The Many Faces of Idris Elba

The Root takes a look at the British actor's arsenal of roles both on and off the screen.

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Idris Elba as DCI John Luther (YouTube)

(The Root) -- For nearly 10 years, Idris Elba has been nothing short of an international star. From his deep baritone as the drug kingpin Russell "Stringer" Bell in HBO's The Wire to his recent success on the Hollywood circuit, he has become one of today's most versatile actors. Later this year he'll star as Nelson Mandela in the screen biopic of the iconic leader. In anticipation of his first starring role in a major Hollywood movie, we review the many hats worn by this dynamic actor.

Hilton the Gigolo, 'Absolutely Fabulous'

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Sidereel

Elba's first credited role was in 1995 as a gigolo on Britain's critically acclaimed series Absolutely Fabulous.

DJ Big Driis

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YouTube

Did you know that Elba is a fairly prominent DJ? Neither did we. If you're lucky, you might catch "Big Driis" spinning at a club -- especially in London.

Russell 'Stringer' Bell, 'The Wire'

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YouTube

Elba's portrayal of the ruthless bibliophile and drug dealer on the HBO series from 2002 to 2004 is arguably his best-known role. It also introduced Elba to American audiences.

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