Idris Elba is BFFs with Lena Dunham now, wants to guest star on ‘Girls’


God, remember how good Idris Elba looked at the Golden Globes? Remember how they had him seated close to the front and there were some excellent cutaways? There should have been more Idris cutaways at the Globes, because it seems like that was the only major awards show Idris will get attend this year. He wasn’t nominated for a SAG, an Oscar or a BAFTA for his performance as Nelson Mandela in Long Walk To Freedom. Sad. Maybe they’ll invite him to present at the Oscars though. I hope they do. We need more Idris cutaways.

Anyway, these are some photos from last night’s Berlin premiere of Long Walk To Freedom. Idris attended with his director Jason Chadwick and with Zindzi Mandela. He looks FINE. Really, really good.

Idris recently did the Graham Norton Show, and he ended up on the couch with Lena Dunham. Apparently, they hit it off and now Idris wants to guest-star on Girls. OMG. He tweeted Lena: “@lenadunham, Very funny woman. Can I come do a scene on your show? I promise…no selfies!” Lena responded: “You are a pure pleasure. Honored to share the couch with you. #selfiesforever.” Would he really do it though? Would Idris guest on Girls? I might actually watch it then.

Meanwhile, there are some comments making waves this week in the UK. This is barely about Idris, but I thought I’d pass it along because I think it’s a really fascinating subject, which is: is American film & television much more racially diverse than British TV and film? A former executive with the Royal Television Society made some comments on a UK talk show and now there’s a conversation (in the UK) about why some of the finest actors of color in Britain get the most (and the best quality) work in America. Idris was cited, as was David Harewood (from Homeland) and maybe we could put Chiwetel Ejiofor on that list too (although Chiwetel has had a lot of success in British films and TV projects too). You can read more about it here.




Photos courtesy of WENN.

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45 Responses to “Idris Elba is BFFs with Lena Dunham now, wants to guest star on ‘Girls’”

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  1. GeeMoney says:

    OMG! Please make this happen, Lena! I would looooove to see Idris guest star on Girls.

  2. TheOriginalKitten says:

    Man looks FINE as hell.
    I think it’s so cute that he tweeted Lena..he might be getting back on my good graces.

    One thing is for damn sure, he should wear a suit all day, every day.

  3. BooBooLaRue says:

    Thank you, a reason to smile this morning!

  4. Sixer says:

    To be fair, David Harewood does keep saying that the comments he made about this are now out of date and things have changed. As you say, Chiwetel has been the star of a couple of big ticket BBC productions and Shadow Line was nothing to do with black issues. Idris has a big ticket show that has nothing to do with black issues. And there’s quite a bit of colour blind casting in the lighter weight dramas, Merlin et al. Plus, you could also look to current younger hot properties like Ashley Walters and Zawe Ashton. My kids think Vod is a goddess!

    And I hate to bring it up, but you’ve also got to remember the stranglehold the public school set have in many areas. So much nepotism. In the area of comedy, they actually made a documentary series called Comedy Connections that showed the insularity of it all. Footlights, anyone? It wasn’t intended to show that, just to be entertaining, but that’s how entrenched it is.

    Not saying it’s all perfect cos it ain’t. But y’know.

    PS: I saw that Norton show. I thought Dunham was cringe-inducingly awful and that Idris, bless him, comes off better in person than in print, because you can see there is ironic humour in some (not saying ALL!) of the dickswinging.

    • SonjaMarmeladova says:

      I really liked Lena on Graham Norton. I wish Olivia spoke more, she’s so awesome.
      Is it true that they are doing a remake of Broachurch in US without Olivia?

    • Leah says:

      @sixer if you talk to black actors here in the Uk they all say that its a problem. It doesn’t look good in print and not many people would complain like Harewood did, because they are seen as winers. Also you have to know that all the actors that you mention their visibility comes of being in a successful US show or movie. Even so with Chiwetel, his first job was getting cast in Spielberg movie. Things are changing, but very slowly, too slowly for some and so the UK loose some of their best black talent to the US. Which is a shame. We need breath and diversity to tell different stories and get different perspectives.

      • Sixer says:

        But, as LAK points out, the UK loses a lot of ALL talent to the US. There’s a bigger profile and more money there.

        I don’t say it’s all roses in the garden, but this is all just a rehashing of outdated remarks in an improving environment. Although I agree the pace of change is not sufficient.

      • LAK says:

        Leah: Things are improving.

