Idris Elba Reveals How He Discovered His Role On ‘The Wire’ Was Ending

Stringer Bell, played by the British actor, is one of the most memorable characters from the iconic show.

HBO’s “The Wire” is one of the most iconic television shows of all time and Stringer Bell, played by Idris Elba, is one of the series' most enduring characters.

Although it was his breakout role, Elba had no idea how the character would meet his demise until his last episode on the shoe, PEOPLE reports.

During an appearance on the “What Now? with Trevor Noah podcast, the Golden Globe winner shared some memories from the show that launched him into stardom and how surprised he was to learn of his character’s death.

“I didn't know my character was gonna die until we got the episode,” Elba said to Noah. “It was tough love.”

“You usually get your scripts, you know, like two, three in a row, they write them. And I think the way I got it, I got episode seven. I was like, ‘Oh, um, episode seven,” Elba continued. “I got episode seven. Where's eight? Can I get eight? What's wrong?’”

While the prospect of losing his role as a lead in a hit show was “a tough pill to swallow,” he explained how the executives finally broke the news to him.

“‘Uh, you're not, not, you're not in eight,’” he recalled.

“What do you mean? I'm not in eight?’ ‘You should read, you should read it.’ That's how I kind of found out,” he added.

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Elba also shared that he hid his British accent from the show’s executives and the cast to secure the role.

“There's one casting director, I talk about it all the time, Alexa Fogel. She would put me up for stuff and she said, ‘Hey, listen. This Wire thing's come up. It's called The Wire. It's a pilot,” he said. “They're going to shoot it in January. But if you go in, you cannot let them know you aren't American because they will not — I mean, this is about Baltimore. It's very specific. They don't want any strangers. I mean, please.’"

Elba said he had no issue with the arrangement because he picked up an American accent as a DJ and bouncer living in New Jersey and Brooklyn. But his plan was almost ruined during the last audition when the producers asked him, “Where are you from?” 

 “They told you, ‘Don’t say nothing,” he said to himself, “I’m thinking, ‘Your accent is shit. They sus-ed you.’ 

Nervously, he responded, “I'm from East London. The room just exploded.”

During “The Wire’s” critically acclaimed five-season run from 2002 to 2008, Stringer Bell was one of the central characters from seasons one through three before being killed off in one of the show’s most popular episodes.

Since being a part of “The Wire,” Elba has gone on to star in several blockbuster films, including The “Thor franchise,” “Zootopia,” “The Jungle Book,” “The Suicide Squad,” the “Sonic franchise,” and several more.

For his work in television, Elba has earned five Emmy nominations and five Golden Globe nods.

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