Idris Elba told Desus Nice and The Kid Mero on Sunday that he’s still Stringer Bell, at least when it comes to getting stopped on the street. Asked if American fans yell out The Wire or The Office quotes more often, the Suicide Squad star stated unequivocally that people really still want to know where Wallace is at. (One answer might be, “Killing it at the box office while preparing his own Black Superman movie.”) Still, one imagines that, like his Dunder Mifflin regional manager, Mr. Elba is aware of the effect he has on women. And everyone.
But, circling back to Superman, Elba, beaming into Desus & Mero’s virtual bodega set from London, was all about his new role as the breakout star of the (COVID-adjusted) hit new DCU ensemble super-antihero movie, Suicide Squad. Attempting to quell any cross-universe warfare between the DCU (where his super-assassin Bloodsport runs with the Squad) and MCU (where he portrays Norse god Heimdall), Elba told his hosts that he’s equally thrilled to be a mainstay of both competing comic company film worlds. He also walked back some widely reported dissatisfaction with his Thor: The Dark World experience, explaining that the resulting (and predictable) fan backlash was blown all out of proportion on Twitter. (If you can imagine self-proclaimed guardians of fanboy properties making hairtrigger-abusive mountains from actor-related molehills.)
Saying that the “negative energy” drove him off off Twitter after persnickety green screen Thor reshoots pulled him back from playing Nelson Mandela, Elba told Desus and Mero that, like the inevitable racist hubub surrounding his Heimdall casting, he’s all too used to the vagaries of public attention. Elba also decried the depressingly foreseeable bigotry hurled at the three Black British soccer stars who dared kick a ball slightly off from where fans would have liked. “When you’re African, you basically work twice as hard,” Elba told the head-nodding Desus and Mero, calling out his (white) fellow football fans for only staying on Black athletes’ and actors’ sides until they do something those loyal “fans” don’t approve of.
Still, Elba once more returned to the fact that his Bloodsport is “the only guy to put Superman in hospital,” confessing that, while Heimdall is great and all, “Call me sick, but I’m kinda proud of that.” (As comics fans—and now Suicide Squad fans—know, the non-superpowered Bloodsport did the deed thanks to a kryptonite bullet.) Regardless, while Elba protested that he loves Superman as a character, he’s pretty pleased about being the one DCU badass who, as the film’s Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) states, “put Superman in the ICU.” (Note, “ICU” does not, in this case, stand for the not-yet-happening Image Cinematic Universe.) Thus, one can forgive the multifaceted actor, DJ, and all-around cool person for telling Desus and Mero to make his parting neon sign proclaim proudly, “Bloodsport Kicked Superman’s Ass.” Like you wouldn’t make up T-shirts if it were you.