        This is coming from someone who attempted to be an actor in 1993/4. It was really dire then. That was the period of big budget drawing room costume drama. on TV, on film, on the stage, even MTV. Many actors that crossed the pond during that time are people like David Haywood/Adrian Lester because it wasn’t just slim pickings, there were none . it was ‘Desmonds’ or nothing. What were we going to do in a costume drama. be the maid in project after project like the black actors in 1930s hollywood?

        At some point during the early it started to change. It’s not changing as rapidly as many would like, the people who made it in the states or were cast in high profile American projects have more or less returned to Britain and are getting the plum roles.

        The young actors *are* frustrated because it is a frustrating business, but they are more black and Asian actors on British television which makes me optimistic for the future.

      • Leah says:

        Sixer, I don’t understand how you can claim its outdated when black british actors who actually work in the industry say its a problem. I would think they are the best judge. This is what people talk about amongst themselves, and i would think thats why this article was written, why write that article if its outdated?

        To compare the situation with white actors seems a cop out. It is by no means the same. Plenty of white actors have ok careers, people who are just as talented, or maybe even more as the people you see in a american shows. Take damian lewis he had a good career in the UK prior to homeland, then compare his to Idris career, which was next to nothing prior to The wire. There are many damian lewis type actors and actresses in the UK, they have a good career, well respected but obviously not as visible and making as much money as they would do in the US, but nevertheless make an ok living. Not everyone wants to go to america you know? But from what i can’t gather it appears a lot of black actors feel that is the best way to go to ensure they can make a living.

      • Sixer says:

        I am with LAK. It’s not perfect but neither is the US. British audiences are now used and happy to see black leads, not relegated to sidekicks, black actors playing professionals not just the poor or disenfranchised, and colour blind casting. Many of the emigres have returned.

        Things aren’t improving so quickly for British Asians, I would say. (Note Asian means Indian subcontinent heritage to a Brit).

      • LAK says:

        I think the only show that kills me on the casting front is ‘Midsummer murders’ which i love, but the producer said point blank last year that he has no intention of casting Black or Asian actors. not even in bit parts. i’ve tried to not watch the show for political reasons, but it sucks me in. [hangs head in shame]

        With regards the Asian actors, for a brief moment, i thought ‘goodness gracious me’ might help break that resistance.

        Since that show didn’t help anyone, but the actors cast therein, many Asian actors migrate to Bollywood to get work.

      • SonjaMarmeladova says:

        @Sixer, I recently saw What Remains ( great series, I recommend it) and it featured two actresses of Asian heritage, Indira Varma and Amber Rose Revah. I was pleasantly surprised.

      • gaggles says:

        @Sixer and @LAK

        I don’t think anyone was saying the US is that much better. Only that UK was being criticized. Very few people on here would ever say the US is much better. I will say that if I would not feel comfortable at all saying something similar to what you said Sixer about how it is improving slowly and that the criticism is outdated about diversity in television and film in the US. Maybe all the criticism I’ve read has made me really sensitive. I haven’t seen nearly enough UK television to know for sure whether the actors are that diverse.

        As far as black characters in professional positions. I would argue we see alot of that in the US as well on tv… at least I have. But that may just be me. But I STILL wouldn’t feel comfortable saying that things are improving, because I don’t fully believe that they are. It’s a good thing, but it’s not enough.

        Also guys I don’t like Lena…but I did find her charming in the clips I’ve watched. Also Idris is gorgeous.

      • Sixer says:

        Hi Gaggles. I think you’ve misunderstood. I mention the US because the criticism is ABOUT UK actors decamping to the US and that is an implication that it’s somehow better in the US. I’m saying neither are perfect.

        It would seem odd to me to NOT acknowledge improvements. Improvements, surely, should be acknowledged and encouraged. Are we to say nothing until everything is perfect? Because we’d be silent for a long time, wouldn’t we?

      • gaggles says:

        @Sixer Neither are perfect, but some people seem to indicate that it’s a little easier in the US for black actors then in the UK. Not a lot, but a bit more. And honestly I’m thinking about it in a different context. I may just be surrounded by people who are too PC or too sensitive about these things. Acknowledging improvements is a good thing. But the reality is it often feels like we’re just patting ourselves on the back for them. At least here in America. So I’m still agreeing heavily with Leah on this. Sorry.

      • Kath says:

        Yeah, it’s interesting. I actually thought the opposite, since I can think of a lot of ‘heavyweight’ black actors from the UK and not as many from the US, but that probably just reflects the kind of shows I watch…

        On the other hand, there is always ‘Star Trek: Deep Space 9′! And finally more than one black guy on ‘Walking Dead’ seems to have managed to survive the zombie hordes (RIP T-Dog).

