Idris Elba is showing some skin, posing in an unbuttoned shirt on the cover of Essence‘s August issue in which he tells the magazine a future marriage isn’t likely for him.
“Am I ever gonna get remarried? I don’t think so. Yeah, I don’t think so,” the 44-year-old actor says. “Marriage is an institution of sorts. And I’ve done it. It’s not for everybody. It’s not my life’s calling.”
While marriage might not be Elba’s calling, his passion definitely lies behind the camera as he prepares to make his directorial debut with “Yardie”.
“‘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 says of the project, which takes him behind the camera for the first time. “It’s set in the late ’70s, early ’80s, a hotbed of Jamaican culture in London, but then crack cocaine arrives.”
Elba sees a lot of himself in “Yardie”‘s lead character, D, played by “Sense8” actor Aml Ameen, likening his own Sierra Leone-Ghanaian upbringing in London to that of the character.
“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,” says Elba, who sometimes spins tunes under the name DJ Big Driis. “I love music and I love film. This is my chance to marry the two.”
The actor is keeping himself busy this year. On top of “Yardie”, he’ll also appear onscreen in six different acting projects, including August’s “The Dark Tower”, the fifth season of his crime series “Luther”, and he’ll reprise his role as Heimdall in “Thor: Ragnarok” when it is released in November. On top of his acting work, being a dad to two kids is also keeping him occupied — and young.
“Because I’m 44 years old with a two-and-a-half-year-old boy, I’m rolling around playing and then I’m at a Drake concert with my teenage daughter,” he says. “Having a young child now keeps me young, without a doubt.”
Essence‘s August issue with Elba on the cover hits newsstands Friday.