Idris Elba Is Finally Getting to Live Out His Dream of Being a DJ

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Photo: Craig McDean

Idris Elba has played many roles throughout his career: a gatekeeper in the Marvel universe, a brutal military commandant, and a Baltimore drug kingpin. But Elba has apparently had a hard time keeping up one of his personal favorites: being a DJ.

Aside from acting, Elba has long harbored a passion for DJ-ing, having put out some house beats here and there. But in order to pursue his acting career in the United States, Elba effectively put his passion of DJ-ing aside, according to the August cover story for Interview magazine.

“What happened was, once I got The Wire, my life changed,” Elba tells Jon Favreau, the director of The Jungle Book, who conducted the Q&A for Interview. (Elba stars as the voice of the CG-animated Shere Khan in the film.)

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Photo: Craig McDean

Working on The Jungle Book, though, allowed Elba to tap into his dormant DJ-ing skills by making a few remixes for the movie. Apparently, Elba tried DJ-ing while his acting profile grew, but he was mostly able to get “celebrity DJ work, and that just didn’t sit right.”

“So I made a decision about five years ago to really do it properly, to do it at that level I had never done it, but take it seriously and not ride the coattails of being an actor,” Elba told Favreau.

And, just in case you were wondering, Elba’s DJ name is DJ Driis.