The Wire may have made Idris Elba a major star, but one aspect of the drama series was ultimately detrimental to his career.
It could be argued that TV viewers are divided into two factions when presented with the name Idris Elba: ones who automatically think of Luther, and ones who automatically think of The Wire.
It cannot be denied that The Wire is responsible for making Elba a ubiquitous name and bringing him to the attention of the public through his outstanding portrayal of Stringer Bell in the drama series. Since then, he’s done it all; from action movies to superhero movies, and everything in-between.
But presumably, Elba seems to believe that one minor element about The Wire held him back. While we cannot say we concur with what is holding back the international superstar, we understand his position.
Speaking to The Guardian, Elba described how, before the role of Luther came into his life, he found himself in a peculiar position in his career because of his American character in the Baltimore-set TV series.
“Most people believed I was American during The Wire and then when they realised I was not, I immediately stood out like a painful thumb. I felt more scrutinised,” he says. “I was experiencing success, but I don’t believe I was being challenged or extended as an actor. I don’t believe I was receiving roles that were like… incredible.”
“I could sense that there was a glass ceiling coming. I could discern the smudges,” he continues.
But Luther gave him the opportunity to attempt something new and demonstrate his acting skills even further.
“Playing a detective and offering a compelling interpretation of that is what liberated me,” he says. Or at least redefined how others perceived my capabilities.
The fact that Luther fell into his arms at such an opportune moment makes us appreciate the series and the brusque protagonist even more. And now, with Netflix’s Luther feature going onto the streaming service very soon, we can’t wait to see more of our beloved on-screen detective and his definitively London dialect.
If you enjoy binge-watching dramas, be sure to stay up-to-date on the release date for Succession season 4, as well as all the ghoulish developments in our The Last of Us episode 8 recap. Check out everything we know about the second season of Yellowstone 1923 as well.