Actor Idris Elba is guaranteed to raise a few eyebrows with a certain comment he made recently at the Lens Project’s “Artist Spotlight” series where he was a featured speaker.
The event was held this past Thursday evening at the Paul Robeson Center of Rutgers University’s Newark campus. The lecture was moderated by Ms. Baraka Sele, the current Assistant Vice President of Programming of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), reports urbandaily.com.
Sele and Elba discussed everything from his solid middle class beginnings in East London, his upcoming projects, to the current state of black cinema in Hollywood.
When asked about this year’s so-called “white out” at the Oscars, the controversy over his role in “Thor,” and his thoughts on Spike Lee vs. Tyler Perry — well, put it this way, who knew Mr. Elba was so gutsy.
On the Golden Globes and this year’s Oscar “white-out”:
“Halle Berry and I were the only two black actors nominated for this year’s Golden Globes (Idris for Luther and Halle for Frankie & Alice). The Oscars aren’t designed for us…let’s focus on making more films.”
On the controversy surrounding his role as Heimdall, in the upcoming “Thor”:
“It’s so ridiculous. We have a man (Thor) who has a flying hammer, and wears horns on his head and yet me being an actor of African descent playing a Norse god is unbelievable? I mean, Cleopatra was played by Elizabeth Taylor and Ghandi was played by Ben Kingsley”
On the Spike Lee vs. Tyler Perry debate:
“Can I be candid?” he asks before turning to face the audience directly. “I don’t like all of Tyler Perry’s films. Yes, I did work with Tyler for “Daddy’s Little Girls” because it portrayed a positive image of a black father. I am happy for Tyler’s success…we need Tyler Perry…by going to support his movies, we need to show economic strength. But we are also responsible for elevating film. I’m not with buffoonish characters like Madea or Big Momma.”