Idris Elba has found his purpose behind the camera. Obviously, he's fantastic in front of it, but his directorial debut in Yardie will show where his true passion lies. As our August 2017 cover star, the actor talks about his upcoming films, jammed packed schedule and love life.
Set to star in six projects this year —including Thor: Ragnarok and the fifth season of Luther— the 44-year-old was so busy, his photo shoot had to be completed in Thailand where he was training for a Muay Thai match.
"Yardie is quite a semi-famous bit of English literature about a small-time pastor who comes from Jamaica and ends up embroiled in [avenging his brother's death]," he shares about his directorial debut film. "It's set in the late seventies, early eighties, a hotbed of Jamaican culture in London, but then crack cocaine arrives."
When discussing the main character D (played by Aml Ameen), he relates him to his Sierra Leon-Ghanaian upbringing in London.
"He's a fish out of water and finds himself becoming a gangster really quickly. It's not really his life. For me, I'm making that story because A, it's a part of the reason I became a man. I was born in 1972, and that's just my era. And B, there's a big, big music component. I love music and I love film. This is my chance to marry the two."
Work aside, when asked about finding love in the midst of raising two kids and filming so much, he was honest.
"Am I ever gonna get remarried? I don't think so. Yeah, I don't think so," he says. "Marriage is an institution of sorts. And I've done it. It's not for everybody. It's not my life's calling."
Pick up the August 2017 issue of ESSENCE Magazine, on newsstands Friday, July 14.