Idris Elba on formerly selling drugs & working as a doorman to make ends meet:
“Yeah, it was, because I was running with cats. I mean, I was DJ’ing, but I was also pushing bags of tweeds; I was doing my work. I had to. I know that sounds corny, but this is the truth.” He says he’d sell drugs at Carolines, and meanwhile all these successful guys would come through: D. L. Hughley, Dave Chappelle. “All those black comedians, they knew me as a doorman.”
…on his legacy of playing Stringer Bell on HBO’s The Wire:
“That really is more about the writing of The Wire than it is the performance. You know, Stringer Bell is a great character that was written. I happened to play him, but it could’ve been anybody playing that role.”
You really feel like anybody could’ve played Stringer?
“Listen, I think I brought Stringer to life my way, but The Wire isn’t a classic because of Stringer Bell. The Sopranos was a classic because of Tony Soprano.”
…on his feud with Liam Gallagher following the NME Awards:
And then he throws on “Wonderwall,” by Oasis, which is curious, because even though the mostly British crowd is howling the song back at him, Elba has been in the tabloids recently for an altercation with Liam Gallagher after this year’s NME Awards; the younger Gallagher brother removed Elba’s wool cap in an apparently disrespectful manner. Elba took issue; the two men got into it. So it seems suspicious, Elba playing Gallagher’s song, and the next day, when we meet up again, I ask him about it.
“Wonderwall” last night—were you taking a shot?
“No! F**k that idiot. No.”
Basically, Elba says, he just gave Liam a hug and an affectionate rub on the head.
“Didn’t like that. Don’t touch his hair, apparently. F**k off. Next time walk with a f***ing hairdresser, then.”
“Well, ‘I’m a popular rock singer, so I’m going to be mean and f**king horrible to people just because they messed up my look.’ F**k off. I played his song because his song’s a classic. I couldn’t—I don’t even know what his songs are about now or what band he’s in now. No one gives a f**k, yeah? He was popular when he was in Oasis.”
More on the flip