Idris Elba gave the "most important" speech of his life on Monday, urging the British government to promote racial diversity on screen.
He explained that he pursued his career as an actor in America because of the "glass ceiling" and stereotyping he was running into in the U.K., only landing roles as "best friends" or "gang leaders,” versus the lead.
“My agent and I, we’d get scripts and we were always asked to read the ‘black male’ character. Or ‘the athletic type,’” Elba said. “But when a script called for a ‘black male,’ it wasn’t describing a character. It was a describing a skin color. A white man -- or a caucasian -- was described as ‘a man with a twinkle in his eye.’ My eyes may be dark, but they definitely twinkle! (Ask the Mrs…) And I was like, ‘I wanna play the character with a twinkle in his eyes!’”
For the rest of this story and more coverage of #OscarsSoWhite and the push for racial diversity in Hollywood, go to ETonline: