It's official. Golden Globe winner Idris Elba has been voted as People's Sexiest Man Alive. Having played epic heroes in movies like The Dark Tower and Thor, villains in movies like Beasts of No Nation and The Jungle Book, and even being a top contender for Daniel Craig's replacement as James Bond in the 007 series, Elba has taken on mainstream fame - not only for his talent in front of the camera, but for his looks as well.
Starting his career in the '90s on television, he started garnering attention after he was cast in HBO's The Wire as "Stringer" Bell. And, though he would later take on roles in movies like 28 Weeks Later and The Losers, he officially broke out in both his lead role in the BBC series Luther and his supporting role as Heimdall in Kenneth Branagh's Thor. This ultimately paved the way to standout roles with other acclaimed directors like Ridley Scott in Prometheus and Guillermo del Toro in Pacific Rim before Elba was officially recognized as an A-list star. Now, following his long line of roles that are as celebrated as they are complex - as well as his first official directing gig on the adaptation of Victor Headley's Yardie - Idris Elba has been officially named People's Sexiest Man Alive.
Elba spoke with People about his new title, pleasantly surprised by the results, which follows last year's Blake Shelton, 2016's Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and 2015's David Beckham (incidentally, Chris Hemsworth, who starred opposite Elba in the three Thor movies was voted as Sexiest Man Alive in 2014). Elba joked about looking in the mirror, checking himself out, and saying, "'‘Yeah, you are kind of sexy today,'" but added, "To be honest, it was just a nice feeling. It was a nice surprise — an ego boost for sure.”
Over the past year, Elba has been at the center of one of Hollywood's most charged topics. With Daniel Craig reportedly passing the James Bond torch after the next entry in the 007 franchise, Elba has been considered an unofficial top contender. However, even though 007 producer Barbara Broccoli has shown interest in casting him in the role, Elba himself has confirmed that he will not star as the next James Bond.
While the honor of Sexiest Man Alive may seem like a solely superficial accolade, it no doubt confirms the fact that its recipient is officially a household name. So, after his tireless ascent towards leading man status, it doesn't hurt to have some mainstream validation for a career that has yet to show signs of slowing down in the slightest. Future roles have him working with directors David Leitch, Academy Award winner Tom Hooper, and George Miller in Hobbs and Shaw, Cats, and Three Thousand Years of Longing, respectively.