Idris Elba is a man of many talents. He’s currently one of the cover stars of Vanity Fair’s Hollywood Issue talking about those talents, which include but are not limited to acting in three different movies this year, lending his voice to Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (“I got weak in the knees, literally”), and getting strangers into clubs because they remind him of himself (“I was definitely that guy being turned away just because I’m slightly bigger and I don’t fit the criteria of the club”). But those are all things we would expect from an A-list actor. What makes Elba different is his music career.
“Some may think, Well, it will be the death of your acting if your music’s shit,” Elba said, which is debatable because his career seems to be doing fine despite the fact that he has a song with Macklemore called “Dance Off.” Nevertheless, Elba has bravely continued on in the face of scrutiny. “I’ve dealt with the internal struggle of that over the years. So now I’m at peace and I’ve chosen: This is what I’m doing, and I’m going to do it. Some will love it and some will hate it.”
If I had presented that quote to you without any context, what would you think it was about? Maybe speaking out against injustice or abandoning acting for a career as a ceramicist. In reality, it is about music that sounds like this:
Elba also plans to “lean away from the acting work” in the future so he can focus more on doing DJ sets for Heineken. But it’s just so hard to do both at once. “It’s very difficult to shoot a movie and then go off into the studio or make a song. It’s like trying to build a soufflé while making a brick wall,” the Luther actor said. I cannot tell if he mixed up those verbs on purpose.
This, I fear, is what happens when a handsome and talented man is also rich. He starts thinking that he should really pursue all of his passions, because obviously he would be good at those too. Rarely is this true, but trying to stop it from happening is like trying to stop a bullet train with your bare hands. It doesn’t work, and you’re going to get squashed while trying. We’re all just lying dead on the train tracks while a mediocre EDM beat zooms past us.