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Creator / Idris Elba

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"To avoid crucifixion by The Wire fans, we're obliged to point out that this guy played Stringer Bell."
Kevin Murphy on Heimdall in the RiffTrax commentary of Thor

Idrissa Akuna Elba OBE (born 6 September 1972 in London, England) is an English television, theatre, and film actor of Ghanaian and Sierra Leonean descent.

A Golden Globe award winner for his role as Luther, he is also famous for having starred as the sophisticated druglord Stringer Bell in The Wire and in several big budget Hollywood films such as Thor, Prometheus, and Pacific Rim. He also reprised his role as Heimdall in the Thor sequels Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok, and also had appearances in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Avengers: Infinity War.

Elba is becoming Disney's go-to guy when they need an intimidating voice. In 2016 alone, they released three animated movies featuring Elba—besides voicing the villain Shere Khan in The Jungle Book (2016), he also voiced Police Chief Bogo in Zootopia and a bullying sea lion in Pixar's Finding Dory. Plus, the MCU is managed by Disney.

As for voice acting outside of Disney, he plays Knuckles the Echidna in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022) and is set to play him again in a Paramount+ exclusive spin-off of the Sonic the Hedgehog film universe.

He's also a musician, known as DJ Big Driis/Big Driis the Londoner, as well as kickboxer, starting out quite late in life (at age 44) but still good enough that he won his first (and as of yet only) fight, via KO.



Live Action TV

Video Games

Provides examples of

  • Ability over Appearance: In the MCU, he plays Heimdall, who in the comics is Caucasian and in actual myths is among the palest of the gods. However, Elba's performance was so impressive that most audiences didn't care.
    • Similarly, his casting as Roland Deschain in The Dark Tower, who is described in the books as resembling a young Clint Eastwood, raised a few eyebrows at first, but his performance is generally considered one of the stronger aspects of an otherwise mediocre film.
  • Baritone of Strength: His deep, authoritative voice is one of his most notable characteristics. He plays it up in some roles but his natural voice more than qualifies on its own.
  • Chronically Killed Actor: A number of his roles involve his character dying by the end. Ironically, his character is one of the very few to survive the entirety of The Suicide Squad.
  • Scary Black Man: A common and recurring role for him.


Video Example(s):


American Gangster

Tango is certain Frank won't shoot him, even as Frank's gun is pointed straight at his head.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (15 votes)

Example of:

Main / YouWouldntShootMe

Media sources: