Idris Elba is undoubtedly one of the most successful British actors of his generation. He has found success on both the stage and screen; he starred in one of television's most popular series (previously he took himself out of the running).
Elba credits his decision to move to the United States to many of his acting accomplishments, despite being considered for one of the finest awards an English film star can receive. In a recent interview with Esquire, he commented on how working in America has made it easier for him to find his niche as an artist.
Elba said America gave me technical knowledge of my craft. I learned a lot. Shakespeare's plays live in a world of wonderment, poetry, fairy tales, and the language of beauty and eloquence. A good English actor has to understand that.
Elba said he appreciates the way American actors can earn critical awards for working in a variety of genres, contrasting it to what he saw in England, where Shakespearean actors were regarded with respect more than mainstream film and television actors.
"I did a TV program for kids, and then a soap opera," he said. "I wasn't going to excel in this country as an actor unless I was doing Shakespeare," or one of these high-profile activities outside of my actual culture. "In America, you didn't have to do Shakespeare to be a great actor. I found it very liberating."
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse, which has been nominated for an Oscar, are just the latest in a long line of varied roles starred Elba.