While Idris Elba is known for his performances on film and TV screens (The Wire, Luther, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, American Gangster, Thor), his hobbies stretch outside of show business. The London-born actor is an avid video gamer, DJ and soccer fan. ThePostGame sat down with Elba to talk about his diverse interests. Elba stars in the trailer for Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege, which will be released Dec. 1.
ThePostGame: What attracts you to a video game commercial?
IDRIS ELBA: I'm a gamer. That's one thing. And it just seemed like fun. I thought the director and I would have some fun. The truth is I could get a free game, as well. I'm a gamer and it was shot in Prague. That's a great city to shoot in. It's a beautiful visual product.
TPG: What are some of the special effects you can let us in on?
ELBA: It was all done in a studio. The director took the time to replicate some of the stuff you can do in the game, which is really sort of impactful. You can get go from wars and doors and floors in ways you've never done before.
TPG: You're an Arsenal fan. How big of a fan would you consider yourself?
ELBA: I've been a fan since I was probably about 18 or 17, which is old. Most kids are lifelong fans, who start really young. My dad was a Man United supporter, and I didn't go that way. London teams, there's Tottenham, Chelsea (scoff) and there's Arsenal. I just went for Arsenal. This season, man, it's been tough, but we're second place. We're doing all right. We've lost a lot of players because of injuries. We didn't do so well in the cups, but I'm always going to be an Arsenal fan.
TPG: How often do you watch games?
ELBA: I go to games, but not as much this season. I've literally not been in the country. I've been shooting away for months. I might get to a couple games before the season's over.
TPG: Chelsea isn't having such a great season. As an Arsenal fan, how happy does that make you?
ELBA: Oh, well. Poor guys. It's a very healthy rivalry between Arsenal and Chelsea and I like to see them fail. They've come to Arsenal and stuffed us enough times, so I like to see them fail.
TPG: When you see Jose Mourinho on TV, how do you feel about him?
TPG: Who's your favorite Arsenal player of all-time?
ELBA: It's a cross between [Dennis] Bergkamp and Thierry Henry. Bergkamp was a G, but Henry was a very graceful player.
TPG: What role do you get asked about most?
ELBA: Stringer Bell. It was a defining point in my career and people love that character.
TPG: Is that United States-specific?
ELBA: No, worldwide baby. Even in Japan.
Elba played Russell "Stringer" Bell in The Wire.
TPG: What role do you take the most pride in?
ELBA: I take pride in all of them, man, but this one role that is closer to my soul because of the way we shoot it is Luther. Luther is a guy around my age, he's from my London, and we shoot it in the area I grew up in and live. It feels very close to me. I went back to TV to do Luther. I was sort of making headway as a film actor, but I went back to the BBC and did that. Definitely one of my favorite roles.
TPG: When you starred in Obsessed, what was it like working with Beyonce and have you guys spent time together since that movie?
ELBA: Working with Beyonce ... I used to go to work early to work with Beyonce. She's amazing. So inspiring. Hardest-working woman in show business. I haven't seen her since, but she did invite me to a concert she was doing in London, and she waved to me from the stage. That was like a big moment.
TPG: Was Jay-Z ever around the set during that filming?
ELBA: He came once I think.
TPG: Have you played Rainbow Six Siege yet?
Elba: No, I haven't. I'm waiting until it comes out on December 1, but I'm super excited to get my free copy.
-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.