LOS ANGELES—People magazine has named Idris Elba as 2018’s Sexiest Man Alive, and the British actor says the honor has given him a boost of self-confidence.
Elba, who starred in “The Wire” and “Luther,” was surprised after being crowned this year’s winner.
“I was like, ‘Come on, no way. Really?’” he told the magazine. “I looked in the mirror, I checked myself out. I was like, ‘Yeah, you are kind of sexy today.’ But to be honest, it was just a nice feeling—an ego boost, for sure.”
Elba’s selection was revealed on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” with the actor appearing via satellite from London. Fallon had Elba perform poses to match the magazine’s cover description of him as a “sweet, smoldering superstar.” Elba said of his selection, “My mom is going to be very, very proud.”
He has also starred in Marvel’s “Thor” franchise, the sci-fi flick “Pacific Rim” and as Nelson Mandela in the film, “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.”
Elba, 46, also performs on the side under the deejay name DJ Big Driis and has his own clothing line. He’s also planning a wedding with his fiancée, Sabrina Dhowre.
The actor has a 16-year-old daughter, Isan, and a 4-year-old son, Winston, from previous relationships.
Elba told People about his upbringing as an only child of African immigrants growing up in East London. The actor said his parents were strict and he got picked on often while attending an all-boys school despite playing an array of sports, including football, basketball, cricket, hockey and rugby.
“I was very tall and skinny,” recalled Elba, who stands at 6’3”. “And my name was Idrissa Akuna Elba, OK? I got picked on, but as soon as I could grow a mustache, I was the coolest kid on the block.”
Past winners include Dwayne Johnson, David Beckham, Chris Hemsworth, Adam Levine, Channing Tatum and last year’s honoree, country star Blake Shelton. —AP
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