9 Things You Didn’t Know About Idris Elba

  
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For actor Idris Elba, the road to stardom wasn’t easy. He had to work a lot of bad jobs and deal with a lack of financial resources, but now that he’s made it, he’s living the good life. With a Golden Globe nomination for his role on the television series Luther, as well as BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations for his performance in Beasts of No Nation, he now has his choice of acting roles. Now we’re just waiting for the day when he finally gets an Oscar nomination! Since it’s his birthday, we have 9 things you didn’t know about the mysterious but talented actor:

9. Upbringing

He was born Idrissa Akuna Elba on September 6, 1972 in East London, England, to Winston, who worked in the Ford motor factory at Dagenham, and Eve, who worked as a clerical assistant for the government. Both of his parents are from Africa. They met and married in Sierra Leone; however, while his father is of Sierra Leonean descent, his mother is from Ghana.

© Sara Jaye/ABACA

© Sara Jaye/ABACA

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8. Pre-Fame Jobs

Before he was famous, he used to work the night shift at the Ford factory where his dad worked in London. His job was welding side panels onto Ford Fiestas. He would often fall asleep on the job and would get in trouble with his boss because the cars would move on to the next fitter with the panel missing. Before he came to work for what would be his last day on the job, he bought a one way ticket to New York City. Rather than work on this day, he used his dad’s keys to steal a sports buggy and drove around the factory, drinking beer. When he returned to his station, his supervisor and his father were furious, so he returned the keys, walked out of the plant and then flew to New York City the next day.

©Sony Pictures/Everett Collection

©Sony Pictures/Everett Collection

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