It has been a busy week here in old La La land, with the Oscars kicking off yet another busy awards season – and thankfully last Sunday’s event involved more clapping than slapping!
Not just a night to celebrate the great and good of Hollywood, the Academy Awards always provide the perfect chance to catch up with some old pals, too, and I was lucky enough to spend time with Idris Elba, who I first met more than 20 years ago. We chatted after he walked the champagne carpet (red is so last season, apparently) with his wife, Sabrina, and I asked him what he thought of the night’s festivities.
“It was so emotional, so inspirational and it was a lot of fun,” he told me. “Everyone wanted to be there, it was great. You know, awards sometimes can be stuffy and that was like a celebration.”
Well, it certainly was a celebration for Elba, who voiced The Fox in The Boy, The Mole, The Fox And The Horse, which took home the prize for best animated short film. What a result!
Idrissa Akuna Elba OBE has taken on many roles over his decades-long career – including everyone’s favourite rogue copper DCI John Luther – and he gave a sneak peek of his latest career move at the Vanity Fair after-party.
Not content with just being an A-list actor, DJ, presenter, writer, director and activist, he’s added fashion designer to his CV now, too. He was wearing one of his own “creations” when I caught up with him and, as always, he looked very cool.
“Thank you very much, I’m very proud of it,” he said when I complimented him on his emerald-green buttonless suit jacket. “The line is called Eve of Winston – that’s my mum’s name and my dad’s name. I’m not a designer but one day I just decided to try a little thing and here it is. Do you like it? I just like to do some sketches and off we go!”
Thankfully, putting together new ’fits, as the kids say, hasn’t meant stepping away from his first passion, acting.
It’s been four years since we’ve seen the star of The Wire in action as John Luther but a feature-length version of the hit series has just landed on Netflix. Luther: The Fallen Sun sees our brilliant but disgraced detective break out of prison to hunt down a serial killer – not one to watch with the lights off, that’s for sure.
Fans were delighted to see Luther return but did you know Elba almost passed on the role that made his career?
I heard a rumour that when he got sent the script, he thought it was about another Luther entirely – so I asked him, was it true?
“Yes, it’s true!” he admitted with a laugh. “When I first got the script 10 years ago, I thought it was about Luther Vandross, and I was like, ‘But I can’t sing!”
Idris, we would listen even if you sounded like drowning cats…
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