TV - Movies
Idris Elba's Best
Onscreen
Performances
By JORDAN BARANOWSKI
Elba’s performance as Stacker Pentecost in “Pacific Rim” is cited as one of the most inspiring aspects of the film by fans and critics alike. While monster films often give short shrift to the human characters, Elba’s depiction as Pentecost lends a rooting interest to the film.
Pacific Rim
With his portrayal of Russell “Stringer” Bell in “The Wire,” Elba launched his career in the United States. While originally a small, recurring character, Bell was given a larger role later in the series thanks to Elba’s talented acting and the character’s likeability.
The Wire
While not his most famous television appearance, Elba absolutely crushes it in the title role of BBC’s “Luther.” The character — a good-hearted but obsessive detective — plays to the actor’s strengths, and Elba has stated that a “Luther” film is being planned.
Luther
“Beasts of No Nation” is an emotional, critically-lauded film about the plight of African child soldiers, and the role of the Commandant is perfect for a magnetic presence like Elba. The character is exactly what you’d expect of a warlord: he’s charming, persuasive, and terrifying.
Beasts of No Nation
Despite better movies about Nelson Mandela and Elba’s lack of physical similarities to the revolutionary leader, the actor delivers an impressive performance in “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.” Not surprisingly, Elba brings his own unique characteristics to the South African freedom fighter.
Mandela