6 Motivational Quotes From Idris Elba's New Esquire Interview

Photo: Victor Demarchelier/Courtesy of Esquire.
Idris Elba is a hella good actor, as we've gathered from his thrilling arcs as Stringer Bell on The Wire and the eponymous detective on Luther, as well as his roles in dramas like Beasts of No Nation and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. But the man is more than a ridiculously talented thespian, father of two (3-year-old Winston 15-year-old Isan), and indisputable sex icon. He is also a pretty inspiring speaker — a skill on full display in his new cover story for Esquire, in which the 44-year-old opens up about his career path and the tougher moments in his life. Here are his 6 greatest quotes, all of which could double as motivational posters.
On putting himself in the shoes of the journalist interviewing him.
"Like, How the fuck do I approach this to get anything that no one else has read before? What is that approach?"
On the importance of maintaining eye contact.
"Look whoever you're talking to in the eyes. Don't look away. Two reasons: You can tell whether they are lying. Also, so that they can see whatever you're saying you mean and you can connect to that person."
On fearlessly moving across the pond at a young age.
"I was not afraid of this concept of flying from the nest," he said. "I thought, It's a big jump, but fuck it, I'm going to move to another country."
On getting down in the mud for his pro kickboxing series Idris Elba: Fighter.
"I could have been sitting in a comfortable place and earning the dough, going, I wish, I wish. But my way of being a popular male actor is to say, 'Dudes, if I can do it, you can fucking do it.' "
On kicking life's ass.
"Fear nothing. Do what you want to do, but be educated and intelligent and confident about it."
On recovering from a midlife crisis after the death of his father.
"I had forgotten what it is to feel that burn on your tongue, when your adrenaline is going so much and you're in fight or flight. I was like, I'll be tired when I'm dead. . . . I just thought, Yo, Dris, do you want to do something crazy? Should we just try to make a documentary?"
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