Idris Elba has been named People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” of 2018.
Elba is only the second black man out of the 33 “Sexiest Men Alive” to claim this title since the publication first put Mel Gibson on its cover in 1985.
Denzel Washington was the first black man, taking the crown in 1996. All of the other “sexy” men were white, except for Dwayne Johnson, who is Samoan, in 2016.
“There are so many things about Idris that makes him worthy of being Sexiest Man Alive,” said Julie Jordan, senior west coast writer for People. “He, of course, is beyond good looking. He has such a charismatic personality — when he talks to you, the rest of the world disappears.”
Perhaps that’s why he’s been rumored to be the next James Bond for the past ten years.
Elba, 46, told People he couldn’t believe it when he first found out he was given the coveted title, especially since he had been included in the same edition a few times before, just on an inside page.
“Looked in the mirror, I checked myself out,” Elba said. “I was like, ‘Yeah, you are kind of sexy today. But to be honest, it was just a nice feeling. It was a nice surprise — an ego boost for sure.”
The British actor first gained huge acclaim in Hollywood for his breakout role as Russell “Stringer” Bell, a drug-pin on the iconic HBO show The Wire in 2002. What a lot of people may not know is that Elba actually became a new-time dad during the auditioning process.
“She was born on the fourth,” he said of his daughter Isan, “[I] got the job on the fifth.”
Isan is now 16 and she is the product of his relationship with his ex-wife, Hanne “Kim” Nørgaard. Elba later married and divorced Sonya Nicole Hamlin in 2006 after four months together. Elba also has a 4-year-old son, Winston, with his ex, Naiyana Garth.
“I’m super doting as a dad — like big hugs, big kisses, lots of, ‘love yous’ and all of that,” Elba said. “So, I’m sure my daughter’s like, ‘chill out.’ My son, he gets it.”
But The Wire was just the beginning of his long and successful career — Elba has won SAG awards for playing a brooding and cunning detective on Luther and for his role as the cruel leader of a child army in West Africa in Beasts of No Nation. He has gotten world-wide exposure for playing Heimdall, the gatekeeper to Asgard in the Thor films. Currently, Elba is filming the Fast and the Furious spin-off, Hobbs and Shaw.
Elba revealed some incredibly raw tidbits about himself during his People interview, including sleeping in a car he called the “Grizzly” for three months in his life, how he picked up his stellar American accent by listening to patrons at a barbershop talk, being a professional kickboxer, how he starts his mornings (he does 50-pushups).
He was humbled and happy throughout the interview, only showing charm and gratitude. He even light-heartedly answered some cheeky questions about how he slays in designer tuxedos on the red carpet and yet, loves to wear his sweats and slides at home. Elba said the key is to be “comfortable.”
Stringer sure has come along.