Say the name Idris Elba, and most folks think of Heimdall from the Avengers franchise, or that British hunk who everyone wants to play James Bond. Absolutely no one, at least here in the states, thinks of him as a DJ.
But with any luck that changed Saturday in Coachella when Elba — as his former alter-ego DJ Big Driis — fulfilled a huge personal goal by filling the Zuma tent with hundreds of bouncing bodies. Save a small crowd of iPhone holding oglers at the base of the stage, it’s doubtful that most of the revelers knew he was the guy from The Wire, much less how he used to jerk turntables for a living before becoming an international sex symbol. But as he told Rolling Stone last month, Elba doesn’t seem to care. “It’s the pinnacle for me as a DJ. People might come out of curiosity, but I’m playing a two-hour set of hard, techie house music. Hopefully, they’ll be pleasantly surprised.”
Wearing black sunglasses and a cigar shirt, Elba didn’t take too much time to address the crowd. Other than shouting “Coachella what the f–k is good?,” Elba kept quiet while spinning his version of electronic dance music. He was clearly having a ball, and the festival goers loved it.
In case you can’t believe it until you see it, Elba shows off his true self in the Netflix show Turn Up Charlie, about an aging DJ who makes ends meet by becoming a nanny. The 46-year-old co-created the series. “The original drive behind it was to just do something lighthearted, something with a little levity, something that takes me out my comfort zone a smidgen,” Elba told Rolling Stone. “So, doing a comedy was it. I’ve never done a sitcom before this.”