Idris Elba Says He's 'Not Tortured' Like Character In BBC's 'Luther'

Idris Elba
(Photo : Getty Images/Jeff Spicer) Idris Elba

Idris Elba apparently isn't quite as volatile as the characters he plays.

The 43-year-old, best known for his role as a brooding detective in BBC's "Luther" -- and more recently as a sadistic African warlord in "Beasts of No Nation" -- told the Los Angeles Times, "I'm not tortured, but I'm not the life of the party either. If I'm not working and I go somewhere, to someone's house for dinner, I'm very much trying to blend in. I don't have anything extra to contribute more than the next guy in terms of personality. If I go into a room, I'm not like "Hey! I just got back from Dubai!" It's just not part of my fabric. Somehow, on film, I can be as complex as you like. There's nothing really fancy about me, it's just that I'm a good actor."

These days, Elba is more than just an actor, having released a rap album ("Murdah Loves John"), directed a music video, and done some writing. He said of his many interests, "Actors by nature, anyone that's got real talent, is basically a sponge. I've absorbed a lot. I've got to have some sort of release for that information and stuff that I've learned. I think some actors just want to do that and channel it back into acting, but for me I need to get rid of it. It'll end up making records, directing or writing."

Elba has kept the Oscar buzz surrounding his role in "Beasts of no Nation" at "a distance," he said, because his character "for me, is not a guy I'm celebrating. We made a great film and a poignant one, but I just don't feel comfortable standing up there going, 'Hey look at me! Wasn't I a great child molester? What do you think? Wasn't it amazing?' I'm just not doing that."


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