When an actor is a part of one of pop culture’s biggest hit series like “The Wire,” you kind of expect them to milk it for all it’s worth (and who can blame them?). But one actor who went the exact opposite direction of that is Idris Elba.
“The Wire” star recently revealed that not only does he not re-watch the cult TV series, he actually hasn’t even seen most of it.
“I’ve seen a full episode at screenings but never at home,” Elba tells Playboy. “I’ve never watched an entire season. I’ve not seen any episode of Season 2, most of Season 3, and none of Seasons 4 and 5.”
Say what? Why has Elba eschewed watching one of his most memorable roles to date? “I’m supercritical of my own work,” Elba goes on to explain. “As an actor, if you’re being told how wonderful you are, what do you need to strive for? I don’t know if I’m good just because some critic says I am in the press.”
Of course, his many acting accolades don’t hurt, as Elba then smiles and adds, “The Golden Globe award told me that, thanks. And the two Emmy nominations. Just the small things.”
Elba also went on to reveal that had he not landed his role on “The Wire,” his life would have changed for the worse. “I lived in a van for about three months. I was going through a tough time with my then wife, and the money I made under the table as a DJ went to make sure she was okay,” Elba says of his life as a struggling actor trying to find work in the U.S. “I’d had three or four years of unemployment, not getting acting jobs. I was watching Denzel Washington and Wesley Snipes and saying, ‘I can do that. I can be right there with them.’ My wife was about eight and a half months pregnant by the time I got the news I was going to be on ‘The Wire.’ If I didn’t get it, I was going to leave the U.S. We knew that if I didn’t have acting work after my daughter was born we would be up shit street.”
Sounds like Elba has a lot to thank “The Wire” for … plus it’s a great show. He should watch it sometime.