    • Chloe says:

      I have to agree with Leah here. The improvements are too slow to be applauded. It’s not 93-94 we are 20 years down the line and i don’t see that much improvement. My collagues son is a black british actor. And I know from talking to his dad that the chances were far and few between in Britain. And we are not talking about some bitter out of work actor here. This is someone who was awarded for his theatrical talents but still felt he had to go to America to get the sort of meaty film and tv work typically English actors likecumberbatch get. He is now on a major Hbo show and has no plans to go back to England.

  5. LAK says:

    they were so cute together on the graham norton show.

    And yes, most black and asian actors are regularly employed in America. They are every where in American TV/film, from Walking Dead to the good wife to homeland etc.

    However, one also needs to look at it from the POV that the white actors also need to cross the pond to succeed.

  6. Leah says:

    Its well known that actors of colour in the uk feel that they don’t have the same opportunities in the UK. I have some friends who went to drama school with my brother and they all look to the people like Idris who have had success and quality work in the US, and a lot of them feel like thats the way to go. Idris really didn’t have a great career in the UK before the Wire. Its almost like he had to make it in the US to get the same type opportunities in the UK ( Luther). Chiwetel is an exception he has sort of been a golden boy for a while. Mind you who knows if he had the same career if Steven Spielberg hadn’t plucked him out of drama school to star in Amistad.

  7. Jenna says:

    Ugh, Please, don’t do that to me Luther… I mean, Idris. Dunham gets on my nerves for some reason that I can’t pinpoint.

  8. GMarchetti says:

    And she’ll surly add a sex scene between them, and of course, people will be force to see her naked.

  9. Mark says:

    Theres more TV & film work in america, it’s basically just reality shows in the UK.

  10. twoblues says:

    Mmmm, Stringer Bell. Hot, hot, hot.

  11. Penny says:

    I think most actors (and directors also) are under-appreciated in their home countries until they make it big in America. I’m Australian, and a lot of Aussie actors have done their best work in Australian films, but there’s definitely an overwhelming sense that being in a terrible Hollywood blockbuster is better than being in a great Australian film, and we completely leave great actors who’ve never done the whole Hollywood thing out of the conversation when talking about Australian talent. Cate Blanchett does her best work with the Sydney Theatre Company but that’s only mentioned here when they take a show to New York. It’s like we can’t appreciate anything until it get’s the seal of approval from the US. But then if a celebrity embraces the US, we turn on them.

    The only country I’ve found this wasn’t true was France, they seem able to appreciate their stars even if they never get near a Hollywood film. Even brilliant British actors like Ian McKellan and Michael Gambon were rather over-looked in Britain until they landed a parts in big franchise’s.

    I can definitely see that being a POC would add another layer of difficulty, but that’s the same in America. There’s more work, but black actors will often find themselves forever switching between playing criminals and judges, Asian actors will be uptight and nerdy, Latin actors will be gang members and illegals crossing the border and Arab actors will be playing terrorists or they’ll be the red herring you suspect of being a terrorist. If you’re a foreign POC trying to get recognized, you more than likely have to deal with that issue in both your home country and the US AND so it’s harder to get that break out role in the US that makes your home country sit up and take notice.

  12. FLORC says:

    I fully support this!
    The men are the only likable characters on that show for me.

  13. Mrs. Darcy says:

    Ugh, no. Sorry but I do not think she is capable of writing a believable character for this man. It would just be some icky hot dude thing…ok maybe not icky w/Idris…but how they could believably make him interested in any of the Girls I don’t know. Unless he was just a random dude…Jessa’s real long lost father, as hers is such a waste of space?

  14. Jennifer Astin says:


    Idris 4eva

  15. Nick says:

    @Kaiser, just a correction but Idris did get nominated for a Bafa for lead actor in the Mandela film.

    If he appears in Girls, I might be interested in watching the show…might.

  16. Viv says:

    I was at the event pictured above last night and Idris looked good enough to eat. He stood next to us at one point and he smelled good, too.
    Didn’t someone on Celebitchy comment that they used to date him and he was a waste of time? Well, he was fine as hell. On another note, the Mandela movie was a bit weird. It is too hard to un-see Luther. Idris worked hard on that South African accent and intonation but I kept thinking, Luther talks real funny. He just wasn’t Mandela to me.
    Can someone please make a combined clone of Cumberbatch and Elba- I would want to tap that.

  17. Kali says:

    The only way I can be happy about this is if Idris ends up being some kind of older mentor character who calls out EVERYONE on their bullsh*t. Or either some kind of “Luther” crossover where one of the characters is horribly awfully murdered and they need to call in DCI Luther to solve the case. Screw logistics of portraying policing on television, can we make option 2 happen? Please??