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Idris Elba candidly talked about his life and past struggles in a recent interview.
The Luther actor talked to Playboy and discussed his early struggles while living in New York, which was "a wickedly tough time."
"I lived in a van for about three months. It was a gold and brown Astro with brown velour seats," Elba said. "I was going through a tough time with my then wife, and the money I made under the tables a DJ went to make sure she was okay. I'd had three or four years of unemployment, not getting acting jobs."
He admitted that if he hadn't gotten his gig as Stringer Bell on The Wire he would have had to "leave the U.S." He added, "We knew that if I didn't have acting work after my daughter was born we would be up sh-t street."
Elba said that life as a hustler and drug dealer before The Wire was kind of like "preparation for the role." He knew from growing up that "Flash drug dealers went to jail, cool drug dealers didn't," and applied that to his role.
He was also asked if in his time as DJ if he did drugs, and he replied honestly. "I mean, I’m not gonna lie—I’ve tried everything, just between you, me and the people who read this magazine. I’ve tried it all. I played one of the biggest drug dealers in the world on TV, so you think I’d know what I was talking about."
According to E! News, the British actor also talked about dating. He claimed he didn't get noticed by people until he started showing up in movies or TV.
"I'll sit in a pub and nobody will recognize me, I might see an attractive woman, but she doesn't recognize me, so I'm not getting any love," Elba said. "Then one person goes, 'Oh, it's you,' and suddenly they all overhear and start asking questions. It's bulls--t."
Elba also admitted that relationships are difficult to maintain while being an actor. "A girl I knew said to me, 'My dad told me, "Never date an actor or a DJ,"' It was over, right there on the spot. I was f--ked."
image: Dave M. Benett/WireImage for Paramount/image.net