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Idris Elba Reveals He Felt 'Super Famous' When He Finally Captured Beyoncé and Rihanna's Attention

Claudine Varela
Aug 07, 2019
05:00 P.M.

Idris Elba opened up about the day he realized he was famous. It was during a hosting gig where he met Beyonce and Rihanna. He also had one important person to thank for it.

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Idris Elba is now considered one of the hottest stars in Hollywood. But not too long ago, he was an actor still unsure of his popularity.

The 46-year-old hunk, in fact, only realized he was famous a little over three years ago when he came in contact with A-list stars Beyonce and Rihanna.

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HE'S BEEN AROUND LONG BEFORE HE THOUGHT HE WAS FAMOUS

Idris has been acting in British films since 1994 but he only penetrated the American market when he played Russell “Stringer” Bell on HBO’s “The Wire” in 2002.

That big break led him to chart a career in Hollywood which eventually landed him a role opposite Beyonce in “Obsessed” in 2009.

That same year, he became a recurring character in “The Office.” The following year, he played the lead character in the British show “Luther” which also earned him a Golden Globe.

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In recent years, Idris snagged roles in high-profile films such as “Thor” and the “Avengers” movies. He was also part of “Prometheus”, “Pacific Rim,” “Star Trek Beyond,” “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” and “Beasts of No Nation.”

That being said, Idris’ clout in the industry has long been evident. However, he recently admitted it was only in his not so distant past that he really felt famous.

The newlywed also recalled his feeling of uncertainty to be hosting the gala with not many personalities knowing who he was. He thanked one person for paving the way for him to be recognized.

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THE DAY HE REALLY FELT FAMOUS

During a sit down on an episode of First We Feast’s “Hot One” YouTube series, the British actor was asked by host Sean Evans about which hosting gig he felt more famous in, the 2016 Met Gala or Saturday Night Live.

Idris replied, “The Met Gala,” but his reason had nothing to do with the event itself. Instead, it was the famous people he met there.

“I had Lady Gaga coming up to me — Rihanna, Beyoncé coming up to me, shaking my hand. I felt super famous,” he explained.

THE WOMAN HE THANKS FOR IT

The newlywed also recalled his feeling of uncertainty to be hosting the gala with not many personalities knowing who he was. He thanked one person for paving the way for him to be recognized.

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“Anna Wintour, bless her heart,” he said, referring to Vogue’s editor-in-chief and style icon. “She championed me as someone who should host it. Half the people didn’t even know who I was.”

THE MOMENT HE BECAME UNDENIABLY FAMOUS

That must have changed when Idris became last year’s Sexiest Man Alive. The actor bagged the coveted title previously held by the likes of David Beckham, Chris Hemsworth, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and Channing Tatum.

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“I tell them [fans] that I’m proud to hold the title and I’m glad the magazine finally came to its senses. ‘I mean really? Dwayne Johnson, Sexiest Man Alive? Please.”

DWAYNE JOHNSON CHALLENGING HIS "SEXIEST MAN ALIVE" TITLE

In 2016, it was his “Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw” co-star Dwayne Johnson who claimed the title. Two years later Idris got the recognition while filming their movie and a playful rivalry developed between them.

Dwayne recalled Idris coming to the set “full of bravado” but he reminded him, “Yes, you are People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive of 2018. I, however, am the Sexiest Man Alive in what is called perpetuity. That means for life,” he recounted to USA Today.

In response to Dwayne’s jab, Idris issued one of his own. He told People,

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“I tell them [fans] that I’m proud to hold the title and I’m glad the magazine finally came to its senses. ‘I mean really? Dwayne Johnson, Sexiest Man Alive? Please.”

ON BEING TEASED ABOUT "CATS"

While Idris appeared to have shut down Dwayne there, it turns out he was also being teased on the set for his latest film, “Cats.” He told Stephen Colbert on the host’s late-night show that it became a subject of ridicule while he was doing action scenes on “Hobbs & Shaw.”

“We’re doing this big fight scene, I’m walking in looking all bravado and they’re like, ‘Hey Idris, what are you doing next?’ And the crew would be like, ‘Yeah, what are you doing next?’ And I would be like, ‘… Cats.’”

Sometimes, you just can’t win.

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