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Real Life Stories
By: LuRae Iwenofu
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Ladies swoon and let the green eyed monsters take a chunk of my flesh. I have got the hunk of burning gorgeousness, all male and oozing with edible testosterone and sex appeal, Idris Elba, in my living room.

Ok, I admit I fibbed a little bit there, but not totally as he was in my front room being interviewed on TV by the witty, charming, and sometimes annoying Jonathan Ross on his show on BBC one Friday Night with Jonathan Ross.

First off though - a public and unashamed declaration of DivaScribes’ crush on Mr Elba needs to be noted before we get talking about this brother from the East End of London (Hackney). If Jonathan Ross can publicly declare that if he were a certain way inclined, he wouldn’t be averse to a lip lock with him, who are we to shirk what to us is a natural inclination. Mr Elba, if you ever get within a hundred meters of DivaScribe, please for our sanity, be the gentleman that you are and RUN! The consequences of not running we guarantee - would titillate his royal horniness in the nether regions, but alas, we may wear you out as there will be a lot of us in the queue. Form an orderly queue ladies, but I get first dibs.

Let’s stop salivating and get to know this enigma a little bit better. Born to a Sierra Leonean father and a Ghanaian mother on September the 6th 1972, ‘Idrissa Akuna Elba’ was a well loved only child. At the urging of his drama Teacher, Idris got into acting as a high school student. With a grant of a thousand pounds from the Princes Trust aged 16 he entered the National Youth Music Theatre, and from there his career has gone from strength to strength.

TV Acting Roles

Google Idris Elba and you will have a catalogue of his achievements. However, what strikes DivaScribe as an admirable feat is the fact that he battled against all odds to pursue his thirst for acting. In one of his rare interviews, he said that his early acting career in the UK were always in supporting roles. But he knew deep within himself that he had a lot more to offer. As a result he quit the UK acting scene temporarily and immigrated to America in pursuit of better opportunities in 1997. Before this however, as a jobbing actor in the UK his TV career from 1995 included roles in ‘Bramwell’ (his first role) - a medical drama, ‘Absolutely Fabulous’, ‘The Bill’, ‘The Ruth Rendell Mysteries’, ‘The Governor’, channel five’s TV soap ‘Family Affairs’. His acting chops and ability to deliver convincing performances were proved in the acclaimed serial ‘Ultraviolet’. This followed more challenging roles in established television series ‘Dangerfield’ where he played a forensic scientist. But those sorts of roles were few and far between.

His salubrious career in TV reads like a Saturday shopping list: varied, diverse, and delivered with aplomb—there is no question that Idris Elba is one of the most accomplished black actors of our generation.

Though residing in the states Idris still travelled back and forth for work in the UK, he had a two year spell in the states that acting jobs only trickled in. He took a recurring role in the popular crime series ‘Inspector Lynley Mysteriesin the UK. His salubrious career in TV reads like a Saturday shopping list, varied, diverse and delivered with aplomb- there is no question that Idris Elba is one of the most accomplished black actors of our generation. This from a dude who many ridiculed for his dip in crime scene reconstruction roles on Crime Watch – he’s had the last laugh.

Before his major break into the American film market, in 2001 Idris took to the stage in New York City as Achilles in the stage play ‘Troilus and Cressida". This brought with it critical acclaim, and led to a supporting role in a 2001 episode of the NBC drama ‘Law and Order’ - an American police procedural and legal television drama series, created by Dick Wolf". It is one of the longest running crime dramas on American prime time television. 

He made in-roads into mainstream US Television series with a starring role in HBO’s 2002 drama The Wire, a series which shows the often brutal and realistic world of crime in Baltimore, Washington DC. A world where gangsters are charismatic, police officers flawed, and the good guy not always winning—as is normally the rule of thumb for visual entertainment. The plot for The Wire depicts the lives of four young boys in their early teens trying to avoid getting caught up in the drug dealing shenanigans that that are rife in the areas of Baltimore (where they live). Elba’s role as Stringer, a deplorable local drug dealing kingpin gangster was captivating. His character was killed off after two years in the series. Some would say his take as Russell Stringer Bell was his best known role so far, though DivaScribe begs to differ as his performances in live theatre have produced work of equally admirable quality

Other roles followed, however, the following roles necessitated that he dug into his African roots. His 2005 portrayal as Captain Augustin Muganza in the HBO 2005 historical drama film Sometimes in April about the Rwanda Genocide included the following cast members: Oris Erhuero, Carole Karemera and Debra Winger. In it he starred as one of two brothers a Captain in the Rwandan army married to Jeanne (Carole Karemera) a Tutsi woman with three kids and how they bore witness to the atrocities happening around them. He also starred in BBC one’s 2008 The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency as the sinister Charlie Kgosto opposite the highly celebrated three time Grammy Award winner nu-soul artiste Jill Scott and Anika Noni Rose. The series was a screen adaptation of Alexander McCall Smiths’s detective novels with the heroine Precious Ramotswe, whom Miss Scott brought to life as the intrepid investigator with a capital S (Spot- On). 

