'Unfinished business': Idris Elba returns in 'Luther'

NEW YORK -- Idris Elba has many reasons for why he keeps coming back to "Luther."

"It's unfinished business, it's fertile ground," he explains.

See Full Article

"The character continues to challenge me."

Detective Chief Inspector John Luther also challenges his fans, who are sure to greet him warmly for this, his fourth run, in the two-hour special airing at 9 p.m. EST Thursday on BBC America.

As usual, "Luther" finds its hero possessed by a grisly murder case: a serial killer with a cannibalistic bent.

Meanwhile, he remains haunted by Alice Morgan, the tantalizing sociopath from Season 1 who escaped arrest by Luther but became his twisted confidante. Conspicuously missing, her whereabouts unclear, she remains very much on Luther's mind and a key part of this tale.

Elba calls the demons-beset Luther "one of the closest characters in terms of who I am." It's a surprising claim, since, during this recent interview, he seems light-hearted in stylish casual wear, a marked contrast to the glum expression and no-nonsense suit Luther wears.

"I don't feel like I have to throw on too much of a character to play John Luther," says Elba, attempting to explain himself. "We shoot in the area I grew up in (East London), and I really let the writer take me on the journey. It's the most naturalistic I can be in a role."

Even Luther's distinctive walk -- a slouching swagger, hands jammed in his pockets, pushing forward with staunch intent -- is comfortably derived from Elba's own gait: "I tore my left Achilles, which make my left leg sort of limp -- or swag!"

A strapping, towering presence with leading-man looks, Elba nonetheless has been able to transform himself profoundly for his roles, such as the brutal leader of an African rebel army in his recent film "Beasts of No Nation," as Nelson Mandela in "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" and as Stringer Bell, the strictly business Baltimore drug lord, in the HBO series "The Wire."

No matter what his role, Elba is easy on the eyes.

Asked if he gets weary of his extreme handsomeness being the focus of media and fans alike, he adopts an almost sheepish expression while handing credit to the camera.

"Because I'm an actor, I've got that 'beauty light' on me," he insists. "In real life, it's not like that all the time. Some people go, 'He's nice, but he's not my sort of thing."'

Acknowledging that too much attention to his looks could taint him as just another pretty face, he does allow that "it's a compliment and it's great, man. I could be described as 'aggressive,' or 'strong.' But 'sexy' works, too." And he laughs heartily.

At 43, Elba has been acting for more than 20 years, but says he's only recently understood what drives him as an actor: "I'm a person who absorbs a lot, takes in a lot of information every day, and with that comes an urge to let it go. As an actor I get to expel all that stuff by throwing it into my characters. Before I figured that out, I think I was motivated by the dream of being famous. But now I see that I do it because it's therapy, as well."

Next up is next summer's "Star Trek Beyond," which he shot last summer but can't talk about beyond confiding, "It was fun and different, especially after shooting 'Luther' last spring."

Even now, he isn't ready to be through with "Luther."

"The ultimate goal is to end up with him in a film," says Elba, who longs to turn him loose on a broader landscape than London.

"New York could be an amazing backdrop for John Luther," says Elba, motioning out the window of his Manhattan hotel suite. "I think that's what could be next for Luther," he says, pursing his lips for a muted explosion. "Movie time!"



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Douglas Cardinal, Indigenous design team to rep Canada at Venice Architecture Biennale

    Entertainment CBC News
    ?An Indigenous design team led by architect Douglas Cardinal will represent Canada at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. The Canada Council for the Arts says their project, titled Unceded, reflects "on our country's need for reconciliation. Source
  • Alicia Vikander debuts as Lara Croft in first 'Tomb Raider' trailer

    Entertainment CTV News
    Fourteen years after her last adventure, the video game icon Lara Croft is due back on the big screen in a reboot scheduled for March 2018. Angelina Jolie is replaced in the role by Swedish actress Alicia Vikander, who plays a younger and more vulnerable version of the intrepid explorer. Source
  • Lucy Maud Montgomery — and P.E.I. — to be featured in Heritage Minute

    Entertainment CBC News
    Lucy Maud Montgomery will finally be making her debut on Heritage Minutes. The series of sixty-second short films illustrate an important moment in Canadian history. P.E.I. has been featured twice: the memorable Rural Teacher and the story of the Charlottetown Conference with Sir John A. Source
  • 'Brad's Status' review: Ben Stiller taps into middle-age angst in unsettling comedy

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Brad (Ben Stiller) is having some kind of mid-life crisis. He’s taking his son Troy (Austin Abrams) on a tour of colleges, a rite of passage that seems to have triggered in Brad an avalanche of insecurity and discontent. Source
  • She'll be back: Linda Hamilton returning to Terminator franchise

    Entertainment CBC News
    Linda Hamilton is returning to the Terminator franchise for the first time since 1991's Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Terminator creator James Cameron announced Hamilton's casting at a private event in Los Angeles on Tuesday night, the Hollywood Reporter reported. Source
  • Linda Hamilton to return to 'The Terminator' franchise

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Linda Hamilton is set to return to The Terminator universe. The 60-year-old actress made her debut as Sarah Connor in 1984’s The Terminator opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger, who portrayed the titular android assassin, and reprised her role in 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Source
  • Jimmy Kimmel blasts Sen. Bill Cassidy over 'Kimmel test' health care pledge

    Entertainment CBC News
    Jimmy Kimmel says U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy "lied right to my face" by going back on his word to ensure any health care overhaul passes a test named for him. Kimmel says a health care bill co-sponsored by the Louisiana Republican fails the "Jimmy Kimmel test," a phrase coined by Cassidy. Source
  • 'Stronger' review: Jake Gyllenhaal's emotional performance powers real-life drama

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    From the little we know about Jeff Bauman, it seems fair to say that the last thing the guy would want is a movie about his life. Nonetheless, here is Stronger, a drama about Bauman’s unfortunate role in history as one of the severely wounded at the Boston Marathon terrorist bombings in 2013. Source
  • Shania Twain to be a mentor on ‘The Launch’

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    TORONTO — Canadian country star Shania Twain has joined CTV’s upcoming music competition series “The Launch.” Bell Media says the five-time Grammy Award winner will be a mentor on the inaugural season of the show, which is in production. Source
  • Ontario woman in finals of America's Got Talent

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    An Ontario woman is among the finalists for the $1M top prize on America's Got Talent. Dog trainer Sara Carson, who was born and raised in North Bay, chose a science-fiction themed routine on Tuesday night where both of her dogs – Hero and Loki – participated in a number of stunts and tricks. Source