Idris Elba's father didn't want him to be an actor.

Idris Elba

Idris Elba

The 'Dark Tower' star's "first love" was music and his dad felt his original dream to be a DJ would be a more steady source of income than having to audition for parts.

He recalled: "I was inspired [to act] by Robert De Niro after skipping school one afternoon when I was 16 to go and see 'Once Upon a Time in America'.

"My acting teacher in school told me that one day I'd be a great actor.

"My father wasn't that happy. He was worried that I'd starve and he told me to keep working as a DJ so I could earn a living. But my mother supported me."

However, the 44-year-old star's mum wasn't so keen when he decided to take up professional kickboxing in 2015 - which was documented in TV show 'Idris Elba: Fighter' - and she left him embarrassed with her ringside talk.

He said: "My mum hated the idea and she was worried about me getting hurt.

"When I had my fight, I got knocked down in the third round. My mother, who was watching asked me whether I needed my inhaler and told me to stop letting my opponent kick me in the head. I told her, 'Mum, please be quiet.' "

Idris enjoyed the experience but was concerned about suffering injuries to his face as it could affect his career.

He said: "The one big concern I had was avoiding getting hit in the face - I got punched in the nose a few times, which worried me.

"The kind of workout you do as a fighter is the ultimate test you can put yourself through."


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