Even the sexiest man alive gets nervous when he’s getting down on one knee in front of the woman he loves. Idris Elba described proposing to his fiancée, model and former Miss Vancouver Sabrina Dhowre, as the scariest thing he’s ever done in a recent interview with PEOPLE.

He said the experience was “the most nerve-wracking” he has ever had and revealed that he actually changed his mind about when and where to pop the question. It was important to him that the moment be unforgettable.

“In terms of wanting to make someone feel super special and feel my love, that was pretty romantic for me,” he said.

He wanted to ask Dhowre to be his forever on Valentine’s Day but he dismissed it as an option because he thought it would be “problematic.”

Instead he found himself unable to wait the night that “Yardie”, the first film he directed, was being screened. “It was a little spontaneous, if I’m honest,” he stated.

He said he was inspired by the significance of the moment. “I was at a cast and crew screening and among people I loved. We had all worked so hard for this project so I was like I’m doing it right now, here, today.”

Considering video of the actor’s proposal went viral on three continents airing on the news in Britain, America, and Japan his timing might have been just right.

“It was quite a public affair,” he said about the proposal, “but it really wasn’t meant to be on the news.”