With an air of authority that mixes perfectly with his attitude to defy it, Idris Elba is both the guy you want to run into battle with and the one you hope you never have to fight. It’s part of what makes him such a fun actor to watch, especially when it’s in a movie like the upcoming FAST & FURIOUS spinoff, HOBBS & SHAW.
Playing Brixton Lore, the film’s main antagonist who’s set to fight Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs and Jason Statham’s Shaw, Elba looks to be having a hell of a fun time wrecking their day as “Black Superman”. But that’s just one of the many moods of Idris Elba, as there’s a handful of his performances that define his career with the general public, and each are unique and enjoyable in their own way.
Take a look with us now as we run through Idris Elba’s best roles in his Hollywood career so far.
How many people can say they canceled the apocalypse? Idris Elba can, as his character, Stacker Pentecost, was a leader in humanity’s fight against gargantuan monsters in director Guillermo del Toro’s PACIFIC RIM. A stoic figure who knew how to really rev up a crowd, Pentecost's commanding authority made this movie all the more exciting, leading the audience to root for the survival of the human species at his command.
Hobbs & Shaw
It might be early to say this, but honestly, Brixton Lore is one of the best roles anyone could have ever given Idris Elba. With a wit as fast and smooth as his tricked out motorcycle, the HOBBS & SHAW baddie is someone that is hard to root against. While he wants to help his shadowy superiors accomplish some nasty deeds, Brixton knows how to do his job well, while having a bit of fun with it.
The Thor Series
While more of a supporting figure in the THOR series of films, Elba's Heimdall was still a vital role in Chris Hemsworth’s God of Thunder coming and going between realms. And if you can’t trust someone who holds that power to get you to where you need to be, even if it’s against orders of the kingdom or its invading forces, then who can you trust? Part sage counsel, part intergalactic travel agent, Elba’s Heimdall made these films a bit more memorable, as we knew he’d be there to help our hero win the day.
The Jungle Book
It’s kind of funny, yet fitting, that Elba's playing the villainous Macavity in director Tom Hooper’s CATS this December, as he already has experience playing an evil feline, thanks to Jon Favreau’s CGI remake of Disney’s THE JUNGLE BOOK. Turning a historically lighter villain in the animated movie into something akin to Robert Mitchum’s antagonist in NIGHT OF THE HUNTER, Elba’s Shere Khan is a menacing figure that only threatens his prey as much as he has to. Walking that line isn’t easy, but he does it in smooth, impressive style.
Beasts of No Nation
Playing a villain can be easy in the world of fiction, but when set in the real world, it requires a subtler brush. That’s exactly the approach that Idris Elba used to play the role of the Commandant in director Cary Joji Fukunaga’s BEASTS OF NO NATION. You could see how this imposing figure was able to attract children into his army, while eventually uncovering just why he was such a bad man in the first place, and it’s all shaded in expert precision by Elba’s masterful acting skills.
See Idris Elba in HOBBS & SHAW on August 2! Buy your tickets now at your local AMC theatre.