Idris Elba has said that asking him about racism is akin to asking ‘how long I have been breathing.’
While taking part in The Reckoning: The Arts And Black Lives Matter event, on Friday, the Luther actor, 47, also revealed how his parents instilled in him that in order to make it ‘you have to be twice as good as the white man.’
During the live-streamed discussion about the Black Lives Matter movement and the arts, Idris explained that his success has not ‘negated’ his experience of racism.
The actor said: ‘Success has not negated racism for me. Asking me about racism is like asking me about how long I have been breathing.’
Idris went on to explain that the first time black people have ‘any consciousness’ around their skin ‘it is usually about racism’.
He detailed how this became like a ‘mantra’ to him, and helped to guide his work ethic.
The talented actor also explained that, although he was good at football, he ‘still applied in cricket because I was always of that mindset.’
He added: ‘Before you know it you realise you are quite multi-faceted,’ before expressing how to be successful ‘you have to have your fingers in many pies’.
Idris’ late father Winston grew up in Sierra Leone, and his mother Eve is from Ghana.
The actor has forged an incredibly successful career, starring in Marvel films, including the Avengers, as well as for the lead role in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
He also starred in a Netflix movie about child soldiers, Beasts of No Nation, which was filmed in Ghana.
Idris’ interview comes after he trademarked his own name in preparation to launch his lifestyle brand with his wife Sabrina, 30.
The couple are said to have submitted applications with the Intellectual Property Office earlier this year for Sable Labs and their podcast Coupledom.
One application for their lifestyle brand suggests the couple will make dozens of products, including soaps, aftershave, cosmetics like lipstick and mascara, and bubble bath, among others.
Another list of products sees the pair venture in medical items such as medicated acne treatment, dermatological products, nutritional supplements and treatment of hair loss, The Sun reports.
It was claimed that Idris requested to trademark his name and made the applications for the brand through his UK firm IE7 Holdings Limited, which he also uses for his music business, clothing brand, and production company Green Door Pictures.
The couple aim to make Sable Labs a ‘global community that celebrates partnerships of all kinds – romantic couples, business partners, creative duos, long standing friends, family ties and much more.’
Idris is father to two children, daughter Isan, 18, and son Winston, 6, from two previous relationships.