Born to immigrant parents from Sierra Leone (father) and Ghana (mother), Idrissa Akuna Elba is a card-carrying East Ender — “Hackney, then Canning Town, then East Ham.” Where he came from, a career in acting was not high on anyone’s agenda. As a kid, he says, he got hooked on Saturday cinema matinées. Later, a school visit by Paul Barber — Horse from The Full Monty — convinced him thesping could be pursued professionally. “All the boys thought it was a bit nancy doing drama. It was, ‘You’re going to college to do what? Scene painting, dancing? Wait, what-what-what? Dancing?’”—photograph by Peter Yang [x]
Stop it Idris, you’re hurting me.