Idris Elba reveals that the death of his father forced him to reevaluate his life.
“I got to a place where I wasn’t even living anymore,” he said in the August issue of Esquire magazine. “I was becoming a robot with my work.”
“I have no fear of jumping out of burning cars or out of buildings on set, but in reality, I couldn’t run one hundred meters. I just felt out of touch with reality,” Elba, 44, continued.
In September 2013, the actor’s father, Winston Elba, died after battling lung cancer. “He was 72. Too young,” said Elba. “He had so much life in him. My old man wanted to do so much more. He just didn’t get a chance.”
According to the actor, it wasn’t until the death of his dad that he decided to take control of his career — a decision inspired by his late father’s words.
“Fear nothing,” the actor recalled, referring to the life-changing guidance he had received from his father. “Do what you want to do, but be educated and intelligent and confident about it.”
“I had forgotten what it is to feel that burn on your tongue, when your adrenaline is going so much and you’re in fight or flight. I was like, I’ll be tired when I’m dead. . . . I just thought, Yo, Dris, do you want to do something crazy? Should we just try to make a documentary?” he continued, noting his newfound mindset.
In 2016, the actor would go on to win two Screen Actors Guild Awards for his roles in Beasts of No Nation and “Luther.” He was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award.