Golden Globe winner IDRIS ELBA (Nelson Mandela) captivated American audiences as the infamous Stringer Bell in HBO's critically acclaimed cult-hit series, The Wire. He continues to make his mark as one to watch in Hollywood, with a string of well-received performances in high-profile films and multiple television series.
Idris, the son of a Sierra Leonean father and Ghanaian mother, started his career in his native city of London, where he had a mainstay role on British television by his mid-twenties. He starred in some of the UK's top rated shows, including Dangerfield, Bramwell and Ultraviolet. In 2000, Ultraviolet was purchased by Fox in the United States, offering Idris a break into the American marketplace. After moving to New York, Idris received rave reviews for his portrayal of Achilles in Sir Peter Hall's off-Broadway production of one of Shakespeare's more complicated plays, Troilus and Cressida. Shortly thereafter he landed a part on the acclaimed television series Law & Order.
Around the same time, David Simon, creator of HBO's award winning series Oz, met with Idris causing him to land the role of Stringer Bell, the lieutenant of a Baltimore drug empire on The Wire. Idris' portrayal of the complex but deadly Bell is arguably one of the most compelling in TV history. As the show's notoriety flourished throughout the world, critics and audience members quickly began to appreciate Idris' talent. In 2005, he received an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his work on The Wire.
Idris soon after landed his first leading role in the HBO Original Film, Sometimes in April, for which he received his second Image Award nomination, this time for Outstanding Actor in a TV Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special. A prolific run of leading roles followed in Tyler Perry's dramatic feature Daddy's Little Girls for which he received a BET nomination for Best Actor, the thriller The Reaping also starring Hilary Swank, and in the horror thriller 28 Weeks Later. In 2007, Idris starred in Ridley Scott's Golden Globe nominated American Gangster with an all-star cast including Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Ruby Dee and Josh Brolin. The cast went on to receive a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. That same year, he returned to London to film Guy Ritchie's RocknRolla alongside Gerard Butler, Thandie Newton and Tom Wilkinson. The film went straight to #1 in the UK box office in its first week of release.
Idris next starred opposite Beyonce Knowles in the crime thriller Obsessed, directed by Steve Shill. For his role, Idris received a BET Best Actor nomination, as well as a NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture. The movie took in $28.5 million on its opening weekend, storming to # 1 in the box office and became the highest-grossing opening on record for the 'stalker thriller' genre movie.
In 2009, Idris showed off his comedic talent joining the cast of NBC's hit television show The Office as Michael Scott's less than amused boss Charles Minor. He later appeared as Laura Linney's love interest in the Showtime comedy The Big C, for which he earned a 2011 Emmy Nomination in the "Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series" category. The next projects that followed were The Losers, in which he shared the screen with Zoe Saldana, and box office hit Takers, alongside Matt Dillon, Chris Brown and Hayden Christensen, for which he received a 2011 NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture. In May 2009, Idris moved to Glasgow to film Legacy, directed by Thomas Ikimi. Along with playing the part of a Black Operations operative, Idris debuted as Executive Producer of the film, which was selected to close The Glasgow Film Festival in February 2010.
The Tribeca Film Festival in April 2010 commended Legacy with great critical acclaim. Recent films include Thor, directed by Kenneth Branagh and Ghost Rider with Nicolas Cage. In 2010, Idris landed the title role of John Luther in the BBC crime drama mini-series Luther, a complex Detective struggling with his own terrible demons. The six episodes were shown on BBC 1 in April 2010 and audiences and critics alike responded to Idris' portrayal of the tormented detective. His performance earned him a 2011 Emmy nomination for "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie" as well as a nomination at the 2011 Golden Globe Awards. He also went on to win an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special and the BET Award for "Best Actor." In 2012, following the airing of the second installment of Luther, Idris took home the Golden Globe award for "Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television." Idris' recent film, Pacific Rim, is directed by Guillermo del Toro, and he will soon be seen in Thor: The Dark World, directed by Alan Taylor and Sam Miller's No Good Deed starring opposite Taraji P. Henson.