Read about Idris Elba's struggle to find acting work.

Idris Elba has established himself as one of Hollywood’s most well-known leading males. However, before becoming famous, he struggled to find jobs in the entertainment world. Some of this was due to his American accent, which he had struggled with in the past.

Stringer Bell in The Wire remains one of Elba’s most famous and well-known roles to this day.

Elba was determined to go to any length to ensure that he got the part of the crime lord. He even masked his natural accent from the show’s producers at the time to persuade them he was the proper fit for the part.

“The casting director, Alexa Fogel, was particularly informed by David Simon, ‘Listen, this is about Baltimore.’ In an interview with Hot Ones, Elba remarked, “I don’t want to see any non-Americans for any of these roles; I need individuals who can genuinely relate the tale I’m trying to tell here—which is a really fair thing to ask for, considering how attentive he is of the society.”

Fogel, the casting director, was blown away by Elba’s performance. She did, however, make the actor pledge that he would not inform the producers that he was from East London. Elba agreed, but he had to admit it to the show’s producers later.

“Then they switched tactics on me in the fourth audition.” “Because I was good with the accent at this stage,” Elba concluded.

Regrettably, the producers would want to speak with Elba about his personal life.

“This is the decisive moment,” Elba added. “I was trained not to lie by my parents. You must look someone in the eyes and tell them the truth. I’ve lied before, and it’s never worked out.”

Idris Elba eventually perfected his accent to the point where he was able to fool producers for a brief while. But he wasn’t always so good at masking his native accent. The Hobbs and Shaw star revealed that it was tough for him to find work due to the way he sounded at one point.

“It’s a good idea to learn an American accent if you’re from England or Australia and want to come to America to work.” “Don’t do what I did and show up with a bad accent and then not work for four years,” Elba once mentioned on David Letterman’s Late Show as per Showbiz CheatSheet.

It wasn’t simple for the Suicide Squad alum to get his American accent down pat.

“My most difficult challenge was mastering an American accent,” Elba told Live (via Digital Spy). “It took me three years to get it right.”

Elba would strive to practice his American accent in social situations in order to improve it. This would entail persuading local taxi drivers that he was an American. While this worked for taxi drivers, women were more difficult to persuade.

“It seemed to me that the ultimate test would be to persuade real Americans that I was one of them, so I’d get into a cab and pretend to be an American.” It was common for cab drivers to fall for it. In social contexts, it was more difficult to persuade. “Women would look at me suspiciously and inquire as to my true origins,” he said.

Elba was prepared when he auditioned for The Wire.

“Every day was an exam day for those three years. I passed some days and failed others. I was able to pass myself off as a Brooklyn actor by the time I came to audition for The Wire,” he claimed.

About The Author
Laurel Menezes

You will find Laurel Menezes cycling or singing when not writing for IWMBUZZ. If we were to sum up her personality in two terms, well, she is agile and witty.