From starring as the ruthlessly ingenious drug lord Stringer Bell in the iconic HBO series The Wire, to playing Madiba himself in the long-awaited biopic of Nelson Mandela, it has been some journey for Idris Elba. From humble beginnings, a second generation immigrant born in Hackney, London, Elba set up his own wedding DJ business at the age of 14 but, encouraged by his drama teacher to pursue his natural talent, won a place at the National Youth Music Theatre. Though possessed of a brooding screen presence which served him so well in the BBC's terrifying crime drama series Luther, 2016 showed a whole new side to Idris as he entered the voice acting world with The Jungle Book and Finding Dory. He inhabits each role as if he were born to play it—but what of the man himself? This biography reveals Elba's life behind the lens, exploring what makes him so ambitious, adaptable and endlessly watchable. His charisma has won him admirers on both sides of the Atlantic, and the role of Bond may yet beckon.