Idris Elba Opens Up About Health, Obama and Female Co-Stars

The actor feels proud of his connections with President Obama and Nelson Mandela.

Posted: 11/11/2013 06:15 PM EST
Idris Elba

Currently promoting his upcoming film, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, and recently presenting President Barack Obama with a personal screening of the biopic, it's no surprise that Idris Elba is just having the time of his life. The actor chatted with the Huffington Post about his health, his favorite female co-stars and what it means to have a link to two powerful Black leaders.

"I mean really, that was a great feeling," Elba said about being hosted by Obama at the White House for the screening. "That was such a great moment for me to have the opportunity to present that film to the president. The president has oftentimes spoke very, very highly of Mr. Mandela and regards him as a friend and speaks of him fondly. So I felt very proud to play the character and be able to present it to Barack, who loves to watch films."

"Also, the fact that both of these men are so unique... Mr. Mandela was the first Black president in South Africa and Obama being the first Black president here, and somehow Idris Elba is connected between these two men. And that really does fill me with a lot of pride," he added.

Elba also addressed his recent asthma attack scare on his way to the film's premiere in South Africa where the British actor had to be taken to the hospital.

"I'm feeling really good. Full recovery…I've battled with asthma most of my life, and I think as soon as I got on that plane I just got an attack, which is really rare. And the attack got bad really quickly. So it was a weird and very scary moment for me. But thank God that I'm well and OK. And I'm good," Elba said.

As for his favorite female co-stars that he's had the pleasure of working with over the years, Elba listed a few that top his list.

"Well, in terms of talent I've worked with very great actors. Ruth Wilson, who plays with me in Luther is amazing. Naomie Harris just completely blew my socks off. I've worked with an actress in London called Nadine Marshall on an independent film. She's an incredible actress and I can't wait for the world to see her. I'm very blessed in terms of working with great actors, but I would say those are my top three that I've worked with recently that blew me away," he said.


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 (Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

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