the role of Stringer Bell, the lieutenant of a Baltimore drug empire on "The Wire.” As the right hand and brains behind the operations of an imprisoned drug lord, Idris' portrayal of the complex but deadly Bell quickly became one of the most compelling on US television. As popularity of the show grew around the world, so did the appreciation of global audiences and critics for Idris' landmark performance.

Idris' leading role debut was in the HBO Original Film, "Sometimes in April,” by critically acclaimed director Raoul Peck. Set during the Rwandan genocide of 1994, Idris' portrayal of Augustan, a Hutu soldier trying to save his Tutsi wife and family during the mass killings, received rave reviews. A prolific run of leading roles followed: in Tyler Perry's dramatic feature, "Daddy's Little Girls,” opposite Hilary Swank in the thriller "The Reaping” and in the horror thriller "28 Weeks Later.”

Idris next starred in the award-winning film "American Gangster,” directed by Ridley Scott. Idris, as Tango, a drug boss battling Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington) to establish himself as the number one importer of heroin in the Harlem district of Manhattan. Based on a true story, the film was released in November 2007.

In June 2007 Idris moved to London to start filming Guy Ritchie's new film "RocknRolla,” also starring Gerard Butler, Thandie Newton and Tom Wilkinson. He played Mumbles, a gang member on the trail of a stolen painting. The film was released in October 2009 and went straight to #1 in the UK box office in its first week of release. Following this success, the film was released in October 2008 in the US.

April 2008 saw the release of the crime thriller "Obsessed,” directed by Steve Shill. Idris starred opposite Beyonce Knowles, and the movie took $28.5 million on its opening weekend, storming to #1 in the box office and becoming the highest-grossing opening on record for the ‘stalker thriller' genre movie. Idris plays a successful business man with a beautiful wife who finds his idyllic life threatened by a sinister employee turned stalker.

In March 2009, Idris appeared on American television screens in the hit show "The Office.” Idris' character was a no-nonsense addition to the Dunder Mifflin offices who found himself in competition with Steve Carell's Michael Scott over the course of six episodes. Idris played the leading role in two successful action pictures in 2010. First came the comic book adaptation "The Losers,” in which he shared the screen with Zoë Saldana, Chris Evans and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Then, in August, he led the line in the number one US box office hit, "Takers,” alongside Matt Dillon, T.I. and Hayden Christensen.

In May 2009, Idris had moved to Glasgow to film "Legacy,” directed by Thomas Ikimi. He played Malcom Gray, a black-ops agent who returns from a botched mission in Eastern Europe to New York, where he is torn between retribution and personal salvation as he mentally unravels. Idris served as executive producer on the film, which was chosen to close the Glasgow Film Festival in February 2010, and received its US premiere to great critical acclaim at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2010.

Idris was next seen in the BBC crime drama series "Luther,” playing the title role of John Luther, a complex detective struggling with his own terrible demons. The six episodes were shown on BBC 1 in April 2010, and audiences and critics alike responded to Idris' portrayal of the tormented detective. The series was been picked up by BBC America and was broadcast in October 2010, earning Idris rave reviews once again. Idris's performance earned him a nomination at the 2011 Golden Globe® Awards.

It was announced in October 2010 that Idris would play Moreau in "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance,” the sequel to the successful Sony comic book adaptation. Idris will star alongside Nicolas Cage as Johnny Blaze. The film is written and directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, from a story by David S. Goyer and is slated for a February 2012 release.

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