British actor Idris Elba talks about playing former South African President Nelson Mandela in an upcoming movie about his life. He also talks about very different icon from his past - Stringer Bell, one of the most memorable figures from the TV show, 'The Wire.'
He's on the show tonight, along with physicist and climatologist Michael E. Mann.
On Nelson Mandela:
Idris Elba: There's a great story the director, Justin Chadwick, told me, he said, he had the privileged of meeting Winnie Mandela, and uh, Nelson's two daughters. And, he said, he played the guessing game, he said, 'Guess who's going to play your day?' And they all looked at each other and said, 'Is it Idris Elba?' I I was like, 'What?! Winnie Mandela knows me?'
On Stringer Bell:
Idris: I played Stringer at a time of my career when, you know, I'd moved to the States, and I wasn't working; I was working prior in England, and doing well. And then came to the States and didn't get a job for about four years and Stringer, was my lifeline. And then I played Stringer for about three years, and, you know, my relationship with the character and the show is that, first of all, it changed my life. But it continues to sort of like, everywhere I go still, and it's like seven years since I did the show, everywhere I go there are still huge Stringer fans, and, you know, it just, it wows me that I touched so many people. That the writing, the characters in The Wire, touched so many people. I mean, it wows me.