Idris Elba On...
Idris Elba is one of the world’s biggest film and television stars. Born in east London, Idris landed his big break in the role of Stringer Bell, the lieutenant of a Baltimore drug empire on HBO’s critically acclaimed series The Wire, a role that in 2005 earned him an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.
He is best known for playing the maverick detective John Luther in the critically acclaimed BBC crime drama Luther.
His Hollywood blockbusters include Prometheus and Thor.
He was recently seen starring as Nelson Mandela in The Weinstein Company biopic Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom. His performance earned him a Golden Globe nomination and an NAACP Image Award nomination. As well as his acting accolades Idris is also a successful DJ.
… CHILDHOOD MEMORIES OF RALLYING:
Rally driving was always on the TV back in the day when I was a kid. It was like rainy weather watching, when I wasn’t allowed to play out. My dad worked at Ford and he used to bring home old steering wheels and I used to have them on my lap pretending to be a rally driver.
… MEETING SEBASTIAN OGIER, WORLD RALLY CHAMPION:
It was a magical moment – he is the number one driver in the world. I got to see how it’s done. What I got to see was the control that he’s got. I watched him and thought “I don’t think I can do that.”
… GETTING USED TO HIS RALLY CAR:
I was thrown a curve ball. I’d been training in a right-hand drive and then when I arrived I was given a left-hand drive car. So the whole day I had to learn about adjusting to that style.
The biggest struggle for me is dealing with my fear of heights. Comfort zone-wise, this is pushing my fear factor to the limit. Driving is what I like to do – it’s on the ground!
… DRAG RACING:
I’d never felt anything like that in my life. I thought we were going towards the sky, it was that intense! And then it was eight seconds of just the most intense power – I’ve never had power that intense in my life. It’s incredible. I was genuinely scared.
… THE LAND SPEED CHALLENGE:
It’s a big task. The Bentley is a road car, and to try and make it worthy of that is a huge challenge. I definitely did think: “Why am I doing this? One mistake and it’s all over.”