Idris Elba has been crowned People’s “Sexiest Man Alive!”
The big reveal happened on Monday’s (November 5) episode of The Tonight Show, where host Jimmy Fallon dropped the announcement that the “sweet, smoldering superstar” had nabbed the title.
The 46-year-old actor is in London ATM, but he did make a special appearance on the show via a video call. And, with a little urging from the host, he even treated the audience to “a little smolder” and a “shy smile.”
“It’s amazing! I’m really really happy with that, man,” Idris told Jimmy. He also thanked the magazine for naming him the “sexiest man in the world,” and jokingly flexed biceps for good measure. “Lovin’ that. It’s an honor. My mom is gonna be very very proud.”
Awww… isn’t that just the sweetest?
But his reaction to learning about it is also priceless. “I was like, ‘Come on, no way. Really?’” the actor tells People. “Looked in the mirror, I checked myself out. I was like, ‘Yeah, you are kind of sexy today.’ But to be honest, it was just a nice feeling. It was a nice surprise — an ego boost for sure.”
The prolific leading man definitely appears larger than life onscreen, and the same could be said IRL (he’s 6’3” tall!). Hard to believe that the “Sexiest Man Alive” used to get picked on growing up. “I was very tall and skinny,” he told the magazine. “And my name was Idrissa Akuna Elba, okay? I got picked on a little bit. But as soon as I could grow a mustache, I was the coolest kid on the block. Grew a mustache, had some muscles, bonkers.”
The awkward phase didn’t stick, obvi. And he’s been lighting up the screen with his commanding presence since he burst into the scene with his role as The Wire’s drug kingpin Russell “Stringer” Bell. He’s starred in illustrious projects like Luther, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, and, of course, who can forget him as Heimdall in the MCU’s Thor series?
And this isn’t the only title the Pacific Rim star holds – he was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) by Prince William for his services to drama.
When he’s not heating up the screen, Idris can also bust out some pretty cool beats. He’s been known to show off his DJ skills in Atlanta and New York, and has graced stages from Glastonbury to Ibiza. He even has an album out – Hiatus.
Good-looking, amazingly talented, has a sense of humor, loves his mom – sounds absolutely dreamy, right? But, sorry ladies, Idris is off the market. He’s engaged to 29-year-old model Sabrina Dhowre (he popped the question last February). He’s also a doting dad to a 16-year-old daughter and a four-year-old son from previous relationships.
Idris is the 33rd person to be hailed as People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” since it began in 1985. Last year, the title went to The Voice judge Blake Shelton, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson the year before. 2015 saw David Beckham sporting the crown, and thunder rumbled in Thor star Chris Hemsworth’s favor in 2014.
Other previous honorees are Adam Levine (2013), Channing Tatum (2012), Bradley Cooper (2011), Ryan Reynolds (2010), Johnny Depp (2009), Hugh Jackman (2008), Matt Damon (2007), George Clooney (2006), Matthew McConaughey (2005), Jude Law (2004), Johnny Depp (2003), Ben Affleck (2002), Pierce Brosnan (2001), Brad Pitt (2000), Richard Gere (1999), Harrison Ford (1998), George Clooney (1997), Denzel Washington (1996), and Brad Pitt (1995).
People didn’t name a “Sexiest Man Alive” for the years 1993 and 1994, but they did name Cindy Crawford and Richard Gere as the “Sexiest Couple Alive” in 1993.
Before that, Nick Nolte held the title in 1992, Dirty Dancing’s Patrick Swayze in 1991, Tom Cruise in 1990, Sean Connery in 1989, John F. Kennedy Jr. in 1988, Harry Hamlin in 1988, Mark Harmon in 1986, with a 29-year-old Mel Gibson kicking things off back in 1985.
Fans have been campaigning for Idris to receive the title for years, and it looks like their efforts have paid off. Idris made sure to thank his fans for their support in his message on Twitter. He also added a gentle reminder to vote in the midterm elections.
“Who’d have thought it! Thank you @people & all the fans for naming me #SexiestManAlive. Don’t forget to grab your issue this week. I’m honoured & thankful. What’s even more important is your vote in the midterm elections. Your vote can make a difference!” he tweeted.
Who'd have thought it! Thank you @people & all the fans for naming me #SexiestManAlive. Don't forget to grab your issue this week https://t.co/WI7eWfXOPB. I'm honoured & thankful. What’s even more important is your vote in the midterm elections. Your vote can make a difference!👊🏾 pic.twitter.com/TBQapjxJsT
— Idris Elba (@idriselba) November 6, 2018