Brit ISH: Idris Elba Dishes On His Former Marriage & The Son Who WASN'T His For October 2013 GQ Cover + Mel B Drops New Video "Once In My Life"
It's all about the British invasions. Idris Elba is having a very GQ year nabbing his second cover, this time for the American October 2013 issue.
Check out the star from across the pond showing off his three piece skills, plus Mel B. drops her first video in 8 years for "Once In My Life"...
Oh, hello Mr. Elba. The Pacific Rim & Mandela star is the October 2013 cover guy and daddy to a cute daughter is ushering in fall the right way.
In addition to a special feature all about how a man should rock a three piece suit or look, the 6'3, 200 pounds of fineness talks about his former marriage and the baby momma who lied to him about a son who wasn't his, all while vacationing (and DJ'ing) in Ibiza.
On his ex wife, a London woman he had an on-and-off relationship with and married at 26
“I liked the idea of being married. I was focused in on what I was trying to do in my life. And my girl supported me.”
On their divorce, which happened when his now ex-wife was pregnant
“I had to keep going back and forth to New York, to London, to try and make a bit of money real quick.” Back in the States, Elba’s wife “didn’t adjust to the culture as quickly as I did.” And he was gone a lot. “We just had a hard time. The next thing you know, we broke up.”
On struggling as an actor
“The apartment we had lived in together was in Jersey City. So when I left, I was sofa-hopping here and there and got to a place where I was parking it in Jersey somewhere and just camping down for the night. I mean, it was like, ‘Fuck, where did I go wrong?’ I had a lot of promise in England, you know? ‘What the fuck are you doing here? Your visa’s going to run out soon. You’re going to have a baby. What the fuck are you doing?’ That’s what’s going through my head...I was studying [for "the Wire"] in my van for the auditions.”
On selling weed
..."I was running with cats. I mean, I was DJ’ing, but I was also pushing bags of weed; I was doing my work. I had to. I know that sounds corny, but this is the truth.” He says he’d sell drugs at Carolines, and meanwhile all these successful guys would come through: D. L. Hughley, Dave Chappelle. “All those black comedians, they knew me as a doorman.”
On his unique ability to blend in, as a kid and now
“I sort of blended into the background quite a bit. I wasn’t the guy that was a big personality. I was the tall, silent, quiet type....I call it the invisible factor. On any ordinary street, walking down in London Soho in a cap, I’m just a fucking tall black man walking along.”
On the son he THOUGHT was his, but discovered the baby momma lied to him
“The celebration of having a son—from a man’s perspective, it’s massive.” He told friends about it. He told reporters about it. Then came the suggestion—not from the child’s mother, but from elsewhere—that not everything was what it appeared to be. “It wasn’t immediately obvious—well, it was, because he didn’t look like me,” Elba says. “But it wasn’t immediately obvious what had gone down.”
Eventually, Elba decided to take a paternity test, which showed the child wasn’t his. “To be given that and then have it taken away so harshly,” he says, “was like taking a full-on punch in the face: POW.”
“You know, the truth is—like, even admitting it, I’ll probably get laughed at for the rest of my life. But it is just tragic, and it happened.” He looks directly at me when he says this. “But I wasn’t knocked out. I stood right the fuck back up, and I ain’t aiming to take another punch in the face ever again. Do you understand what I’m saying? It happened to me. I moved on.”
Check out the rest of the pics over at GQ. And the BTS footage below:
And speaking of Brits we love, check out Mel B. in her first video in 8 years. Who needs the Spice Girls when you're doing just fine solo dolo? Here's her video for "Once In My Life", which has a few cameos from daughter Phoenix and hubby Stephen:
The song is on iTunes now.
Photographs by Sebastian Kim