Idris Elba: ' I Was Creatively Reborn After My Father's Death' - Music News
Idris Elba felt creatively reborn after the death of his father in 2013.
The 46-year-old actor and musician's dad, Winston, who was born in Sierra Leone, passed away from lung cancer at 72, shortly before the release of his Nelson Mandela biopic, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
He subsequently recorded an album, Mi Mandela, about the experience of playing the South African leader, that he says was also "part of my mourning period for my dad" and it helped him "flesh out ideas about loss, about acceptance of loss".
"My dad died and I was born, weirdly enough," he said in an interview with The Times newspaper in which he explained how his dad's death affected him creatively. "A different side of me was born, a different side of my mother (Eve, who was born in Ghana). Even now, it's hard for me to listen to the album because it takes me to a place."
He also said that he subsequently "learnt things about him that I didn't know while he was alive, and that weren't complimentary".
Since then, Idris has played a character based on his father in his Sky One sitcom In the Long Run, and has now co-created a play, Tree, about a young South African's conflicted feelings about their country's past, and how the optimism felt when Mandela became president in 1994, has gone awry.
Idris admits he feels a similar way about Mandela to his father, who he worshipped as a hero, but is now aware he has a more complex legacy.
"To some he is definitely not a hero, believe it or not. That was an eye-opener for me," he mused.
Meanwhile, Tree, which has been hit by controversy ahead of its opening after two writers complained they weren't credited for their work on the play, debuts in Manchester, England on Thursday, before transferring to London's Young Vic theatre on 29 July.