Nothing makes a British actor seem more serious than a “Sir” or “Dame” in front of their name after being bestowed the honor of an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II. And two beloved younger actors just got another step closer to the honor: Idris Elba and David Oyelowo, both of whom received an OBE and were placed on the Queen’s New Year’s Honor’s List.
This puts Elba and Oyelowo in the highest tier of British actors, and both performers are incredibly honored to receive special dispensation from the monarch of their nation.
Elba’s statement, quoted in E! Online, says “Awards and honors come in all shapes and sizes and all as significant as the other, but this is beyond special as it comes from Queen and country, and I couldn’t be more proud for receiving this right now. What a year.” This news follows Elba’s achievements in awards season — so far, he’s racked up three SAG Award nominations for his roles in “Luther” and “Beasts of No Nation.”
In The Independent, Oyelowo calls receiving the honor a “beautiful full circle moment.” When he was growing up, a grant from the royal family gave him the cash to participate in a theatrical production that. “That production set me on the path to becoming an actor,” says Oyelowo, whose performance in “Nightingale” has kept him on top even after being snubbed for an Oscar nomination for “Selma” earlier in 2015.
Both performers will be competing on the Jan. 10, 2016 Golden Globes against one another.