While Idris Elba is currently promoting kids’ movie Sonic the Hedgehog, we all know that he got his big break playing drug kingpin Stringer Bell in the highly acclaimed HBO series The Wire. And before that, he had to hustle in Hollywood like any young actor trying to break into the business, which involves having many side jobs to make enough money to live while auditioning.
London-born actor Elba had bit-parts in all classic British TV series in the 1990s eg. The Bill, Dangerfield, and London’s Burning before making the move to the US in around 2000. Before landing his star-making role in The Wire when aged 30 in 2002, Elba had a few different gigs to support himself, including DJing, something he still does to this day.
He recently told Sirius XM that he did DJ gigs, as well as working as a doorman at Caroline’s Comedy Club during his early days in New York. Then Elba admitted he also made some extra cash selling weed, and it seems like some of his clients may have been the comedians.
“Dave Chappelle remembers me because he used to buy weed from me,” Elba recalled in the interview before quickly saying, “anyway, moving on.” Elba may have realised that admitting this while in front of a Sonic the Hedgehog poster could have been a mistake.
Elba now has over 100 credits on his IMDb profile, including 28 Weeks Later, American Gangster, Prometheus, Pacific Rim, Hobbs & Shaw and The Harder They Fall. He also has a toe in both the MCU (as Heimdall in the Thor movies) and the DCEU (as Bloodsport in The Suicide Squad). And let’s not forget Cats. Never, ever forget Cats.
If you’re wondering why Elba’s character Knuckles is the villain in the new Sonic movie, let us help explain.