Michael Kappeler/AFP / Getty Images
Idris Elba was born in London; his mother is originally from Ghana, his father from Sierra Leone.
Idris Elba was born in London; his mother is originally from Ghana, his father from Sierra Leone. Michael Kappeler/AFP / Getty Images
Actor Idris Elba is best known for his stint on HBO's acclaimed drama The Wire, where he played Russell "Stringer" Bell, a drug dealer and aspiring real-estate mogul.
Although "Stringer" never made it in the corporate world, Elba will soon be donning a suit: Starting next week, he'll play Michael Scott's new boss in NBC's popular prime-time comedy The Office. The trade journal Variety reported in January that he'll be with the show for a six-episode arc, playing "a no-nonsense hire at Dunder Mifflin's corporate office who will throw Michael Scott into turmoil."
Elba, 36, was with The Wire from 2002 to 2004. He's also appeared in many movies, including American Gangster, 28 Weeks Later, and Sometimes In April. He's also a DJ and a singer.
The London-born actor stars in the thriller The Obsessed, due out later this year. He talks to Fresh Air's Terry Gross about his work in music and movies, and about life after The Wire.