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.
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):
British actors Idris Elba and David Oyelowo received a high honor from their queen.
On Tuesday (December 29), both actors made Queen Elizabeth’s annual New Year’s honor list. Elba, who received a Golden Globe nomination for his work in the Netflix original film “Beasts of No Nation” and BBC’s “Luther”, was humbled by the honor.
“Awards and honors come in all shapes and sizes and all as significant as the other. But this is beyond special as it comes from Queen and country, and I couldn’t be more proud for receiving this right now. What a year. On me head son!” Elba said in a statement.
Oyelowo was also honored for his services to drama, found the honor to be heartfelt. Long before his role as Dr. Martin Luther King in the Ava DuVernay directed film “Selma”, an 18-year-old Oyelowo received a grant from Prince Charles’ charity the Prince’s Trust, which allowed him to join a youth theater production his family couldn’t afford.
“To be honored by the Queen in this way having been aided by her son’s charity feels like a beautiful full-circle moment.”
BBC America has finally the much-anticipated return date for “Luther” starring Idris Elba – a one-night 3-hour special event on Thursday, December 17, 9pm ET.
I would say that this puts it head-to-head with Shonda Rhimes night on ABC (“Scandal” at 9pm and “How to get Away With Murder” at 10pm); but both shows should be on by December 17, leaving “Luther” with likely little competition that night.
Here’s the story breakdown for those who haven’t kept up with the series, courtesy of the press release: Struggling to cope with his own demons after losing so much, it seemed normalcy would always elude the emotionally impulsive detective. Teflon tough, even the strongest couldn’t endure what Luther has seen and been through. Hunting London’s most depraved criminals forced him to tap into the dark recesses of his mind, revealing sides of himself that would horrify most. The heartbreaking loss of his wife to a brutal murderer and his inner-circle of colleagues turning on him in a witch hunt weren’t enough to keep him away from the job. But watching his most trusted colleague and friend, Detective Sergeant Justin Ripley, die in his arms after getting caught in the crossfires of a case, finally pushed him over the slippery slope he’s always towed. A forbidden connection with serial-killer, Alice Morgan, offered him a somewhat skewed version of a happy ending and he took it.
And here’s what’s coming in the December 17 special: This time we find Luther on a leave of absence from the police force, laying low in a rundown cottage. A visit from colleagues, Detective Chief Inspector Theo Bloom and Detective Sergeant Emma Lane, brings a shocking piece of news that draws him back to London in search of the truth. At the same time, a gruesome cannibalistic serial killer has struck the city, eating body parts as he goes. With a trail of clues leading from one crime scene to the next, Detective Superintendent Unit Martin Schenk and his team must work out the twisted logic that connects each victim. But this murdering mastermind is more than a match for Schenk’s police, outsmarting them at every step. It’s not long before Luther makes his triumphant return to the Bullpen, determined to capture the killer before another mutilated body joins the mounting pile. But he’s dogged at every turn by ghosts from his past. Isolated and volatile, it will take every fiber of Luther’s being to keep it together.
“I think there were bigger challenges when he lost his wife and his best friend,” Elba says in a press statement. “That was a huge pinnacle and something that it took him a long time to get over. And in this [special] there is something similar that happens to him that is definitely traumatic. I think Luther goes back just because he can’t stay away from it for too long. Ultimately, because he’s a protector, [he] just wants to be able to fix what he can see other people won’t be able to…”
Idris Elba has garnered both Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for his role as DCI John Luther, with a Golden Globe win in 2013.
Written and created by Neil Cross and directed by Sam Miller, the “Luther” special also stars Laura Haddock as Megan Cantor, a mysterious woman from Luther’s past, John Heffernan as the sadistic cannibal Steven Rose, Patrick Malahide as George Cornelius, an old school gangster, and Michael Smiley returning as computer whiz Benny Silver.
Fox has put in development The Crusaders, an hourlong drama series from Legacy writer-director Thomas Ikimi, the 2010 film’s star Idris Elba, Legendary TV and studio-based Di Bonaventura Television.
Written by Ikimi, The Crusaders, which has a script commitment,focuses on an extended family of second-generation Africans living in the U.S. who specialize in locating and returning valuable objects stolen from Africa during colonial occupation. UK-born Ikimi and Elba are both of African descent. Elba executive produces the project through his Green Door Pictures, along with Ikimi through T&T Studios and Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Dan McDermott via Di Bonaventura Television.
Elba previously executive produced Fox’s Luther remake, which went to pilot stage but has had problems casting the lead, played by Elba in the original British series.
Ikimi’s short film Nostradamus premiered at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.
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.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association yesterday announced the nominees for the 71st annual Golden Globes. Fox Searchlight’s 12 Years A Slave garnered seven nominations (tied with American Hustle), including Best Actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Best Director (Steve McQueen), Best Screenplay (John Ridley), Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong’o) and Best Motion Picture – Drama. Ejiofor also picked up a nod for his performance in the miniseries Dancing on the Edge, competing in that category with this year’s other double nominee, Idris Elba, who was recognized for his work in Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom as well as his television series Luther.
Other television nods went out to Kerry Washington for her work on ABC’s Scandal, and Don Cheadle for his leading role on Showtime’s House of Lies. The 2014 ceremony will again be hosted by “Parks and Recreation’s” Amy Poehler and “30 Rock’s” Tina Fey and held January 12, 2014. The full list of nominees follows:
Idris Elba’s talent may have landed him the role of the late and legendary Nelson Mandela in a new biopic – but his good looks swept the woman of Essence off their feet as they named him 2013′s Sexiest Man Alive. Elba has had a banner year with the release of two high-profile movies: the first was a July release of the action film Pacific Rim but it is his role as Mandela in Long Walk to Freedom that has brought him considerable buzz.
Aside from the talent he delivers on-screen, Elba is also admired by women for his whimsical charm and let it be known, according to Essence: “When Elba smiles, he dazzles. We’re seeing stars, moons and rainbows right about now.” The magazine chose the British actor to join the league of men who have received the “Sexiest Man Alive” title by a variety of magazines.
People recently released that their pick for this year’s Sexiest Man Alive was musician Adam Levine – and theGrio responded by compiling our own list of black men in Hollywood who are just as deserving (note: Elba was a top pick). Click here to see the 50 reasons Essence gave for naming Elba as their choice for 2013′s Sexiest Man Alive.
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.
He wears a heavy tweed coat instead of a cape and a steely, brooding façade instead of a dark cowl, but for Lutherstar Idris Elba, his British copper might as well be London’s own Batman. “In concept, we straddle between detective and superhero. Although there aren’t any magic tricks or capes or anything like that, we put our central character through improbable — and probable — scenarios that ask the audience to suspend their belief,” says Elba, the British actor who returns as Detective Chief Inspector John Luther for a third installment of the series running Tuesday through Friday (10 ET/PT nightly, except at 9 ET/PT Wednesday) on BBC America.
Over the course of a trio of seasons since 2010, Luther has dealt with masked serial killers, pedophiles, twin killers, snipers and the psychopathically endearing murderer Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson), who’s gone from Luther’s arch-enemy to confidante. That stuff is almost easiest for the grumpy lawman to deal with than other aspects of his life, like coming to grips with the death of his ex-wife and brandishing his own sense of justice that, while efficient, puts him at odds with most every other cop in town.
“He’s a spiritually wounded man, and one of the great malicious pleasures of writing for the character and this particular actor is what kind of hell can I put him through next?” says Luther creator and writer Neil Cross.