Idris Elba is about to star in another major franchise, this time in a voice role that he’ll be taking to a solo series as well. The actor has come a long way in his career, becoming one of the most sought-after actors around, a true leading man. But things weren’t always that way, especially in the early days of his career when finding parts was a total grind. And during that time, according to the actor, there was another way he used to make a little extra cash. He even said he had Dave Chappelle as one of his clients.
While sitting in on the Jess Cagle Show on Sirius XM (via ComicBook.com), Idris Elba recounted some of his time in New York City during the late 90s and early 2000s. This was early on in his career when he had a couple of established roles but was looking to become a more established actor. According to ComicBook.com, it was during this time that Elba worked as a doorman at Caroline’s Comedy Club, possibly where he first met Dave Chappelle. And during the Cagle interview, it was here that Elba mentions the comedian and how they might have known each other. Elba said, “Dave Chappelle remembers me because he used to buy weed from me…”
The interview quickly moved on from there, but it was established, at least in passing, that Idris Elba according to his own recounting, had a little side hustle that might not have been on the straight and narrow during that time. And though he didn’t elaborate on any of this, it’s believable on the Chappelle side of things considering what the actor has talked about in his comedy routines throughout the years. Heck, Chappelle starred in one of the true stoner movies of a generation with Half Baked in 1998.
During the interview, Idris Elba said that selling marijuana was one of the “odd jobs” he took on at the time to make money in order to support his acting career. He said that his British accent did help make it easier to meet people, especially at the comedy club which definitely helped the side hustle among comedians. Elba isn’t a comedian himself, though his apparent affability more than endeared him to this crew.
Idris Elba caught one of his big breaks when he played Stringer Bell on HBO’s The Wire in 2002. According to the actor, it was right around the time of this casting that he was considering a move back to England, being of the mind that the acting piece might not completely work out here in the states. It ended up paying the day and Idris Elba has had a fantastic career. His next movie is hitting theaters this weekend with Sonic the Hedgehog 2. He’s voicing the character of Knuckles the Echidna. A spin-off series is also in development for the character as well.
And that’s not all, Idris Elba is also set to return to Luther as the titular character. This time it will be in feature-length movie form.