British actor IDRIS ELBA (Janek) captivated American
audiences as the infamous Stringer Bell in HBO's critically acclaimed series,
The Wire. He continues to make his mark as one to watch in Hollywood, with a
string of well-received performances in high-profile films and multiple
Idris started his career in his native city of London, where he had a mainstay
role on British television by his mid-twenties. He starred in some of the UK's
top rated shows, including Dangerfield, Bramwell and Ultraviolet. In 2000,
Ultraviolet was purchased by Fox in the United States, offering Idris a break
into the American marketplace. After moving to New York, Idris received rave
reviews for his portrayal of Achilles in Sir Peter Hall's off-Broadway
production of one of Shakespeare's more complicated plays, Troilus and Cressida.
Shortly thereafter he landed a part on the acclaimed television series Law &
Around the same time, David Simon, creator of HBO's award winning series Oz,
cast Idris in the role of Stringer Bell, the lieutenant of a Baltimore drug
empire on The Wire. Idris's portrayal of the complex but deadly Bell is arguably
one of the most compelling in TV history. As the show flourished throughout the
world, critics and audience members began to appreciate Idris' talent. In 2005,
he received an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in
a Drama Series for his work on The Wire.
Idris landed his first leading role in the HBO Original Film, Sometimes in
April, for which he received his second Image Award nomination, this time for
Outstanding Actor in a TV Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special. A prolific run
of leading roles followed -- in Tyler Perry's dramatic feature Daddy's Little
Girls, for which Idris received a BET nomination for Best Actor; the thriller
The Reaping, also starring Hilary Swank; and the horror thriller 28 Weeks Later.
In 2007, Idris starred in Ridley Scott's Golden Globe nominated American
Gangster with Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Ruby Dee and Josh Brolin. The
ensemble went on to receive a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. That same year, Idris
returned to London to film Guy Ritchie's RocknRolla alongside Gerard Butler,
Thandie Newton and Tom Wilkinson. The film went straight to #1 in the UK box
office in its first week of release.
Idris next starred opposite Beyonce Knowles in the crime thriller Obsessed,
directed by Steve Shill. Idris received a BET Best Actor nomination, as well as
a NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture. The
movie took in $28.5 million on its opening weekend, storming to # 1 in the box
office and became the highest-grossing opening on record for the
stalker-thriller genre movie.
In 2009, Idris showed off his comedic chops on NBC's hit television show The
Office, as Michael Scott's less than amused boss Charles Minor. He later
appeared as Laura Linney's love interest in the Showtime comedy The Big C.
His next projects were The Losers, in which he shared the screen with Zoe
Saldana, Chris Evans and Jeffrey Dean Morgan; and box office hit Takers,
alongside Matt Dillon, T.I. and Hayden Christensen, for which Idris received a
2011 NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion
Picture. In May 2009, Idris moved to Glasgow to film Legacy. Along with playing
the part of a Black Operations operative, Idris was an Executive Producer on the
film, which was chosen to close The Glasgow Film Festival in February 2010. The
Tribeca Film Festival in April 2010 commended Legacy with great critical
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 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 picked
up by BBC America and was broadcast in October 2010, earning Idris rave reviews
once again. For his work on Luther, Idris received a Best Actor nomination at
the 2011 Golden Globe Awards and won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor
in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special. In 2012, he took home
the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for
Idris starred in the highly anticipated Marvel comic book adaptation, Thor,
directed by Kenneth Branagh, alongside Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins and
Samuel L Jackson. He can be currently seen in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance,
with Nicolas Cage.
In addition to Luther returning to the small screen for its third season,
Idris will next hit the big screen in Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim, and will
take on the role of Nelson Mandela this summer when he begins production on the
autobiographical film, Long Walk to Freedom.
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