Why Idris Elba's Insane Work Ethic Has Nothing to Do with Money

Idris Elba is one of the busiest leading men in Hollywood between his new Netflix comedy Turn Up Charlie, the Fast and Furious spinoff Hobbs and Shaw, his role in the adaptation of Cats and lots more.

But that doesn’t even take into account all the other stuff overloading his calendar, a DJ set at next month’s Coachella, an upcoming wedding, running music and film companies, a fashion line, he even owns a London bar.

He describes his career as a buffet and his decision to dip his toes into so many wide ranging ventures has nothing to do with money.

"It's that I watched my dad die [in 2013]. And he and I had big plans. There was this sense of, 'You're going to go to America and make it, son,' and I did and I wanted to come back and share it with him. But by that time, he wasn't well, so I never got the chance to show him the fruits of my labor,” he tells the Hollywood Reporter.

"It was heartbreaking, but it also grounded me,” he says. “So, when someone tells me, 'You're doing a bit too much.' I'm like, 'I'm going to die one day. I'm going to take that last breath, and you know what I don't want to be thinking when I do? I should've done that.’”

That’s exactly why two words are tattooed into Idris’ forearm: One Life.


Photo: Getty Images

Ryan Seacrest

Ryan Seacrest

Ryan is quite simply one of the most influential, well-regarded, and well-known names in Hollywood. He is the quintessential Hollywood insider who always manages to have the biggest scoops and the most sought after access to top events and celebrities. Read more

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