Idris Elba on not identifying as a black actor.
While promoting his upcoming film "Luther: The Fallen Sun," actor Idris Elba recently spoke with Esquire U.K. about reasons why he no longer tends to refer himself as a "black actor" and ought to instead be made reference to as an artist focused on his talent.
Idris described that he stopped referring to himself as a black actor because it placed him in a box and that individuals have to grow, and skin is nothing other than skin. The actor made clear that, of course, he is a representative of the black community and a notable one at that. When Idris visits America, he claims to be a notable member of the British community, contributing that if people are spending half their time discussing resemblances rather than disparities, the entire world would change the way they interact with each other. Individuals are obsessed with race as living beings, and this fixation can stifle people's aspirations and growth.
The actor went on to say that racism should be spoken about as racism is a very major problem in the world but, in his opinion, it's only as strong as one allows it to be. During the interview, Idris revealed that his initial intention for becoming an actor was not for portrayal or equality, but simply for the love of the art form. He asserted that he chose to become an actor not so much because he saw a lack of black characters on screen and tried to improve that, but instead because he considered it a fantastic career and he was skillful at doing excellent work at it. He made the argument that as people ascend through the ranks, they are tried to ask about what it was like to be the first black person to do this or that.
Idris Elba continued that it is precisely the same as if he were white adding that it is his first time, and he doesn't want to be the first black person. He is the first Idris. Idris stated further that he is no longer black because he is in a white area, nor is he black because he is in a black area. He is Black, and that skin follows him wherever he goes every day, through black areas with white people or white areas with black people. He's the very same shade of black.
The actor however hopes to be an inspiration to young generation who want to be actors and work in Hollywood. The actor stated that he has accepted that it is part of his journey to be aware that, in many cases, he may be the first person who looks like him to do something, and that this is a good thing to leave as part of his legacy. Idris Elba went on to say that he did it so that other people, both black and white kids who were born and raised in the same conditions as he did, could see that it is doable for a kid from Canning Town to eventually wind up doing what he does.
Talking about his upcoming movies, 'Luther: The Fallen Sun' it is a feature-length expansion of his hit BBC cop show which will be released in limited theaters on February 24 and will premiere on Netflix on March 10.
Luther is a gruesome crime drama set in contemporary east London, created by British novelist Neil Cross. Since 2010, it has followed the grizzled, melancholy DCI John Luther, an archetypal fictional detective: a brilliant loner consumed by the job, with a disastrous personal life to show for it, as well as the most traumatized screen overcoat since Columbo hung up his Mac. Luther appears before us in shades of grey, like London itself, punctuated by the occasional shock of red: his tie, a London bus, and a bloodied corpse.