Film Roles

Not content with his roles on TV, this brother creates his own buzz in films too! With fantastic accolades he has starred both in big and low budget flicks, but is always discerning of the sort of roles he takes on. Too many to mention, but here are a few.

He starred opposite Joaquin Phoenix in Buffalo Soldiers in 2001, the gothic 2003 thriller 28 Days Later, The Reaping in 2007 with Oscar winner Hilary Swank (they both starred as scientists who travel to remote sites and investigate the alleged miracles happening there). He was also in the comedy Daddy’s Little Girls in 2007, a Tyler Perry movie where he played opposite the gorgeous Gabrielle Union. He was the single father and mechanic Monty who struggles to raise his three daughters from their unfit mother, played by Tasha Smith, whilst fighting for full custody, following legal advice from Union. Elba was also in 2007’s American Gangster, alongside Oscar winners Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington, as the character Tango. It was indeed a busy year for him!

Recently, he took the role of ‘Mumbles’ in Guy Ritchie’s 2008 ‘RocknRolla’, an action packed comedy which takes a look at contemporary London, depicting the different facets of crime and danger in the capital. His character ‘Mumbles’ gets himself into all manners of scrapes, but dumb he isn’t.

One role that elicited protective mama tendencies with the ladies was his role as Derek Charles in the 2009 thriller Obsessed with Beyonce Knowles and Ali Larter. Elba played a hardworking married young man, recently promoted to asset manager, but finds himself entangled in an obsessive love triangle with Larter that nearly ruins his marriage (to wife played by Knowles) and career.

Latest Acting Project

His latest work on UK shores which was screened May – June 2010, a BBC One drama titled Luther a psychological thriller with Elba taking the lead role in the six part drama as murder detective DCI John Luther, pulled viewers in by the droves and showed how multifaceted his talents are. He also joined the cast of Thor, a Kenneth Branagh film in which he plays a Nordic lord Heimdall. Also in the pipeline is the deal he signed as an executive producer role with NBC for as of yet untitled legal drama.

Music Career

He is a multi-facetted artist. Elba is also an accomplished DJ and if pushed he may be pressed to admit that this is indeed his first love. He DJed on pirate radio stations (as DJ Kippy) in derelict buildings in the East-end of London before he hit the big time in visuals, and to this day he is still into his vinyls and DJ’s as DJ Driis. He has DJed for established hip hop artists like Missy Elliot, and co-produced and performed on the intro to rapper Jay-Z’s album ‘American Gagster’ and worked with a few other hip hop artists’ whom he has appeared in their  music videos.

Fulfilling a desire to showcase his own style of music, Driis released his first EP in 2006 titled ‘Big Man’ DivaScribe is unsure if this is a reference to a particular appendage…...hmm? Ok now minds out of the gutter, he has just released his latest offering a six – songs EP titled ‘Kings Among Kings’ – it showcases a fusion of sounds that reflects Driis’ eclectic musical influences.

Aside from the fact that Mr Elba has got DivaScribe defying biology by blushing and going all purple, he is sound proof that if we believe in ourselves and go all out - we can indeed achieve our dreams. Yes, life will indeed throw some blocks in the way and maybe - even make volcanoes’ erupt on your onward journey. But have a goal, have a plan, initiate it, if you fail - pick yourself up and dust off your behind, look to others who have done it and above all BELIEVE that it can be achieved! He is a young man of West African origins, born and raised in Britain but has now become a global star in his own right.

Personal life

DivaScribe is willing to buy her own ring if Elba were to ask the age old question "will you marry me". Currently living in Florida, Idris also has a home in Atlanta which he believes is vital in co-parenting his daughter Isan Elba born in 2002 with ex wife Dormowa Sherman. They separated four years after the birth of their daughter. His amicable split and existing friendship with his ex says that this is one geezer who would not be in the market for long. He can have his pick of women, but yet still remains unattached…hmm maybe he is just waiting for me. You have been told,Mr Elba. ds

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