After 88 years, Idris Elba broke the “Flying Mile” record in the UK, going over 180 mph in a Bentley to beat 1927’s Sir Malcolm Campbell.
“I’m absolutely elated to have broken the ‘Flying Mile’ at Pendine Sands,” Elba said. “It’s an honor to have taken on the challenge, and to successfully follow in the footsteps of the illustrious Sir Malcolm Campbell.”
The “Luther” actor is filming a four-part series for the Discovery Channel called, “Idris Elba: No Limits,” which will air in July.
“NCIS” has added yet another cast member. British actor Duane Henry has joined the current season in a recurring role with the option to continue into next season. Henry will play MI6 Officer Clayton Reeves. He will make his debut in the final two episodes of the current 13th season.
Clayton Reeves rose above his British blue-collar roots to become a successful government agent. The character is described as offbeat and fun with swagger to spare, with professional confidence that’s impossible to disregard. To say Reeves has burned some bridges in the international intelligence community is an understatement, but he owns the choices he’s made and he’s determined to do what’s right. Behind steely eyes and a strong, no-nonsense demeanor is a killer smile and a sense of humor to match.
“We think we found something really special in Duane Henry,” said Gary Glasberg, executive producer and “NCIS” showrunner. “His unique blend of charm, heart and athletic physicality is going to be a great addition to the mix. Everyone at ‘NCIS’ is excited to have him join us.”
Born in Birmingham, England, Henry has credits that include many popular U.K. series including “Law & Order: U.K.,” “The Bill” and “Doctor Who.” In 2010, he was nominated for BAFTA’s Screen Nation Award for best emerging talent.
Just as #OscarsSoWhite has become a cause cé·lè·bre here in the USA primarily, across the pond, in the UK, the picture for actors and directors of color isn’t exactly rosy either. By now, I think we’re all familiar with the struggles of black talents in the UK, with the likes of Lenny Henry, Adrian Lester, Sophie Okonedo, David Oyelowo, and others vocalizing their frustrations with the lack of opportunity for black actors in the UK, and their having to go elsewhere (the USA specifically) to find work – a “trend” that many on this side of the pond frown upon, arguing that it effectively means that there’s even more competition for a limited number of opportunities.
Now “Luther” star Idris Elba is also speaking out, although he’s taken his protest (if you will) all the way to the UK parliament, where he formally spoke to the members Monday, on the lack of diversity across British television, and its effects on talented black Brits like himself who are essentially forgotten. In his speech, he accuses the industry’s executives of not living in the real world. He argued that British television is at risk of not properly reflecting society, emphasizing that black actors in the UK are struggling to progress, especially when compared to black actors in the USA.
“People in the TV world often aren’t the same as people in the real world. And there’s an even bigger gap between people who make TV, and people who watch TV. I should know, I live in the TV world. And although there’s a lot of reality TV, TV hasn’t caught up with reality,” Elba said, adding: “Change is coming, but it’s taking its sweet time.”
Watch some of his speech below (to read the full speech, Channel 4 transcribed it in its entirety here):
Starring Idris Elba as DCI John Luther, the murder detective whose brilliant mind can’t always save him from the dangerous violence of his passions, the new series is written by creator Neil Cross. “Luther” hails from BBC Drama Production and the new series will be co-produced with BBC America. Elizabeth Kilgarriff will oversee for BBC Drama.
In a statement on the BBC revival, Cross said, “Ever since we said goodbye to John Luther on Southwark Bridge, there’s hardly been a minute when I didn’t wonder what happened next. So I decided to find out. We’re putting the band back together; Luther is coming back where he belongs. Back to the BBC. Back to London. And back to work.”
The two hourlong episodes will film in and around London in March, and the show is slated for a late 2015 premiere.
The U.S. adaptation has received a put pilot commitment from Fox. Elba is attached to executive produce alongside Cross but is not currently expected to star.
After fighting criminals on the streets of London, “Luther” star Idris Elba is now ready to fight terrorists in Paris as he is set to star in the Vendome Pictures and Anonymous Content thriller Bastille Day. Andrew Baldwin wrote the script and the director has not yet been set. The story revolves around a U.S. operative who is tasked with interrogating and eventually making a young American boy “disappear” in order to avoid embarrassment to the U.S. government after the boy is linked as the prime suspect to a terrorist attack on the Paris metro. After a several more attacks, the operative realizes the boy is innocent and also may be the only link to the person actually orchestrating the attacks.
Though Elba still doing some work on his television series Luther, in the last year he has begun to ramp up his work on the feature side with big roles in Prometheus, Pacific Rim and Thor: The Dark World, which opened this past weekend and has already almost made $200 million worldwide. Elba can be seen next in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom which is already getting award season buzz for his performance as Nelson Mandela.
Colin Salmon attends the Royal World Premiere of ‘Skyfall’ at the Royal Albert Hall on October 23, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn McCormack/Getty Images)
Black British actors are taking Hollywood by storm. In recent years more and more have been cast in on-screen roles, not just in big budget U.S. films but also on American television. In fact, nowadays it is highly likely a Brit will be found starring in a major Hollywood movie or hit TV series. Currently, U.S. television boasts several black British actors who are regular cast members in popular shows like Homeland and Game of Thrones.
“I love British actors,” says Brooks Jackson Colyar, a Los Angeles-based agent who represents actors and comedians. “I am fascinated they can take that accent and turn it into everyday American English,” she adds. Black British actor David Oyelowo, 36, is a classic example. Born in the Oxford to Nigerian parents, Oyelowo was best known in the UK for playing an intelligence officer in the television drama series Spooks.