My father always told me that a fool at 40 is a fool for life.
I’m rebelling against being handed a career, like, ‘you’re the next this; you’re the next that.’ I’m not the next anything, I’m the first me. I can’t be myself, I can’t just be Idris Elba. But that’s just the nature of the business
Faith will get you to a point. Luck will get you to a point. But to achieve the kind of success you dream about, you need to WORK. There are no shortcuts, you can’t cheat life, just get to work and don’t stop until you reach your highest potential
I feel like Africans are too often portrayed as people on the National Geographic channel: the image is of an African man in a loincloth chasing a gazelle. It's not intentionally racist; I wouldn't call it racist at all. It's a lack of understanding another culture.
Rehearsals are set up so that you find out all the nuances about your character. You never want to beat yourself up. It's about finding the right direction, and most of the time, the right direction is not what you think is the right direction. That's why the director's there: to guide you there.
It's fascinating to work with a company of actors of such different ages, experience and talents. I'm one of a generation brought up on television whose acting is more 'naturalistic', whereas with some of the older generation it's more heightened. But I think there's room for both styles.
Ever since they left Thies, the women had not stopped singing. As soon as one group allowed the refrain to die, another picked it up, and new verses were born at the hazard of chance or inspiration, one word leading to another and each finding, in its turn, its rhythm and its place. No one was very sure any longer where the song began, or if it had an ending. It rolled out over its own length, like the movement of a serpent. It was as long as a life.
I never, ever do a film and just kind of move on. I think of them as children of mine, and you don't give birth to a baby and just leave it on someone else's doorstep. You see it all the way through college.
I know for a fact the reason I'm an actor is because one, two, maybe three people when I was younger saw something that I did, in youth theater or some small play somewhere, and said, "You're good."
Don't send me your script if you want me to play the black best friend; I just won't do that.
A lot of times, we also have to live and work. You have to make money to pay rent. In that respect, I don't think you can be so demanding. Those great stories are not the normal stories that come on a daily basis. It's a struggle to land those roles. Everybody is looking for the good parts.
I consider myself a human being, a Christian, a father, a husband, so many things, before being a black person.
Put God first in everything you do. Everything that I have is by the grace of God, I understand that. It’s a gift. I didn’t always stick with Him, but He stuck with me
I love working. I’m a workaholic and I’m really privileged for some of the jobs I get offered and so I just want to keep going
My mother never gave up on me. I messed up in school so much they were sending me home, but my mother sent me right back
It's a part of most actors to want to be in an animated feature; to extend the legacy of your career.
Don’t tell me what was said about me. Tell me why were they so comfortable to say it to you?
Never confuse movement with progress. Because you can run in place and not get anywhere
Never compromise on who you are. You are born with the capacity to achieve greatness if you so desire. Learning to say no is a critical element to accessing that greatness. Your choices will define you; so make them the right ones.
At the end of the day, it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished. It’s about what you’ve done with those accomplishments. It’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.