Elba had a memorable bit part in American Gangster (2007), in which he was literally blown away by Denzel Washington’s ‘Frank Lucas’.
Elba’s most iconic role is arguably that of the cool and calculating gangster Stringer Bell from the classic HBO series The Wire.
Elba gave a touching performance as a stand-up dad in the 2007 Tyler Perry film Daddy’s Little Girls.
In the campy 2009 thriller Obsessed Elba had both Beyonce and Ali Larter fighting for his affections. Not too shabby.
After toiling for years as a character actor, Elba graduated to the ranks of leading men with the 2010 sleeper hit Takers.
Elba showed off his comedic chops with a recurring role on The Office opposite Steve Carrell and company.
Elba has won a Golden Globe for his performance as an emotionally unstable but brilliant detective on BBC series Luther.
Despite initial backlash from fans, Elba rose to the occasion playing the traditionally white character of Heimdall in Thor. He will reappear in the sequel.
Next year, Elba will star in Guillrmo Del Toro’s (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth) highly anticipated sci-fi adventure Pacific Rim.
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This weekend, Idris Elba’s highly anticipated sci-fi epic Prometheus hits movie screens. Elba plays the the captain on the ship, which provides the film its title. Of his character, Elba says, “he’s a realistic, pragmatic character. He has to get involved…in a film with huge ideas, you need a character like this, who can go ‘Wait…why are we doing this?'” To commemorate the film’s release, theGrio is looking back on this rising star’s impressive résumé, here are some of the highlights of his career.